Grease traps are used in commercial kitchens, restaurants, and other food service businesses to catch and remove grease from wastewater before the water gets to the sewer system. Grease trap pumping is needed to maintain the trap, keep it working correctly, avoid blockages in the sewer line, and stay within the guidelines of the municipal code for wastewater disposal.
The majority of grease traps are located outside the building, where the grease trap pumping service can get to the clean-out door. The water flows out of the business and into the trap where baffles separate the grease and oils from the water, trapping them and allowing the water to run into the sewer system to be treated down the line.
A pump truck is typically used to suck the grease and oil out of the trap, and then the baffles are cleaned so that they continue to function correctly. If the trap is backed up, the cleaning may be more difficult and is not a pleasant job.
The excess grease needs to be scraped off the baffles and removed manually from the trap or loosened so that the truck can suck it out. If the baffle is clogged and not cleaned before putting the trap back in service, water will not pass through, and the trap will back up inside the building, making a huge mess.
Grease trap pumping needs to be done when the trap is full. The time frame for that is often different from one business to the next because the way they use their kitchens can be very different. Grease that goes down the drain can be limited, and filtering it out before it gets to the drain will often minimize pumping requirements.
Larger kitchens will also typically fill the trap faster because of the volume of food prep happening there. A small kitchen used part-time for catering or some small food production may go for several months without cleaning the trap. In contrast, a large production kitchen may require grease trap pumping once a month to keep it clean and operate correctly.
The cost for grease trap pumping is often different based on the size of the trap and if it is clogged or not. If the pump truck operator can easily pump out the grease and oils, the cost will be much lower than if they have to scrape out the baffles inside the trap.
The average price can fluctuate by the area and the service provider, so you should call around and see who has the best price.