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A regular grease trap maintenance schedule is crucial when you’re running a commercial kitchen or restaurant. Cooking in this quantity leads to a lot of waste that accumulates in the grease trap. Not cleaning your grease trap frequently can lead to sewer blockages and grease backups, which can lead to safety issues, and potentially, to costly legal ramifications.

To avoid all that and keep your grease trap running effectively, you need to establish a regular cleaning schedule, but how can you make a proper schedule in the first place? How can you know when the right time for cleaning your grease trap is? Here are the most essential tips you should follow for scheduling your grease trap cleanings

Get Acquainted with the Laws and Regulations 

The laws and regulations regarding grease trap maintenance schedule vary according to different countries, cities, and counties. However, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) regulations state that all restaurants, commercial kitchens, and similar food service establishments properly clean their grease traps every 90 days.

However, it also highly recommends that they clean their grease traps more frequently if their establishments happen to be very busy and generate a lot of food waste and fats, oils, and grease (FOG). If that is your case, you should definitely not wait 90 days to clean your grease trap, but rather do it every 30 or 45 days. 

Follow the ¼ Rule

The ¼ rule may just be the most important rule you should follow. It means that you should clean your grease trap whenever ¼ of it has been filled with fats, oils, and grease. This rule is actually a recognized standard all around the world, simply because a grease trap is no longer effective when 25% of its wetted depth is full.

Usually, it takes one to three months for a grease trap to accumulate waste that accounts for 25% of its depth. However, if your restaurant or commercial kitchen has a small grease trap and generates a lot of FOG, it can take less time. In that case, you should consider getting a bigger trap

Keep Your Eyes Peeled for the Warning Signs 

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Besides the ¼ rule or the EPA requirements, there may be some warning signs that your grease trap cleaning is due.

One warning sign is related to slow drainage. If you notice that water is draining very slowly inside your facility, it is very likely that your grease trap is full and needs to be cleaned. It’s as simple as that. Your grease trap becomes full and a heavy grease cap accumulates on top of it, making it tough for water to go through the drain system

The other warning sign is a strong, unpleasant odor. Solidified food waste, fats, oils, and grease produce a very unpleasant odor after sitting for a long time, so you need to make sure you remove them frequently. Proper grease trap maintenance prevents odors, and it’s definitely not something that you can get rid of with regular kitchen cleaning.

Always follow these three tips for grease trap maintenance scheduling and you’re guaranteed a smooth running and effective grease trap. Not only will you ensure good hygiene of your establishment, but you will also act in compliance with the EPA laws and regulations and avoid expensive fines.

The wisest action to take when it comes to your grease trap cleaning is to hire a professional grease trap service provider. It will be easier for you to let the grease trap service professionals handle the process, and you can rest assured that they will always stick to the schedule.

Contact A-1 Tank Services if you’re in need of any professional grease trap maintenance services.

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