Five Simple Reasons Why It Is Crucial To Clean Your Grease Traps

If you own or run a commercial kitchen, you know the amount of cooking grease discarded in a day is too much for the sewer system to handle, and if that amount of grease builds up day after day, week after week, your pipes could really be in trouble. In fact, yours are not the only pipes affected by too much grease. The pipes under your kitchen lead to the town or city sewer system and can damage the entire thing, including harming the surrounding ecosystem. Luckily, grease traps exist to collect that oily, fatty debris and keep it from harming your sewer system. Most of the time, you don’t have to think about them, but from time to time, you need to clean your grease traps to maintain their functionality.

It is important to clean your grease trap.

An outdoor grease trap with a drain system

Here are five reasons why you don’t want to wait too long to clean your grease traps:

1. Odor

Over time, a grease trap will start to emit an unpleasant smell due to rot produced by decomposing FOG (fat, oil, and grease). The longer you ignore the smell, the stronger it will get and it can even start to drive away customers. The sooner you clean your grease trap, the sooner you can eliminate that disruptive foul odor.

2. FOG Build-Up

If grease traps are not cleaned regularly, the fat, oil, and grease waste will build up over time. They harden at the bottom of the grease trap, becoming extremely difficult to clean away. Additionally, they will fill the grease trap to its capacity, overflowing into the sewer system–an event the grease trap was installed in order to avoid in the first place. This overflow can lead to blockages and backups, causing damage and requiring expensive repairs. Your business may even be shut down for a while until repairs are finished.

3. Damaging Gases

As FOG sits in your grease trap rotting away, it eventually emits sulfuric acid, a harmful gas that can cause lasting damage to a variety of materials, including steel. Sulfuric acid can completely break down steel pipes and even the grease trap itself. Plastic pipes may put up more of a fight, but they will eventually become damaged as well. It’s better to just regularly clean your grease trap!

4. Pollution

Runoff from your grease trap will enter the town or city sewer system and seep into the environment, causing harm to local animals. If you have an outdoor grease trap, make sure it is covered so animals don’t get to it and so rainwater doesn’t build up inside. If your grease trap fills with rainwater, it can overflow and release FOG into the surrounding environment.

5. Fines

FOG overflow into larger sewer systems can cause so much damage to the town’s infrastructure as well as the environment that most municipalities will actually issue expensive fines to those who either don’t have a grease trap installed or who don’t maintain their grease traps regularly.

Clean Your Grease Traps Regularly for a Healthy Kitchen and a Healthy Planet

We know cleaning your grease traps is not a glamorous job. The grease itself also needs to be disposed of properly and in an eco-friendly manner. The good news is that at All County Sewer and Drain, Inc., we can clean your traps for you while adhering to the strictest regulations of grease waste removal recommended by the state. Our experienced technicians will thoroughly clean your grease traps and dispose of the waste in our specialized grease removal trucks in order to protect the environment and ensure a brighter, cleaner future for our children. If you sign up for our preventative maintenance schedule, we will maintain your grease traps and sewer lines so that your commercial kitchen will be able to function to its best capacity.

Advanced Crawler Camera System for Commercial Sewer Lines

How Does A Crawler Camera System Work?
For business owners, a few key things are important: the bottom line, client relations, and a healthy pipe system. That’s right. Complications with sewer lines can cause serious problems, such as Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs), which can disrupt the flow of operations at your workplace. In one U.S. city, 43% of SSOs were estimated to have been caused by pipe blockages. The tricky thing about pipes, however, is that you can’t see inside of them. At least, not without the help of specialty plumbing cameras. More specifically, large-scale commercial sewer lines require advanced crawler camera systems to locate potential blockages and prevent future problems.
What is a crawler camera?
Most homeowners are probably familiar with the classic pushrod cameras. Using a high-resolution camera attached to a long, flexible rod, a professional technician will direct the rod through drain lines up to 36 inches in diameter. However, most industrial sewer lines go well over this limit. In these cases, a crawler camera system is needed.

An industrial grade crawler camera is capable of inspecting sewer and storm drain systems up to 60 inches in diameter. These cameras are remotely-controlled, self-propelling, and able to record high-quality videos and images of sewers and pipelines. An experienced technician will control the camera from above ground while receiving a live feed of the footage.
What are the benefits of using a crawler camera?
Being able to extract geographical data in a large and complex sewer line allows the system to be accurately managed through the years. A crawler camera’s transmitter sends signals above ground that provide information about the direction of the pipeline, as well as the exact location of a potential problem area. This technology gives technicians the necessary information to map out the specific topography of a pipeline with ease and precision. Blockages or other problems can be easily pinpointed, which significantly reduces the amount of digging that has to be done. Furthermore, regular inspection protects you from potential health department violations.
What happens if a blockage is found?
If a blockage is located through a crawler camera, high-powered jetting systems are your best bet. Water-jetting can break up stubborn grease, soap, cooking waste, food oil, tree roots, or any other debris in your pipes. By controlling the pressure of the water jet, pipe walls can be completely scoured to remove obstructions that have caused clogs or blockages.
I’m interested in using a crawler camera. How can I get started?
Catching potential risks before they snowball into larger problems is key when it comes to managing a pipeline system. Today, many commercial projects use advanced video camera inspections for preventative maintenance. To have a commercial sewer system inspected using a crawler camera, contact a team of experienced professionals like All County Sewer and Drain, whose top-of-the-line crawler camera system can pinpoint details perfectly. When it comes to sewer lines, never wait until the last minute. Keep an eye on what’s happening.

Sewage System Health: Pipe Problems Prevention

Pipe problems prevention is important, as seen with this broken pipe.

Welcome, readers! At All County Sewer & Drain Inc., we aim to provide you not only with superior service, but also with useful information so you can become more knowledgable about the plumbing system that is part of the heart of your home or facility. That said, let’s talk about the topic we love most: pipes!

We don’t tend to think about them much, but underneath our homes and businesses is a network of pipes that makes sure liquid waste gets washed into the town or city sewer system until it ends up in the nearest sewage treatment plant. We don’t think of them – that is, until there’s a problem. When pipes are clear and free of cracks and weak spots, we may take them for granted. Here’s why you shouldn’t: as soon as one pipe gets clogged or damaged, it can wreak complete havoc. If you run a business, you may even have to shut down until the problem gets fixed. Not only that, but plumbing problems can be extremely expensive to repair, especially as you generally have to fix not only the pipe but also surrounding damage to walls, floors, and carpets.

Luckily, there are several pipe problems prevention strategies you can take to ensure your pipes stay clear, strong, and working their best. 

Be Careful What You Flush

People try to flush all sorts of things down the toilet, but most items, including baby wipes, tissues, and sanitary products, should be disposed of in the garbage. Even products such as flushable wipes and certain sanitary products marketed as being flushable should not be sent down the toilet drain. Those items are not completely degradable and will build up over time in your sewer system, eventually causing a clog. The same can be said for hair from the shower. Make sure that after you shower, you clear any hair out of the drain so it doesn’t cause a back-up down the line. In addition, some people are of the habit of flushing oily, greasy food waste down the toilet so they don’t clog up their sink drain. This is misguided, as the pipes from your toilet eventually connect with the pipe from your sink drain, so that greasy food waste will cause the same damage down the toilet as it would have down the sink.

Properly Dispose of Grease

Grease can cause considerable damage to your sewer system. It leaves damaging residue on the inside of your pipes, and it doesn’t break down, meaning it joins up with other greasy waste and builds up into globs of fat, eventually causing major clogs. Grease globs don’t just stay within the pipes of your home – they make their way to your town or city’s sewer system and get together with other grease globs, contaminating the water and causing a blockage problem for the whole town. This is especially the case if you work in the restaurant, hospitality, or school business. The amount of greasy waste in commercial kitchens is much more significant than in a residential home. That’s why grease traps and regular maintenance by a professional plumber are essential in ensuring you don’t have any sewer problems.

Tackle Small Problems Right Away

No matter how careful you are, small plumbing problems can happen from time to time. If you stay on top of an issue as soon as it occurs, you will prevent majorly damaging, disruptive, and expensive catastrophes. Pay attention to things like water pressure and how quickly water flows down your drain. If you notice low water pressure or slow drainage of water, call your trusted plumber to evaluate your pipes and find the source of the problem. You may think of these issues as mere annoyances, but they are symptoms of a growing problem that is easy to deal with at first, but more complicated and costly later.

Regular Maintenance From A Certified Plumber

If you run a medical facility, school, hotel, or restaurant, you can’t afford to have even small issues in your plumbing. A backup in such an institution could be devastating, resulting in damages and temporary closing of your facility, causing you to lose money on top of what you are already spending to fix the issue. Regular maintenance of your pipes, including a crawler camera system, can spot brewing problem areas before they actually cause any issues. A reputable plumbing company like All County Sewer Drain & Inc. will be able to diagnose these issues and deal with them before disaster strikes.

Pipe Problems Prevention is Possible

Staying attentive to the behavior of your plumbing, being careful about what substances you introduce into your sewer system, and engaging in preventative maintenance of your pipes will make sure your kitchen–and entire home or facility–stays leak and flood free.