If you have installed a grease trap in your home, then you know how important it is. A grease trap is a fixture that traps waste, cooking oils, and fats to prevent them from getting into the city’s sewer and drainage system. With this device, you will save a lot of money that would have otherwise been spent on plumbing services.
In order to work effectively, a grease trap must be cleaned on a regular basis. Cleaning your kitchen grease trap regularly will also prevent drainage clogging, eliminate bacteria and other harmful materials, reduce bad odors, prevent backups, prevent environmental contamination, prevent damage to the grease trap tank, and lower overall maintenance costs.
Where is the grease trap located in your home?
You will find the grease trap right under your kitchen sink. It can also be located outside of the house, especially if your home has several sinks.
Tools You’ll Need to Clean Your Grease Trap
In order to effectively clean your grease trap, you will need the following tools:
Decomposed grease can be extremely smelly. So it’s advisable to wear a mask while cleaning the grease trap.
Grease is too slippery and messy to handle. It’s also laden with bacteria and
other contaminants. Be sure to wear rubber gloves.
Cleaning a grease trap is a messy job. So be sure to wear coveralls to avoid
staining your clothes.
Scraper or wrench and crowbar
You will use a crowbar or wrench to remove the lid and the scraper to
clean the tank and scrape the baffles
Bucket and scoop
You will use the bucket and scoop to scoop out the grease and wastewater
You will use the shop vacuum to suck the remaining grease and liquids from the tank
Paper towel or rag
Heavy duty garbage bag
The Grease Trap Cleaning Procedure
Cleaning a residential grease trap encompasses a few simple steps. If wastewater containing grease has just been emptied, it’s advisable to wait a little bit for it to settle on top of the tank. This will be much easier for you to scoop it out.
1. Gently detach the lid from the grease trap using a crowbar or a wrench
As you detach the lid from the grease trap, be sure to do it gently to avoid misplacing or damaging the screws or fasteners holding it down. Use a crowbar bar or wrench to detach it. You should also be very careful not to damage the gasket located under the lid. Carefully place the components where you can see them.
2. Measure the grease level
Before cleaning the grease trap, it’s good to know how many inches of grease waste are present in the tank. Gently insert a measuring stick or a wooden dowel into the bottom of the trap. Then, swirl it so that grease marks the stick or the dowel. Remove it gently and count the number of inches. Doing this will also help you know how deep you will push the bucket or scoop.
3. Scoop out grease
Because oils and fats are lighter than water, grease tends to settle on top of the water in the grease trap. This makes it easy to scoop it out. Using a small bucket or scoop, skim the grease layer from the trap. Dispose of the waste into heavy-duty trash bag a or a water-tight trash can.
4. Scoop out excess water
If there are no floating solidified grease materials, use a small bucket to remove the remaining water. Dump the water down the drain. It’s very important to ensure there are no FOGs (Fats, Oils, and Grease) solid as these can cause blockage in the drainage.
5. Scrape and vacuum the grease trap
With the grease and water removed, it’s time to scrape down the lid and the sides of the grease trap with a scraper or putty knife. Scraping will remove any solidified pieces of fats and oils that are attached to the lid, sides, and baffles of the trap. Scoop them out with a small bucket or scoop.
Next, use a shop vacuum to suck out any smaller pieces of solidified fats and oils. This will make it easier for you to wash the tank using a rag.
6. Wash all parts of the grease trap with soap and warm water
Scraping the solids isn’t enough as some grease is still stuck on sides and parts of the trap. So you will need soap, warm water, and a steel pot scrubber to remove excess grease and bad odor. Scrub the lid, the baffles and the trap sides until no more grease is visible.
Next, flush the lid, sides, and parts of the trap with water to remove remaining debris and soap.
7. Reinstall all grease trap parts
Your grease trap is now spotlessly clean.
Now it’s time to reinstall the detached parts of the trap. Reattach the lid, the gasket,
and fix the screws. Next, wipe the exterior of the grease trap with a paper towel or a rag.
8. Test if the grease trap is working properly
With the trap clean and everything put back in place, test if it’s working properly by running cold water through it. Do this by running the tap on the sink. If the water flows smoothly, then you’ve done a good job. If not, consider checking the baffles for any trapped grease.
If there is no grease on the baffles, the drainage pipe may be clogged. You may have to call a plumber to fix it for you.
9. Dispose of the grease waste
Dump the trash can or heavy-duty trash bag containing the grease waste into a solids only dumpster. Avoid throwing down the trash into the toilet or in the garden as it can pollute the environment.
10. Remember to record the cleaning dates of your grease trap
It’s highly advisable to keep logs of your grease trap cleaning dates, times, and conditions to enable you stay on a regular cleaning schedule. This is important because just like restaurant grease traps, residential grease traps need regular cleaning and maintenance.
Cleaning your kitchen grease trap is arguably one of the most important jobs in your home. It will minimize bad odors, keep your kitchen safe from dangerous contamination, and help you avoid plumbing costs.
Hopefully, this step by step guide on how to clean your home’s grease trap will be of great help.