Restaurants deal with many of the same plumbing problems as homeowners: freezing and busted pipes, encroaching tree roots, and clogged drains. If you manage a restaurant, you know that a clogged drain or grease interceptor is more expensive than just the cost of repairs. Every time you have to shut off the water for a plumbing job, you lose business.

Prevent Downtime with a Maintenace Plan

What can you do to prevent an eatery from losing time to plumbing problems? Drains coated with fats, oils, and grease (FOG) are among the most frequent causes of a restaurant’s plumbing woes.
Cleaning restaurant grease interceptors keeps prep sinks draining freely.
Regular maintenance of your grease interceptor will help prevent backups and closures due to clogs in the system.

Two Types of Grease Interceptors

Grease interceptors capture the FOG that runs down sink drains. They are installed between the kitchen drain and sanitary sewer line. There are two types of interceptors:

  • A hydromechanical grease trap is installed under a sink or other fixture. Its capacity is smaller than an outdoor interceptor.
  • Gravity grease interceptors are outdoor devices and may be either above or below ground. They generally consist of large tanks.

A restaurant may have only one type of trap, or it may have both kinds.

The Problem of Fog

Restaurants can’t run without prep sinks and dishwashers. Daily washing and cooking inevitably lead to food particles and cooking grease washing down the drain.

An improperly maintained trap allows FOG to enter the sewer system. An obstructed grease interceptor or trap can back up your drains, cause odors and even cause a sewage overflow in the city sewer line or neighboring buildings.

City Codes and Inspections

If your restaurant is in the Portland and Vancouver metro area, you may be required to maintain a grease interceptor. Your restaurant may be subject to periodic inspection by the city to ensure that FOG from your kitchen is not discharging into the sewer system. The city of Portland mandates a cleaning schedule for all grease interceptors.

Maintaining a Grease Interceptor

Apollo Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning can help you avoid costly backups. We install, repair, and clean grease traps and interceptors for commercial kitchens. In between pumping out the grease interceptor, there are things a restaurant staff can do to prevent clogs.

  • If you have an under-sink trap, clean it regularly.
  • Collect oil and grease in covered containers. You may be able to recycle this material.
  • Scrape food from dishes and place the scraps in the trash or compost bin.
  • Avoid using a garbage disposal. Disposals cause solids to collect in interceptors.
  • Remove or “dry wipe” grease from dishes and pans before washing.
  • Cover floor drains with a fine screen or filter.
  • Cover the sink with a catch basket.
  • Don’t pour oil or grease into the drain.

Apollo Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning can help your establishment comply with city regulations. Our experienced plumbers understand the needs of restaurants in Portland, Gresham, and Vancouver.

In addition to pumping out and repairing your grease interceptors, we offer maintenance programs for your entire plumbing system.

Call us today for a free estimate at 503-395-0900.

Meet the Author
Brandon Bird
Brandon Bird

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