If you have or are starting a restaurant, you know that you need a grease trap. It also needs upkeep and to be cleaned on a regular basis. If you're new to dealing with this, you may have some questions.
Can You Do It Yourself?
Restaurants are notorious for having razor-thin margins, and it probably seems like it would save you a lot of money if you turned this into a DIY project. However, cleaning and maintaining a grease trap should be done by a professional service. For one thing, the substances in the grease trap are liable to be considered hazardous waste and mishandling it can incur very heavy fines, though the level of fines depends on your local rules and regulations. It's also bad for the environment, which is why there are so many rules and regulations surrounding it. There are a lot of hoops you would need to jump through in order to get do so safely and without fear of legal repercussions. It really is best (and cheaper) if you do not attempt to handle this particular project yourself.
Why Do They Need Maintenance/Cleaning?
In the first place, an improperly maintained grease trap can mean grease buildup in the pipes in your building. If you don't own the building, the owner may still make you pay for having this fixed or may even be able to drop you from your lease. (Certain maintenance requirements on your end will likely be written in.)
On the smaller scale, an improperly maintained grease trap can make your whole building stink. It'll start in the kitchen, but as the odor grows, it'll be obvious to other people who enter the building. Customers will not want to eat in a building that smells like rotting grease, so if you can think of no other reason, think of your bottom line. You're not saving money on maintenance if your customers won't come in.
How Often Do They Need Maintenance/Cleaning?
That really is going to vary quite a lot, depending on what kind of food you are handling and so on. There will, again, be regulations about this. In many locations in America, you will be required to have them maintained monthly, at the bare minimum. However, you may need it done more frequently than that — this is just one of those things that can vary so widely that it's hard to set a benchmark. The people who handle grease trap maintenance may be able to give you an idea based on their experience with other, similar restaurants, so it's worth asking them about this.
To learn more, contact a local grease trap maintenance service.