How to Prevent Your Kitchen’s Grease Trap from Overflowing

Commercial kitchen grease traps are vulnerable to overflow if they are not operated correctly. It is highly important that the trap is emptied at regular intervals. There are lots of businesses that offer grease trap cleaning in Houston. Typically, they will discharge the contents of the trap and make sure that the chambers and lines are clean.

What is a grease trap?

A grease trap is essentially a septic tank that commercial kitchens use to dispose of cooking grease. They are installed between the drain and the sewer. As the hot liquid grease goes down with other solid and liquid waste, it settles into a tank. At this phase, the solid food waste sinks to the bottom, the fat and grease floats to the top, and the water sits in the middle. The water then travels into the municipal sewer system to be treated as regular sewage, while the solid food waste and grease remains. All restaurants will have some kind of grease disposal system because, when it cools and solidifies, grease is notorious for causing blockages in sewer systems. The solution to this problem is the installation and use of grease traps. Their only downside is that they require regular cleaning and discharge. This is why there is lots of demand for grease trap cleaning.

Why do grease traps overflow?

Grease trap overflow is associated with clogging in the lines. Typically, lines become clogged when the grease trap is not discharged often enough. A grease trap will have three lines: an incoming line, an outgoing line, and a crossover line. The incoming line is how the waste from the kitchen sink first enters the trap. The waste is now in the first chamber, where the settling process takes place (i.e. fats at the top and solids at the bottom). The water in the middle then leaves the first chamber and travels into the second chamber via the crossover line. The second chamber’s role is to keep the water separate from the solid and fatty waste. Its contents get released into the municipal sewer system as normal wastewater. The role of grease trap cleaning in Houston is to deal with the solid waste as it builds up in the first chamber.

As the trap continues its process of separating the solids and releasing the water, the contents of the first chamber pile on top of each other. When the chamber is full, it must be emptied. If this is not done, the trap will overflow. When there is overflow, the incoming and crossover lines both become clogged because the excess grease has nowhere else to go. This results in clogged drains, and rotten smells coming from the drain. All of the solid food waste is accumulating and starting to rot. A typical grease trap cleaning in Houston will involve a discharge of the first chamber waste into a vacuum truck, where it is taken away for disposal.

Why is it so critical to schedule regular grease trap cleaning in Houston?

There is also an inspection and cleaning of the incoming and crossover lines to ensure that they are not clogged with any grease or solids. The best thing you can do for your grease trap is to stay on top of the discharge timetable. Otherwise, all that rotting waste that backs up will turn into a public health violation.