How Often Should You Clean a Grease Trap?

There are a lot of things for restaurant owners to know, and it can all be overwhelming. One question that many owners have after a while in the game is how often the grease trap should be cleaned out. It’s easy to overlook, but cleaning out the grease trap shouldn’t be neglected. Here’s what you need to know about how often you should clean out your grease trap.

What to Consider

When and how often you clean out the grease trap will depend on a few factors. Before you create a cleaning schedule (we’ll get to that in a moment), you should know the capacity of your trap, how often it is used, and seating capacity.

The most important thing to remember is that cleaning your grease trap is necessary for restaurant/kitchen maintenance. In fact, you could face expensive legal consequences if you neglect to clean it regularly. In addition, a dirty grease trap will put your customers’ health on the line.

Creating a Schedule

Most grease traps should be cleaned out every 1-3 months, depending on usage. To know exactly how often your business needs to attend to the grease traps, consider the “1/4th rule.” In simple terms, the grease trap should be cleaned out when it reaches a quarter of its capacity. The fats, oils, grease, and solids (FOGS) inside the trap can begin to smell if left to sit for too long, so draining it out at 1/4th full will prevent those odors. Additionally, the more FOGS there are in the trap, the less effective the trap becomes; you could see clogs in the lines or slow sink drainage if left too long.

Legal Considerations

Some states, cities, or counties have specific legal regulations on how often a restaurant must empty out grease traps. The exact law will depend on the location, but a common rule is that traps must be cleaned out at least every 90 days. This means you’ll have to clean out the grease trap every three months, even if it hasn’t hit the ¼ rule.

Make sure to check with your local health and safety laws and restaurant guidelines, so you don’t unknowingly violate them. Hiring a professional service is a great way to stay on top of your grease trap cleaning since they’ll know the regulations. Plus, they’ll have the tools and experience to provide an even cleaner trap.

Cleaning out a grease trap is no fun task, and as a busy restaurant owner, you have enough on your plate. Leave the job to the professionals at ASAP Drain Guys & Plumbing. We’ll clean out your traps quickly and efficiently so you can keep your attention on your business.