How Old are My Grease Traps and Should They Be Updated?

Among all the other things that a restaurant owner needs to tend to, their grease traps should be high on their priority list. Poorly cared for grease traps lead to poor food quality, which leads to a loss of customers. Nobody wants that. Here are some tips for maintaining your grease traps.

How Long Can A Grease Trap Go Uncleaned?

The average cleaning cycle for grease traps can vary and typically needs to be carried out every one to three months. The regularity of cleaning is dependent on the amount of fats, oils, grease, and solids (also known as FOGS) you dispose of and the grease trap you are using.

For your grease trap you should consider:

  • The size of your trap

  • The type of trap you use. The most common types are manual, automatic, or gravity grease traps.

  • The age of your trap and how often they have been serviced (this might affect the effectiveness of the trap). 

The amount of FOGS you dispose of will vary depending on...

  • Your restaurant’s capacity and the amount of business it generates.

  • The cooking techniques you use.

With so many factors at play, it can sometimes feel daunting to know exactly when your grease trap should be cleaned. However, the one-fourth rule makes it a relatively straightforward decision and will help you recognize when your grease trap needs to be cleaned.

What Is The One-Fourth Rule?

The one-fourth rule is simple. When your grease trap is one-fourth full of FOGS then it is time to get it cleaned. If you allow your grease trap to fill over the level of one-fourth then it becomes ineffective. An overfull grease trap can lead to bad odors, slow draining sinks and you may also end up with FOGS becoming clogged in your lines.

The exception to the one-fourth rule varies depending on where your restaurant is based. In some areas, restaurants are legally required to clean out their grease traps every ninety days even if it is not yet one-fourth full. If your trap is filling over one-fourth full more regularly than one to three months then you may need to get a new grease trap with a bigger capacity. If your grease trap is one-fourth full or you reach your ninety-day limit it needs to be pumped out and emptied by expert cleaners.

Choose A Trustworthy Company To Rely On

If your grease traps are not maintained the ramifications can harm your business. Bad odors and poor quality food can drive away custom while legal penalties including fines and forced closures can also affect your bottom line. It is therefore crucial that you find a well-respected company in your area that can regularly clean your grease trap. Leaving a grease trap uncleaned has a big impact on your business, so you should always try to set up a cleaning schedule with an expert company that won't let you down. Grease trap experts will also be able to advise you on whether it is time to upgrade your grease trap and they will be able to recommend a model that meets the needs of your restaurant.