No, we aren’t talking about cooking utensils and safety gear for kitchen accidents. Though, we certainly hope you’re equipped with all that! Rather, we’re asking if your kitchen is fully equipped with all the plumbing fixtures and components needed for you to run your operation smoothly and hygienically.
You may have seen us mention before on our blog how homeowners should never put FOG (fats, oils and grease) down their kitchen sink drain. But in a restaurant kitchen? You have no choice. There is going to be a high volume of food production and therefore a high volume of FOG, which poses a serious threat. So what can you do?
Make Sure You Have an Effective Grease Trap in Place
A grease trap is an essential component for any business owner or manager running a commercial kitchen. They’re vital for not only preventing clogged drains and backed up sewer lines on your property, but for protecting the municipal plumbing system, too. Whatever commercial grease trap services you require, you can count on our plumbers for the job.
How Grease Traps Work
Residential properties typically don’t have a need for designated grease traps—although like we mentioned above, you do want to avoid putting FOG down your home’s kitchen sink drain. Due to the volume of cooking fast and grease, in addition to dirty dishes being thrown into dishwashers and sinks in a commercial kitchen, though, you can run into a very serious problem with grease buildup. And the purpose of the grease trap is to trap the grease before it enters your drainage system.
But how does it do this? By working similarly to a miniature septic tank. Wastewater is held in the grease trap, and as it cools, the FOG hardens, floating to the top of the trap. It’s lighter than the water is, which allows for this process to happen naturally. Hard bits of food solids sink to the bottom of the grease trap, and the wastewater is held in the middle. Once the separation has occurred, the wastewater is forced out of the trap and into the sewer.
Where Does FOG and Food Particles Go From There?
This is an important question, and we’re glad you asked! After all, like a septic tank, there is only so much room in the grease trap. So, you have to have the grease trap cleaned out on a routine basis, just like you’d have a septic tank pumped. As you can imagine, you don’t want to deal with a backed up grease trap, particularly if you have guests eating at your establishment. That grease and food byproduct does not make for an appealing smell.
Without regular cleaning, or without a functioning grease trap, then FOG and food particles have the chance to clog up the pipes to the point that you’ll need professional drain cleaning or possibly even pipe repair. Additionally, the grease from your restaurant can impact the municipal sewer system. Imagine the devastating effects if no restaurants used grease traps! Actually, most municipalities require commercial kitchens have grease traps these days, so be sure to check on what the rules are in your area.