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What’s a Grease Trap (and Why Would You Need One)?

grease-trap-plumbingMost of the plumbing systems you have for a home are the same ones you would find in a commercial setting. Of course, plumbing components on a commercial property may be larger (like the water heater), longer (like the pipes), and more plentiful (like the toilets). But they still share most of the same components.

That is with the exception of a couple of systems. And one major system that any commercial kitchen—restaurant or other kitchens—requires is a grease trap. A grease trap goes underneath the kitchen space and serves a tough job. Learn more about why you would need a grease trap and what it does in today’s guide.

How Fats, Grease, and Oil Clog Drains

Fats, grease, and oil, known as F.O.G. in our industry, are some of the worst substances you can put down the drain, in our opinion. Fats, grease, and oil may start out as liquids when you pour them down the drain. But that butter and bacon grease can harden as it cools.

As it hardens, it sticks to the lining of the pipes. Often, when we clean sewer pipes, we find large clumps of F.O.G. In addition, debris and food scraps get stuck with the grease and cause an even greater buildup.

What a Grease Trap Does

A grease trap is essentially just a tank, but it is engineered to get only wastewater flowing into the sewer pipes, and nothing else. It counts on natural processes to do the job. Grease rises to the top of the wastewater due to its buoyancy.

The way that pipes and chambers are positioned allow for grease to get caught in baffles while only wastewater escapes from the outlet pipe. This protects your business, as long as you take care of it.

What Could Happen without a Grease Trap

Without a grease trap, your business is at risk. Think of what a major drain clog could do to your commercial kitchen. You might be caught without the use of your sinks. Or worse, you might be dealing with some disgusting and hazardous waste backing up through the drains.

The local municipalities often require you to have a grease trap as well. If your business is found to contribute to a major sewer clog, your business may be fined. That’s why it’s important not just to own a grease trap but to maintain it as well.

How to Maintain Yours

You’ll need to have your grease trap pumped from time to time. We’ve found the frequency can vary quite drastically from business to business, depending on what size trap you own and how often the kitchen is used.

You may also need commercial plumbers to come in and inspect the grease trap from time to time. From the very beginning of your installation, it’s important to work with commercial plumbers who know the ins and outs of large commercial plumbing systems like the grease trap.

For commercial plumbers in Broomall, PA, the name to remember is Murphy’s Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

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