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The grease trap is the commercial kitchen’s unsung hero. Placed out of sight beneath the sink, it does one of the most important jobs in your facility as it keeps harmful substances from entering the sewage system and prevents costly damage to your plumbing. Regular cleaning promotes lasting use, but eventually, you’ll need to replace this essential kitchen component. When is it the right time? SeQuential can explain when grease trap services are needed and when it’s time for a replacement.

Grease Trap Basics

When you pour oil and other food waste down the drain, a grease trap catches everything that shouldn’t enter the main water lines. If left unchecked, these fats, oils, and greases (FOG) clog pipes and may even form massive “fatbergs” that lurk beneath large cities and sometimes cause sewer damage, flooding, and public health risks. All of this may result in harm to local waterways, expensive damage to your plumbing, and even municipal fines for improper waste management. Accordingly, it’s easy to see why the grease trap is so important.

In order for a grease trap to work, it must be emptied regularly, so there is enough room for new debris to be collected. Generally, the trap should be emptied when it is about a quarter of the way full, which is sooner than most people think. Following this rule will help limit the damage caused by spoiled food that collects over time.

Inspect For Holes

Another reason to empty your grease trap regularly is to prevent corrosion of its walls. When food breaks down, it releases hydrogen sulfur gas, which can turn into sulfuric acid. If food is left decaying in a grease trap for long enough, that acid can corrode the grease trap and create holes in the exterior. This will impact the trap’s ability to collect oils and fats. Make sure to regularly inspect the condition of your trap to check for holes. If you notice damage, it’s time to replace your current grease trap.

Metal vs. Plastic

Your grease trap’s construction plays an important role in the decision to clean or replace. Older grease traps are usually made with metal, which is susceptible to damage caused by corrosion and rust. On average, metal grease traps are expected to last about five to seven years, although your experience may vary. If your facility uses a metal grease trap that is more than five years old, schedule a professional inspection to identify any problems.

Plastic grease traps, on the other hand, do not rust or corrode, so they last much longer. If a replacement is necessary, consider a plastic grease trap – it will save on replacement costs in the long term.

Schedule Grease Trap Services Today

From noxious smells to backed-up plumbing, grease trap failure causes serious issues that cost restaurants and foodservice facilities time, money, and customers. If your grease trap shows signs of damage, don’t wait – contact a professional about replacement immediately. Yet in most cases, a thorough cleaning is all that’s needed to keep your kitchen up and running. Contact SeQuential today to learn more about grease trap services. We’ll help keep your grease trap in good condition and ensure you stay in compliance with all local ordinances on grease disposal.

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