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grease trap sign on textured metal background

Signs Of Unmaintained Grease Interceptors And Traps

grease trap sign on textured metal background

grease trap sign on textured metal backgroundAs a business owner, maintaining your grease trap or grease interceptor and performing appropriate grease trap repair is your responsibility. Neglecting maintenance can result in some costly challenges and fines. Oregon Oils, Inc. of Portland, Oregon, can pump and clean your grease trap and identify minor repair issues before they become costly problems. We’re the trusted choice for grease trap cleaning and used oil recycling.

Difference Between Grease Interceptors And Grease Traps

Most commercial kitchens require a grease trap or grease interceptor. Both of these devices basically work the same and provide the same results, but a grease trap has a flow rate of fewer than 50 gallons per minute, while an interceptor has a flow rate greater than 50 gallons.

Grease traps vary in size, but are smaller than interceptors, so they’re generally kept inside restaurants. A larger sized interceptor often requires installation outside the restaurant. Grease traps require more servicing, sometimes daily, and interceptors are serviced by specialists on a set schedule.

Signs Maintenance Is Required

Routine maintenance should be carefully monitored to ensure your grease trap stays in proper repair. When an establishment neglects to perform maintenance on a set schedule, numerous problems can arise. If it’s been a while since you’ve taken care of your grease trap, some signs flagging you that it’s probably time for maintenance include:

  • Storage capacity that’s been exceeded. If you check the level of FOG (fats, oil, grease) in your trap or interceptor and there’s less than 25% of storage space left, it’s time to have it completely pumped out.
  • Clogged drains. Normally, you can see into a grease trap when you look into it, but when the trap is full, excess FOG starts to solidify and stiffen at the top. This buildup makes it difficult for water to flow through the drain, so slow drains or complete clogs might be a sign of serious maintenance requirements.
  • Unexplainable foul smells in the kitchen. Over a long period of time, accumulated FOG, food waste, and sludge cause foul odors that don’t disappear. If you’ve taken out all the garbage, thoroughly cleaned the kitchen and the smell remains, it’s time for maintenance.
  • Grease in unusual places. Finding grease around your kitchen where it shouldn’t be, is a sure sign something is wrong with your grease trap or interceptor. Grease trap clogs force extra grease to escape through easy exits, such as sinks, water lines, and sewer pipes.

Other signs it’s time for maintenance and repair include a missing outlet T, or the trap or interceptor is beginning to deteriorate.

Risks Of Neglecting Grease Trap Repair

Improper grease trap repair and maintenance can cause a slew of problems. Primary risks you might face when you neglect your grease trap or interceptor include:

  • FOG entering city sewer lines, which may cause sewage to overflow in your building or adjacent buildings. The city may take enforcement actions, including hefty municipal fines, and you could be liable for any damages caused to other residences or businesses.
  • Foul odors emanating from improperly maintained grease traps can engulf your kitchen, then seep into your dining area, causing you to temporarily shut down. Rancid smells can cause your patrons to seek another establishment; additionally, prolonged exposure to the smell can make your customers and staff ill, which could leave you vulnerable to lawsuits.
  • Becoming an increased fire hazard due to a grease trap being full or clogging the line and excess grease is throughout your establishment, causing fire to potentially spread faster and be more difficult to contain or put out.
  • Clogged traps and drains are also prime breeding ground for bacteria and require emergency cleanings that are substantially more expensive.

Professional Grease Trap Cleaning, Maintenance And Repair

At Oregon Oils, Inc., our professional grease trap services include thorough pumping, cleaning, and maintenance. Our technicians remove every trace of residual FOG, scrape the inside and perimeter your trap, and conduct thorough evaluations to identify potential problems with possible solutions provided on the spot.

We’re proud to be the used cooking oil recycler choice for Oregon and western Washington businesses since 1992. Our used cooking oil collection is a free service, and business owners are paid for all oil collected and recycled into biodiesel fuel. We provide our customers with the most reliable waste oil management program available. Contact us today at 503-233-0818 to discuss appropriate grease trap repair and maintenance requirements.

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Oregon Oils, Inc.
2515 NW 28th Ave., Portland, OR 97210

Phone: 503-233-0818503-233-0818Fax: 503-548-6392Email Us

Business Hours: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

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