Plumbing Tips

Common Problems With Grease Traps in Commercial Kitchens

July 11, 2016 at 1:09 pm | Category: Commercial Plumbing, Grease Traps

Grease Traps

Grease pumps are a crucial part of restaurants and commercial kitchens. They’re used to remove solids and what are called FOGs—fats, oils, and grease—from waste water in commercial plumbing systems before it’s discharged into the municipal water system. If you own or operate a commercial property, you know that its grease trap is a very important part of it’s plumbing, so when you do encounter any problems with it, you need prompt and professional commercial plumbing service.

At Rapidan Plumbing, our Fredericksburg commercial plumbing contractors can provide you with any repairs or services that you may need for your grease trap. Problems with grease traps can develop at any time, and it’s important that you’re able to recognize and solve these problems quickly.

How Grease Traps Work

Grease traps are located after the drains but before the municipal sewer system. The water will enter the trap through a flow regulator/diverter which will prevent water from flooding your Fredericksburg commercial property’s grease trap and mixing up the debris that the trap is attempting to separate.

When water enters the grease trap, it immediately begins to cool, which hardens FOGs and, because they’re less dense than water, forces them to float the surface. Likewise, solid debris, which is more dense than water, is forced to float the bottom of of the trap. This leaves a middle layer of water, which is discharged from the trap.

The discharged water then enters a secondary compartment in the grease trap which is separated from the first by a crossover pipe. Here, any grease that made it passed the first compartment is allowed to rise to the surface, then the clean water is discharged through an outlet pipe. The FOGs and debris are removed when they reach certain levels in order to prevent back-flow.

Recognizing Common Grease Trap Problems

When the FOGs and/or debris build up in the line between the two compartments of the grease trap, that “crossover” line can become clogged. The liquid level in the first compartment will be too high while the level in the second compartment will remain normal.

Clogs in the incoming line will almost immediately manifest as a backup with the commercial plumbing fixtures in your Fredericksburg property that are lowest to the ground. Often, you’ll see floor drains or sinks start to back up when there’s a clog in this part of your grease trap.

If there is a clog in the outgoing line, the grease trap will start to overflow from both compartments. The clog could be occurring in the line itself, or in the city main.

If grease isn’t removed from your trap in a timely fashion, it might start to spill over into the second compartment. To see if your grease trap is full, open the lid and use a pole to gauge the depth of the grease cap. If it reaches the bottom, the trap needs to be emptied immediately.

When you encounter these or other problems with your commercial plumbing system’s grease trap, our professionals will be able to quickly and accurately repair them.

If you’re looking for a commercial plumber in Fredericksburg, call Rapidan Plumbing at 540-898-7867, or fill out our online request form.

If you are looking for Fredericksburg Plumbing Services then please call 540-898-7867 or complete our online request form.