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Grease Trap Installation and Cleaning: A Comprehensive Guide to Protect Your Commercial Kitchen Plumbing

Date Posted: June 18, 2023 6:36 am

Grease Trap Installation and Cleaning: A Comprehensive Guide to Protect Your Commercial Kitchen Plumbing

Running a successful commercial kitchen involves more than just preparing delicious food. Proper maintenance of your kitchen’s plumbing system is essential to ensure smooth operations, avoid costly repairs, and comply with local health and safety regulations. One crucial component of a commercial kitchen plumbing system is the grease trap. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about grease trap installation and cleaning, and how Modern Plumbing can help you protect your business.

What is a Grease Trap?

A grease trap, also known as a grease interceptor, is a plumbing device installed in commercial kitchens to prevent fats, oils, and grease (FOG) from entering the sewer system. By capturing FOG, grease traps help avoid sewer blockages and reduce the risk of costly and disruptive plumbing issues.

There are two main types of grease traps:

  1. Passive grease traps: These are the most common type of grease traps, relying on gravity to separate FOG from wastewater. They have a tank with baffles, which slow down the flow of water and allow FOG to float to the top, while heavier solids sink to the bottom.
  2. Automatic grease removal systems: These grease traps use a mechanical skimmer to remove FOG from the water continuously. They require electricity to operate but generally need less manual cleaning than passive grease traps.

Commercial kitchens are required to have grease traps installed to comply with local regulations and protect the sewer system from blockages.

Benefits of Grease Trap Installation

Installing a grease trap in your commercial kitchen offers several benefits:

  1. Prevention of sewer blockages: Grease traps capture FOG before it enters the sewer system, reducing the risk of blockages and costly plumbing repairs.
  2. Reduced plumbing maintenance costs: By keeping FOG out of your plumbing system, a grease trap helps prevent pipe corrosion and damage, potentially saving you money on maintenance and repairs.
  3. Compliance with local regulations: Having a properly installed and maintained grease trap is a requirement for most commercial kitchens, helping you avoid fines and penalties.
  4. Environmental benefits: Grease traps help prevent FOG from entering the sewer system, reducing pollution, and protecting local waterways.
  5. Improved kitchen hygiene: Regular grease trap cleaning and maintenance can help reduce foul odors and improve overall kitchen cleanliness.

Grease Trap Installation Process

Modern Plumbing offers expert grease trap installation services to ensure your commercial kitchen’s plumbing system is protected. Our process includes:

  1. Assessing kitchen plumbing system and requirements: Our experienced plumbers will evaluate your kitchen’s plumbing layout and determine the appropriate grease trap type and size for your specific needs.
  2. Choosing the right grease trap: We will help you select a grease trap with the appropriate size, capacity, material, and durability for your kitchen, considering factors such as daily FOG output and integration with your existing plumbing system.
  3. Installation steps and timeline: Our expert plumbers will efficiently install your grease trap with minimal disruption to your kitchen operations. We will also provide an accurate timeline for the installation process.
  4. Post-installation inspection and testing: After installation, we will thoroughly inspect and test your grease trap to ensure it is functioning correctly and efficiently.

Grease Trap Sizing

One of the most important aspects of grease trap installation is selecting the right size for your kitchen’s needs. Grease traps come in different sizes and capacities, and choosing the wrong size can result in inadequate FOG capture and potential plumbing issues. Our expert plumbers can help you determine the appropriate size based on your kitchen’s daily FOG output and other relevant factors. Here are some general guidelines for grease trap sizing:

  • Small kitchens: 20 to 30 gallons
  • Medium kitchens: 30 to 50 gallons
  • Large kitchens: 50 to 100 gallons or more

Grease Trap Placement

Another critical aspect of grease trap installation is proper placement. Grease traps should be installed as close to the source of FOG production as possible, usually near the sink or dishwasher. They should also be accessible for cleaning and maintenance, with enough space around them to accommodate plumbing connections and service access.

Common Grease Trap Problems and Solutions

Grease Trap Cleaning and Maintenance

Regular grease trap cleaning and maintenance are essential for optimal performance and compliance with local regulations. Here are some essential aspects of grease trap maintenance:

  • Signs that a grease trap needs cleaning: Slow draining sinks, foul odors, or visible grease buildup are indicators that your grease trap requires cleaning.
  • Frequency of cleaning: Most grease traps need cleaning every 1 to 3 months, depending on usage and capacity. Local regulations may also dictate specific cleaning intervals.
  • Cleaning process and methods: Manual cleaning involves removing FOG and solids by hand or with specialized tools, while professional cleaning services use high-powered equipment to thoroughly clean your grease trap.
  • Maintenance tips to prolong grease trap lifespan: Regular inspections, adhering to proper cleaning schedules, and ensuring proper grease disposal practices can help extend the life of your grease trap.

Proper Grease Disposal

Proper grease disposal is essential for maintaining your grease trap’s effectiveness and protecting the environment. Here are some tips for proper grease disposal:

  • Avoid pouring FOG down the drain: Instead, collect FOG in a separate container and dispose of it in the trash.
  • Use strainers in sinks: Strainers can help capture solid food waste and prevent it from entering the grease trap.
  • Avoid using hot water to clean grease traps: Hot water can melt FOG and cause it to re-solidify downstream, potentially causing blockages.

Common Grease Trap Problems and Solutions

Even with regular maintenance, grease traps can still experience issues. Some common problems and solutions include:

  • Grease trap clogs and blockages: Regular cleaning and proper grease disposal practices can help prevent clogs in your grease trap.
  • Foul odors: Odors can be eliminated by cleaning your grease trap more frequently or using enzyme treatments to break down grease.
  • Grease trap leaks and repairs: Leaks may result from damage or wear and tear. Prompt repairs by a professional plumber can help prevent further damage.
  • When to replace a grease trap: If your grease trap is frequently experiencing issues or is no longer meeting capacity requirements, it may be time to consider a replacement.

Modern Plumbing’s Grease Trap Services

At Modern Plumbing, we offer a comprehensive range of grease trap services to keep your commercial kitchen running smoothly:

  • Expert consultation and assessment: Our experienced plumbers can help you determine the best grease trap solution for your specific needs.
  • Professional installation and integration: We provide efficient grease trap installation, ensuring seamless integration with your existing plumbing system.
  • Scheduled cleaning and maintenance plans: Our regular cleaning and maintenance services help keep your grease trap functioning optimally and in compliance with local regulations.
  • Emergency grease trap repairs and replacements: If you experience a grease trap issue, our emergency services can quickly address the problem and minimize disruption to your kitchen operations.


Proper grease trap installation and maintenance are crucial to protecting your commercial kitchen’s plumbing system and ensuring smooth operations. Trust Modern Plumbing for all your grease trap needs and experience the benefits of our expert services. To schedule a consultation, call us at (503) 691-6166 or email us at info@modernplumbing.us.