As a business owner, you should be investing in commercial grease trap cleaning services if you want your restaurant to grow while keeping your investment intact.
All high-volume restaurants have to contend with heavy amounts of grease on a daily basis. Grease interceptors, otherwise known as grease traps, act very much the same way septic tanks work in our homes. With a residential septic tank, solid waste is separated from wastewater so that the latter can flow unhindered into the sewer system. Without the ability to separate solid from liquid, our sewers would quickly become clogged, leading to a gigantic and expensive mess.
A restaurant grease trap works the same way. As food is being prepared, a grease trap separates liquid oil from solid fats, oil, and grease (FOG) particles, allowing the liquid grease to be “trapped” in a special receptacle. That is the grease interceptor or grease trap that will eventually need to be emptied and cleaned.
Before you attempt to have your staff do the dirty work, you should know that only a restaurant grease trap cleaning service can give you the protection you deserve.
Protection from what, you may ask?
For one, by cleaning your grease traps properly, you will prevent the outbreak of fire. A grease fire is not easily controlled unless you have a cutting-edge wet-chemical fire suppression system on hand.
Another risk is a sewer backup, which can quickly push customers away.
Ideally, you’ll want to prevent a fire or sewer backup before they have a chance to occur. You can do so by having your grease traps cleaned by professionals with training, experience, and the proper equipment to get the job done.
How is a Grease Trap Cleaned?
Many restaurants today employ passive grease traps, which means that grease and solid particles flow into the trap, whereby the two will be separated before being trapped in separate containers. Your grease trap holds the solids that have been removed while the wastewater flows into the sewers.
Grease traps are metal or plastic reservoirs that prevent FOG from entering the sanitary sewer or septic system.
Grease interceptors are large, in-ground outdoor tanks that prevent FOG and food particles from entering your restaurant’s septic system or the local sewer line.
To clean the grease trap, the cover will have to be removed before grease trap pumping occurs. Pumping the grease from the trap requires the use of heavy-duty trucks and industrial hose to funnel the grease away so it can be disposed of properly.
The entire system will then be dismantled, degreased with powerful agents, and polished to a sheen to prevent future grease buildup.
These procedures can take time, and careful attention-to-detail will need to be used. That is because, aside from cleaning, a professional service will be able to identify issues before they become serious problems, along with repairs in case there are cracks or other defects that can affect your grease trap’s performance.
Doing the cleanup job yourself or giving it to your staff only leaves you open to future and expensive problems. If and when those problems occur, you’ll likely end up calling a commercial grease trap cleaning service to do the job right.
Make the right decision the first time around and select a commercial company near you with the personnel and equipment you can trust.
How Often Should Cleaning Be Performed?
In order for your grease trap to function as it should, it is recommended that you keep a deep layer of water inside. Only when food layers and grease comprise 25% or more of the trap’s inner space should cleaning be performed.
A professional cleaning service will have the expertise to clean your trap and all accompanying systems based on your volume and type of food prepared. If your business serves lots of sauces and dressing, leading to more oil and fat buildup, you may require more frequent grease trap cleaning. That’s just one example of how professionals can help you stay on top of grease trap emptying, cleaning, maintenance and repairs.
It Pays to Find a Commercial Grade Cleaning Service
The septic tank was invented over 100 years ago and to this day remains a restaurant’s primary defense against deadly fire, among other issues. To keep your grease trap clean, you should be selecting among the best and most local services available to you.
Here is what you should look for when searching through the various grease trap cleaning services in your area.
10 Attributes to Look for Searching for Commercial Grease Trap Cleaning Services
- Experienced with Your Type of Equipment
Find a professional cleaning service that has hands-on experience with your exact model of a grease trap. You should know that grease traps come in a series of specific makes and models, including small passive hydromechanical grease interceptors (HGI), gravity grease interceptors (GGI), automatic grease and oil recovery systems, and high capacity hydromechanical grease interceptors.
A service worthy of your time and money will know precisely how to clean your type of trap and will be able to dismantle and reassemble your unit with ease. This kind of industry knowledge can help you feel confident that you’ve hired the very best service professionals for the job.
- Thorough Cleaning
Only by hiring a professional service can you be certain that your entire grease trap system will be maintained and cleaned as it should be.
For best results, your grease trap will be dismantled so that the baffle and each individual component can be degreased and polished until It’s safe for use in the kitchen once more.
A commercial grease trap cleaning service won’t stop there, however. There’s grease pumping, storage and removal, floor drain cleaning, high-pressure washing, and septic tank maintenance. Only when each of these areas is given the proper attention can you be confident that dangerous fire will be kept at bay.
When you find a service that comes highly recommended, you can remain confident that your septic tank will be spotless by the end of the service call.
- Careful Attention to Detail
Commercial grease trap cleaning professionals will take the time to clean and scrape the grease to prevent future buildup. On a typical busy day, your commercial kitchen likely produces a variety of contaminants that can hide in the unlikeliest of places. All the nooks and crannies of your grease trap will need to be scrubbed until spotless, and that’s a commercial grade service’s expertise.
- Protection from Fire
It’s said that two out of every three restaurant fires is caused by grease, oil, and fat. These substances are normally funneled to the grease trap and kept out of harm’s way. When left to overflow, however, your grease trap can become a fire hazard. A professional service will have the heavy-duty equipment to remove all the excess grease and FOG to ensure fire code compliance.
The local fire inspector will be checking your grease traps, that much you can be sure. Be sure and call a professional cleaning service to keep your business compliant.
- Green Solutions
Since you work with food, you will want to search for commercial grease trap cleaning services that have a history with emptying and cleaning the grease traps for other food service businesses. That way, you can be sure that the solutions the company uses to eradicate grease, and the processes used to store and carry grease away, are compliant with health and fire codes.
You are also encouraged to ask about the various services’ grease disposal methods to ensure they are enviro-friendly.
Commercial grade cleaning services will also use chemicals that are safe for use around food preparation areas, but do your proper diligence and ask plenty of questions when interviewing cleaners near you just to be sure.
- Secure Grease Collection
The service you select will have the necessary equipment to secure the grease so that it can be safely carried away. Grease can’t just be thrown into the sewer or dumpster, after all. If the person cleaning your grease trap doesn’t know what he or she is doing, the job could get very messy. For that reason, ensure you employ the services of commercial grease trap cleaning services, which use heavy trucks to cart your grease away safely and with no harm to the environment.
- Professionals Can Check for Warning Signs
A commercial cleaning service can put you on a regular maintenance service so that your grease traps can be cleaned and maintained as needed. Not only will this keep your restaurant health and fire code compliant, but skilled personnel will be more adept at identifying problems before they have a chance to manifest.
For example, a clogged grease trap is a major concern for all restaurant owners. When FOG becomes too much for the extractor system to handle, a grease clog can occur, leading to backflow. That’s as awful as it sounds. Imagine leftover grease, oil, fats, and sewage flowing into your kitchen, threatening the next day’s sales.
A commercial restaurant grease trap cleaning service will be able to identify problems like clogs, cracks, and component malfunctions before they get out of hand.
- Higher Chances of Better Ratings
If your grease traps aren’t cleaned regularly and professionally, you risk the quality of your restaurant being permeated by foul odors and contaminated air. Leave your grease trap to overflow for too long and you’ll begin noticing customer complaints about the “off” smells and tastes, and quite possibly smoky air.
When you take the time to sift through all local commercial grease trap cleaning services, you give your business a fighting chance at having the highest ratings in town.
- Offer 24/7 Service
If you ever have an issue with your grease trap system at an inopportune moment, such as in the middle of the night, it pays to have a commercial service on call day or night. Therefore, it may benefit you to select only among those services that offer 24/7 service, just in case a backflow occurs at 2 am and you need cleanup services fast.
- Fully-Detailed Inspection reports
Choosing professionals to clean your grease trap ensures that your restaurant remains code compliant. However, local inspectors don’t have to take your word for it. A professional service will provide you with certified documentation that states that your grease trap is cleaned and ready for regular use.
Grease Trap Maintenance Can Save You Money
In addition to calling a service every time your grease trap needs to be cleaned, you should be engaging in regular maintenance of your commercial kitchen unit. Most commercial cleaning services will work with you to find a schedule that will minimize restaurant downtime while providing you with the most efficient grease trap cleaning.
Most of these services can also work within your budget, saving you money right off the bat. However, the simple fact that you’re searching for commercial grease trap services means that you’re likely to save quite a few bucks, especially when you consider how much you’d have to spend on a sewer backup and the subsequent cleanup if things were to go wrong.
Thorough cleaning will also extend the life of your grease trap system, saving you even more on unit replacement in the future.
These cost savings will soon add up, giving you a grease trap that’s sparkling clean while contributing to your bottom line.
Do You Have a Commercial Grease Trap Cleaning Service in Mind?
Hood Builder is a premier commercial kitchen cleaning service in Denver, Colorado; and Los Angeles and Placentia, California. We offer customized solutions for all restaurants and commercial kitchen businesses, including commercial grease trap cleaning services.
We can provide you with the cost savings, attention-to-detail, and professional cleaning services to keep your grease traps operating optimally for years to come.
When you want professional grease trap cleaning, maintenance, and repair, put your trust in the professionals by calling Hood Builder for a free quote.