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The Risks of Having a Clogged Grease Trap

 ABP-kitchen grease trap

Hair strands, leftover food, soap suds, and even cat litter can all have adverse effects on your plumbing if disposed of improperly. These can eventually clog your pipes, which could translate to expensive repairs.

Fats, oils, and grease (or FOG) are also known to produce the same results. However, if they get to different bodies of water, FOG can also impact the environment, making them more dangerous. Fortunately, there are mechanisms like the grease trap that can help you manage oily waste more efficiently so you can help keep the world protected.

What is a grease trap?

It is also called a grease interceptor, a catcher, a grease management system, or simply a converter. This popular kitchen equipment is often described as a receptacle or a container designed to “trap” or capture FOG. In doing so, the converter keeps these substances from reaching your drainage system and ultimately from landing in a natural body of water where they can cause contamination.

Grease interceptors come in a variety of types and are commonly found in many commercial establishments. Several residential places have also come to use them as a means of managing their FOG problems.

Interestingly, grease catchers may sound to some people as recent innovations. This is not true because converters have been in use for over a century, dating back to the Victorian age in the 1800s.

Types of Grease Traps

Grease interceptors are available in three main types. These include the following:

1. Passive Hydro-Mechanical Grease Converter

This is the traditional grease management system often found in small business establishments. Also called manual grease catchers, these are normally fashioned from either stainless steel or plastic, can be installed easily, and are generally affordable.

2. Automatic Grease Converter

This type of grease interceptor is a lot like the manual trap model. Its difference lies in its automatic re-heat function and its capability to skim out grease depending on the FOG amount that it collects on a pre-set time. Given these features, the automatic grease trap is naturally more expensive when compared to other models.

3. Gravity Grease Converter

This is a grease catcher known for its larger storage capacity, but it has one drawback. For the gravity grease converter to work properly, it has to be installed below the ground. it also has to be regularly pumped out, although this is a common requirement with most grease converters.

Risks of Having a Clogged Grease Trap

Given its critical role in capturing fats and oils, it should not come as a surprise that grease interceptors eventually end up becoming clogged. This can have serious consequences, which can include the following:

1. Plumbing Problems

Grease catchers have to be regularly pumped out so they can continue to work as expected. If not, the interceptor could overflow. When its contents reach your drainage, this will quickly clog up.

If you’re running a business, the situation can result in poor sanitary conditions. A worse case scenario is your business shutting down due to safety issues. To prevent this from happening, set a plumbing maintenance schedule for your grease interceptor so you can find out if this suffered any damage while doing its job.

2. Water Contamination

 ABP-Contaminated Water

A clogged grease trap can lead to water contamination, which is dangerous for your customers and employees if the converter is part of your daily business operation. Diseases like gastroenteritis could develop, so it’s always a good idea to have your grease converter examined for possible wastewater overflow.

3. Unwanted Odors

When your grease management system is faulty, it can produce unpleasant grease trap odor. Often, this is due to toxic fumes which not only smell bad, they can also cause discomfort. In some cases, they can irritate the eyes and skin and may even block the airways.

4. Fires

 ABP-Kitchen Fire

Grease is a highly-flammable product, and this makes most interceptors prone to fire. If your trap gets clogged, there’s a greater chance that a fire will erupt, and once it spreads, containing it can become difficult. Cleaning your grease converter regularly minimizes the likelihood of a fire suddenly breaking out.

5. Expensive Repairs

Without routine maintenance, your grease interceptor will eventually become blocked, and this can require extensive repairs, which are not entirely cheap. There’s also the possibility that you might have to pay hefty fines for violating health department regulations on the proper use of grease catchers. In short, having a clogged grease trap repaired can prove to be more costly than performing periodic maintenance on the converter.

Handling Dirty Grease Interceptors

There are several home remedies for cleaning dirty grease converters, but these should not be considered. While these may appear logical, effective, and affordable, the truth is that they will only cause your grease interceptor to malfunction.It’s likely that you will end up spending more in repairs that you never wanted in the first place.

The best way of getting a grease management system cleaned is by getting the services of a professional grease trap plumber. This option should be seriously considered if you’re starting to smell lots of burnt odors, the drain water is moving slower than usual, and your plumbing lines are getting covered with grease.

Key Takeaway

With people becoming more aware of the need to preserve the environment, the importance of having a fully-functional grease interceptor has acquired greater significance. This can only happen if your grease converters are cleaned and maintained regularly.

While the maintenance work is something you could try doing on your own, this is hardly recommended. There are hidden dangers and safety issues involved when it comes to handling grease. It’s best that you get professional plumbers to help you out so you can ensure your safety.

Get excellent plumbing cleaning services from Absolute Electrical Heating and Air.

Dealing with clogged drains and faulty grease interceptors is not something that you should do without the assistance of professionals. Let Absolute Electrical Heating and Air make things easy for you.

Our plumber in Lakewood, CO, is an expert when it comes to cleaning your drainage and your grease management system. Expect top-notch plumbing services from us being the acknowledged authority in the plumbing business. Call us now. We are always ready to serve you.


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