Restaurant Grease Trap 101: Cost Savings and Ongoing Maintenance Tips

Restaurant Grease Trap 101: Cost Savings and Ongoing Maintenance Tips

Although every restaurant and kitchen is different, there is some essential equipment that all restaurant managers should be aware of. Proper maintenance of commercial kitchen equipment is necessary.

The grease trap is one of the most important (and often overlooked!) pieces of equipment. A grease trap is necessary to heat food in a restaurant, and a grease trap is not required for a restaurant.

Your grease trap should be kept clean, well-monitored, and maintained. This will keep your guests and employees safe and save you a lot of money. The average fine for not maintaining your grease trap is over $100,000 Continue reading if you are interested in grease trap maintenance and how to fix your equipment.

Maintenance 101: Restaurant Grease Trap | What is a grease trap?

Grease traps, also known as interceptors, are plumbing devices that prevent fat, oil, and grease from getting into the sewage system. The grease trap in a restaurant is similar to one that prevents bacon fat from going down the drain.

Grease traps can be attached to any drain, pipe, or fixture that releases fat, oil, and grease. Once the fat has accumulated in the trap, it will harden and float to the top. The entire grease trap must be cleaned and pumped regularly. It is important to remember that grease traps can be set up differently by each state or province.

These are the most common types of grease traps.

Three types of grease traps are most commonly used in commercial kitchens.

1.) Passive Grease Traps

This trap has several compartments that allow the waste and debris to move through. Passive traps cool the water, so fats, oils, and grease settle at the bottom. These grease traps are very efficient, provided the system can hold the water for the time it needs.

2) Hydromechanical Grease Traps

You can make these grease traps with materials, including steel and specialty plastics. Hydromechanical traps can separate fats, oils, and grease from water. (Bio-sol)

3.) Automatic Grease Removal Unit

Motorized grease removal units (ARGUs) rely on electric components to remove the oil, fats, and grease from the water. These traps are microscopic but highly efficient and often used in small kitchens and other uses due to their small size. The costliest unit to install is the ARGU, which can remove as much as 99% of the waste from your water.

A grease trap is a surefire way to fail.

The worst thing a restaurant owner can do is not ensure the grease trap is regularly cleaned and emptied. Your grease trap can lead to the following:

  1. Over time, there will be a lot of sewage buildup. This can cause sewage backup on nearby properties and clog outgoing and incoming lines. This can be costly to clean up
    and not suitable for your business.
  2. Pests and disease-causing bacteria can be a problem in your restaurant and the
    surrounding area. They can pose a severe health risk to your guests and employees.
  3. Grease trap fires are possible. Fire is the worst scenario. Grease buildup can cause significant fire hazards. This could be dangerous for your guests and employees and result in thousands of dollars in kitchen repairs.

Restaurant managers should be mindful of their grease trap system's required cleaning and emptying schedules. Maintaining a high maintenance standard is essential to reduce replacement and repair costs.

What is the cost of a grease trap?

1) Maintenance costs

It is necessary to maintain a grease trap; however, this will also be a cost you need to consider. To avoid costly replacements and payments down the road, it is crucial to maintain preventive maintenance.

The cost of grease trap maintenance depends on the size and condition of your establishment. Depending on its size, it can run between $120 to $300 per month, and this cost should be included in your business expenses.

2) Installation Costs

You are installing a grease trap costs between $250 and $1000. These costs are small compared to the costly fines and tickets that your business could face if your grease trap does not meet the code.

3) Replacement costs

A grease trap can last between 5-10 years, depending on how often it is used and the size of your restaurant. Grease traps are vital to your business and should be replaced immediately. However, grease traps can be maintained for a minimum of 10 years with the proper care and ongoing maintenance.

How to maintain a grease trap to reduce costs:

Third-party service provider for ongoing maintenance. To Avoid costly pitfalls, ensure that your restaurant has a monthly grease trap cleaning.

  1. Your grease traps should be maintained monthly. Professional service should perform this maintenance, and waste must be appropriately disposed of. Your employees should not do grease trap cleaning.
  2. To avoid bigger grease traps, train your staff in food handling. You can do this by
    ensuring that food scraps are thrown away before they go into the sinks.
  3. Install and maintain sink screen covers for all open drains. This will ensure employees
    don't dump the wrong products down the sink.
  4. Do not pour hot water into the grease trap. This could cause the grease to melt and cause problems.

Need More Info? Contact Five Star Mechanical to discuss your commercial HVAC needs. at - (253) 852-8284

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