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National Restaurant Association - Clean grease traps: Cure for the common clog

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Clean grease traps: Cure for the common clog

The most common plumbing problem a restaurant faces is a backed-up drain that’s been clogged by grease. But a bit of preventive maintenance can keep that from happening.

Having drains cleared routinely each month, or even every other month, will accomplish that. So will having maintenance staffers use a bio-cleaner, which basically is an enzyme that eats away at the clog. Chemical cleaners aren't really going to open up the drain. A combination of bio-cleaner and high-pressure water flush will help keep things flowing.

Preventive maintenance on grease is essential. To begin with, a well-designed plumbing system will not direct cold water from, say, a condensate unit in the freezer or cooler flowing into the grease lines. When grease comes out of drains it is hot, so it flows smoothly through the system all the way out to the grease interceptor. But when it gets cold, it will solidify in the pipes and collect in the grease trap before it has time to go out.

In some municipalities, testing companies are sent to test grease traps. If you have too many particles of grease, the city or town will fine you and it will be a lot more than having the pump truck come by on a quarterly basis.

If the grease traps are not properly or regularly cleaned, it can cause fats, oil and grease to empty into the municipal sewage system. Fat and grease buildup in sewers can cost millions of dollars to fix so many municipalities have strict ordinances to prevent discharge and fine violators.

Preventive maintenance means getting the grease lines jetted out with water at least once a year, but grease trap maintenance is critical and there are companies that will do it for a relatively inexpensive price.

This article is presented courtesy of RestaurantOwner.com, a source of operational and business resources for independent restaurant operators. For more information, visit www.RestaurantOwner.com.

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