Ever walk by a manhole near a restaurant and smell something really funky? Chances are it’s the grease trap of the nearby restaurant. If you’re the owner of that establishment then you may consider reading through this article. Blocked grease traps can cause severe damage to a restaurant when they are not properly maintained. Here’s more of what you need to know:
Clean Grease Traps Help Keep Customers Happy
It’s true that clean grease traps may not be noticed by your customers, but a dirty grease trap will be noticed by customers, employees, and passersby. The raunchy stench that emanates from a dirty grease trap can turn people away. It can cause potential new customers to avoid your restaurant if they are greeted by the repulsing stink and ruin the dining experience of your regulars if the foul odor is the last thing they smell as they pull out of the parking lot.
Blocked Grease Traps Can Affect the Rest of Your Plumbing System
Picture this scenario: It’s Valentine’s Day. You have every booth, chair, corner, and cranny filled with patrons and there are enough people waiting outside to fill your restaurant twice. Service is going great and you’re receiving many compliments on the food. Then disaster strikes. Your drains start backing up. The toilets won’t flush, and an awful smell starts seeping out from the kitchen. Your servers start panicking as does the kitchen staff. No one can make food or serve it because you’re all trying to fix the plumbing problem. Customers start complaining and then starting leaving. You’re sales plummet for the night and worse, the reputation you’ve been building for the last few years has been damaged.
This is an extreme case of what can happen if you don’t clean your grease traps regularly. A clog in the grease trap system can affect the rest of your plumbing system, so even though it may seem unnecessary to clean the traps monthly, the alternative is far worse than regular maintenance.
Clean Grease Traps Keep the Bills Down
Using the above example as a reference point, the owner of that restaurant likely called for emergency plumbing. Emergency plumbers can be highly effective, however, the bill can often be shockingly high. Likewise, the loss revenue experienced on the night mentioned above could severely impact your bottom line. That’s why scheduled cleaning is the way to go. You never have to worry about an overflow or blockage ruining what could have otherwise been a great evening.
Blocked Grease Traps Can Attract the FOG Police
Many municipalities have what some refer to as the FOG (fats, oils, and grease) police. As we know, the grease trap is part of the sewer system, but the purpose of the grease trap is to keep the FOG from flowing into the water system. It “traps” all of the waste. If the trap gets too full, then the FOG can travel into the main sewer pipes causing damage or blockages within city water lines. Diligent cities, like the city of Phoenix employee commercial inspector that examine restaurant grease traps to ensure they are working within code. Those restaurants failing to adhere to the FOG codes are subject to hefty fines.
How Often Should I Clean My Grease Trap
Some grease trap manufacturers recommend cleaning (completely draining, scraping, and removing all solids and greases) once every few days. That is just not realistic for most restaurants. Instead, the majority of municipalities require restaurants to clean grease traps once per month.
The monthly cleaning keeps buildup from surpassing a 25%+ solid fraction of grease build up. What this means is that the amount of grease and solids in the trap don’t exceed 25 percent of the total volume in the storage tank. When the amount does exceed 25 percent, then the grease and solid particles start to flow into the drain pipes significantly increasing your chances of blockages.
Paying to have your grease traps cleaned may not be on the top of your to-do list, after all, it doesn’t increase your food sales, doesn’t help create loyal customers, or enhance the ambiance of your restaurant. Or does it? The fact is that neglected grease traps can cause blockages, foul odors, and inconveniences that not only frustrate you but drive customers away as well. You don’t want your customers to know you have a grease trap. You want them focusing on the delicious food and wonderful service. Let us take care of the grease traps so you can take care of them.