8 Grease Trap Warning Signs – ARP Environmental Solutions
Did you know that more than 70% of all sewage backups in New York City are caused by the improper disposal of fats, oils, and grease, otherwise known as FOG? This isn’t a problem that’s exclusive to NYC. Cities and towns everywhere are affected by FOG, which can cause property damage and pollute the environment. Because FOG poses such a big threat, it’s important for business owners who are responsible for maintaining grease traps to know when a grease trap is malfunctioning. By looking out for the following grease trap warning signs, you’ll help keep waterways clean while avoiding hefty fines and repair costs.
And if you do happen to notice any of these warning signs, give us a call for 24/7 emergency grease trap service across New Jersey.
Slow drainage is often thought to be the result of a clogged drain. This is not always the case. It’s best to check your grease trap before making any assumptions.
When sinks, floor drains, and dishwashers don’t drain properly, it’s a common sign that water is unable to move through the grease trap as quickly as it should.
If you hear a gurgling or bubbling noise coming from your drain when water is going down, that means there is something creating a blockage. A malfunctioning grease trap increases the likelihood of a blockage occuring.
Next time you pour water down the drain, listen closely for any audible indicators of a malfunctioning grease trap.
As FOG and solid materials degrade, they spoil and are eaten up by bacteria. This reaction can lead to unpleasant smells coming from your sink and other drains. It may even generate a small amount of heat.
These foul odors don’t just smell bad; they can degrade pipes, pose health risks for kitchen staff, and drive away customers. After all, a kitchen should smell good, not bad.
Don’t wait for the problem to get worse. If you do, you could end up having to shut down your restaurant for days while your grease trap is cleaned and any necessary repairs are made.
Decreased Water Pressure
You might be surprised to learn that grease trap performance has a system-wide effect on a building’s plumbing.
For instance, if you notice that your toilet is not flushing or filling properly, it might not have anything to do with the toilet. It could actually mean that your grease trap is clogged. A thorough grease trap pumping should make your water pressure return to normal.
Irregular Cleaning Schedule
Do you remember the last time you had your grease trap professionally cleaned? If you can’t recall, you should schedule a professional grease trap cleaning ASAP. Chances are it’s been too long.
A grease trap should be cleaned at least once every 90 days. However, commercial grease traps in places such as busy restaurants may require more frequent cleaning.
Another metric to go by is the amount of FOG and solid materials present in your grease trap. If they make up more than 25% of the total wastewater depth, the grease trap needs to be cleaned. This is known as the one-fourths or one-quarter cleaning rule. Once a grease trap is a quarter full of FOG, it will no longer function properly.
Suspicious Traces of Grease
When a grease trap becomes clogged, extra grease is forced to find new places to go. Some of these places include sewer pipes, sinks, and water lines.
If you notice traces of grease where you haven’t seen grease before, don’t just clean it up and forget about it. It’s a likely indicator that your grease trap is clogged, and the problem will only get worse if left untreated.
Lack of Material Monitoring
What you allow to go down the drain on a daily basis has a big impact on how often your grease trap needs to be cleaned. If it’s mostly water, your grease trap should be in pretty good shape. But if you let grease and food scraps go down the drain too, chances are your grease trap is due for a cleaning.
A good way to keep grease and food waste from going down the drain is making sure that your current staff, as well as any new employees, are made aware of proper disposal procedures. That way your grease trap will stay cleaner for longer.
Overflow at Manhole
If you notice an overflow of sewage at a manhole near your business, it’s probably a sign that either you or one of your neighbors has a clogged grease trap. However, a clogged pipe or drain could also be the culprit, so it’s best to have an expert diagnose the problem ASAP.
There you have it – eight common grease trap warning signs and indications of a malfunctioning grease trap. Hopefully you haven’t come across any of these warning signs recently, but if you have, it’s best to have your grease trap cleaned right away.