Managing Your Establishment's Grease Trap

Know the Law

If you decide to skip cleaning, then you could be in hot water with the City. You can receive large fines or even have your restaurant closed down.

If you are unsure of the laws that could affect you, it is best to consult a professional cleaning service. They can explain the details of the laws and help you create a cleaning maintenance plan that will comply.

1/4 Rule

 A good rule of thumb for any cleaning schedule is every one to three months. However, in order to determine if it should be one or three, you will need to follow the 1/4th rule. This rule states that once 1/4th of your grease trap has been filled with fats, oils, grease, and solids (FOGS) it is time for a pump out. Once your trap is 1/4th full, it stops being effective and can lead to unpleasant odors, slow drainage in sinks, and clogs in your lines. If your restaurant has a small grease trap or is producing a lot of grease, you may reach the 1/4th rule faster than one to three months and may want to consider sizing up.

Grease Trap Cleaning & Pumping Tips

  • Scrape plates and utensils of any excess food or debris before washing to limit the amount of FOGS making their way to your trap
  • Dry-wipe pots and pans prior to dishwashing to reduce the amount of material collected in your grease trap
  • Recycle waste cooking oil so it doesn’t end up in your grease trap, causing the need to more frequent and unnecessary pump outs
  • Avoid the use of garbage disposals to limit the amount of solids making their way to your grease trap
  • Clean grease trap interceptors that have a capacity of 100 gallons or less on a weekly basis in between pump outs
  • Clean your grease traps before or after business hours to ensure the unpleasant odor does not affect patrons

Prevent the Problem

There are ways you can reduce the grease trap from filling up quickly. Have your staff scrape everything. That means cleaning off the FOGS from the plates and cookware before you wash it.

Plan for the unexpected. Do you know that your business volume substantially increases during certain months? If so, then you need to work with your cleaner to ensure your trap stays clean by scheduling extra cleaning during this time.

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