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Sweetwater Plumbing Blog

Answering Some Common Questions about Commercial Grease Traps

commercial-pipe-connectionThere are many important plumbing jobs that our licensed and trained plumbers tackle for our commercial clients. One of them is working with commercial grease traps in Fullerton, CA and other parts of Southern California.

We often receive questions regarding grease traps and if/why they are necessary. We’ll answer a few of the more common queries below. If you have other questions, our helpful staff is always ready to provide answers and schedule the service your business needs.

What are grease traps?

Also known as grease interceptors, grease traps are plumbing attachments that remove grease that goes down drains and prevents it from entering the sewage system. Grease traps contain baffles in them to separate out oil, fat, and grease from the wastewater, allowing these lighter-than-water materials to float to the top of the trap and letting the water continue into the sewer system.

Is grease really such a problem?

Absolutely. Fats, oils, and grease (often referred to as FOG) may appear harmless in their hot liquid form, but this is a trick. When FOG cools, it solidifies. This can lead to pipe blockage. With a commercial kitchen, where a large amount of FOG goes down the drains on a daily basis, this can mean trouble in the municipal wastewater system, and even environmental harm. A grease trap isn’t just protecting your business’s plumbing, it’s protecting the community’s plumbing.

Does my business need a grease trap?

If your business is a food service establishment of any kind, yes. Some businesses are exempt, such as residential properties that don’t actually sell food even though food preparation happens in them. But when in doubt, call on licensed commercial plumbers who are familiar with the local code requirements. You don’t want your food service company shuttered because of a health violation that’s easy to avoid.

Do I already have a grease trap?

You may. The most common type of grease trap is an under-the-counter one. This might not be easy to see, however. What we recommend you do is check on a plumbing schematic for your facility (if there is one). The grease trap will be marked on this schematic. There are also larger outside grease traps buried in the ground, and you should find this marked on the schematic as well. If you don’t have a plumbing drawing available, or you don’t otherwise know if your business has a grease trap, contact our plumbers and they’ll be glad to assist you. (They’ll also repair the grease trap if they find it’s damaged.)

Do I have to routinely maintain my grease trap?

Yes, you do. This isn’t something that a municipal body will handle—although they will do regular inspections. However, you don’t have to worry about trying to locate the grease trap yourself and then figuring out what you’re supposed to do to maintain it. This is why you have access to commercial plumbers. Have our team set up routine maintenance that will regularly empty the grease trap and check to see that it stays compliant with local health codes—and that your business can stay open.

Sweetwater Plumbing serves Southern California with the highest quality residential and commercial plumbing. We are always open for business!

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