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How are Grease Traps Cleaned?

by | Jan 10, 2020 | Grease Trap Maintenance | 0 comments

Grease traps are installed in both residential and commercial buildings to ensure proper drainage. They are built to stop grease, oil and other solid wastes from entering sewer lines.

While grease traps are some of the most significant installations in a building, cleaning it might be a little hectic. To help you out, here is a simple guide on how to go about grease trap cleaning;

Checking the Grease Trap

Before you start cleaning a grease trap, do a thorough check to establish the extent of dirt. After which, you can decide the best cleaning techniques.

Here are some of the necessary checks for grease traps;

• Structure

Like any other structure made of metal or plastics, grease traps undergoes wear and tear. The first check, therefore, is to establish how firm the structure remains. Grease traps also have spacing that allows for liquid to pass. These gaps can also let in insects and small animals that squeeze through.

Confirm the condition of the wall for cracks and chips on the lid. Also, check for the possibility of decaying walls and missing baffle plates.

• Smell

Given that the grease trap holds a lot of refuse, it is only natural that it will emit bad smell. Even though the scent should not be felt when the lid is down. The presence of a strong smell even with the cover down thus calls for cleaning of the grease trap.

• Rodent Activity

Grease traps are placed on the ground, which is generally characterized by rodent activity. Most rodents use these grease traps for shelter. While occupying these spaces, the rodents are likely to keep digging to find a way to your building. They can also block the drains leading to overflows.

During your check, ensure the foundation is firm, and the grease trap is level.

Cleaning the Grease Trap

Here are the steps to cleaning your grease trap:

  1. Remove the lid from the grease trap using a pry bar to inspect the insides and other parts of the structure. Be gentle when removing the top to avoid damaging the gasket.
  2. Stick a measuring stick inside the grease trap until it hits the base, to determine the amount of grease accumulated. Record the findings on a FOG report provided by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). After which, you mail the report to the agency.
  3. Use a small bucket or pump to remove any standing water inside the grease trap. Do not pour away the water to avoid mixing it with oil residue.
  4. Using a shovel, heavy-duty scooper or another bucket, remove all the collected grease, oil and other substances from the trap. Place this dirt on a plastic bag, then use a wet vacuum to clean the walls of the grease trap.
  5. Use soap, a scrubbing material and warm water to clean the inside of the grease trap. Take time to carefully clean the bottom and sides of the trap to avoid quick rebuild up of dirt. Properly rinse all the parts, flush the screens, replace worn out parts and the lid.
  6. Return the water removed earlier back to the system and make your copy of the FOG report.

Grease Trap Maintenance

Now that you know how to clean a grease trap, it is also essential that you understand all that involves good maintenance practices.

First, a grease trap is government regulated, and it comes with specific guidelines and standards to maintain. The government provides that you have to work with a qualified professional when cleaning the grease trap. The right cleaning service should have the cleaning tools, skilled staff and experience in cleaning any grease trap.

Government agencies also conduct septic inspections from time to time. Failure to comply with the standards can lead to revoking of license and other sanctions in case of a restaurant and other commercial property.

Other than government regulation, cleaning your grease trap is vital in ensuring healthy living. When you fail to clean the grease traps, the debris build-ups to clog the drainage system. The buildup then emits harmful bacteria and toxic fumes to those in the surrounding. The blocked drainage also prevents water passage leading to sewerage overflow.

To avoid faster clogging and blockage of grease traps, avoid connecting it next to garbage collection points. Ensure that you remove any solid particles from the water that you run through the system.

Ultimately, the most efficient way to ensure grease trap maintenance is by scheduling a regular cleaning routine. The best duration is after every three months.

Importance of Grease Trap Cleaning

• Regular cleaning helps avoid tank damage. Grease and other particles staying longer in the grease trap leads to the production of sulfuric acid, which destroys the tank.

• Avoiding foul smell. The build-up of dirt on the grease trap releases foul-smelling gases due to decay. This will negatively affect your operations if you operate commercial buildings.

• Cleaning after a more extended period is costly. The more you fail to clean your grease trap, the more the wastes stick and harden to the surface. This leads to more damage and takes a lot of time to clean and replace


Every property owner must keep their grease traps clean at all times. In addition to being a regulatory practice, it helps in ensuring longer septic tank lives and conducive operational environment.

Are you ready for an intensive grease trap cleaning service? Contact us today to make an appointment for all your Brevard County professional residential and commercial cleaning services.


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