8 Signs that Your Restaurant Grease Trap Needs Cleaning

8 Signs that Your Restaurant Grease Trap Needs Cleaning

Owning a restaurant business requires undivided attention because of its numerous concerns. Grease trap cleaning is one of them and one that is often overlooked. 


Grease traps catch the oil, fats, and grease coming from the food cooked in your kitchen and the dishes that need to be washed. The grease trap separates water from the oils then the water eventually goes down the drain. 


It is essential to keep the grease trap well-maintained not only because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires you to, but because of its significant impact on your business. Grease trap cleaning is mandatory, a routine procedure necessary for restaurants and other facilities that have cooking areas such as schools and hospitals. 


Poor maintenance of the grease trap may lead to a lot of negative issues that may put your restaurant at risk of closing, such as clogged drainage, unpleasant odors in your kitchen and dining areas, and poses health risks to your staff and customers.


Here are eight signs that can tell you that it is time to schedule your grease trap cleaning.



  • Slow Drainage


Poorly maintained grease trap leads to clogged drains. When the fat, oil, and grease, which the grease trap catches, builds up and solidifies, water flowing to the sewer slows down. 


If you notice your sink draining slowly, check if your grease trap is full or clogged. It’s a sign that your grease trap needs cleaning.




  • Unpleasant Smell


Ever wonder where that unpleasant odor is coming from? If you have checked every nook and cranny of your restaurant and haven’t found where the foul smell is coming from, try looking in the direction of your grease trap. 


When food particles trapped along with the fats, oil, and grease decompose in the grease trap, it releases a foul odor that would be unappetizing to customers and may even cause health issues to your customers and employees. Before any of this happens, have your grease trap cleaned.




  • Presence of grease in different areas


The presence of grease in various areas of your restaurant may also indicate that your grease trap is scheduled for cleaning. If your grease trap gets clogged, the oil may escape through your pipes, sinks, and any possible exit. When this happens, grease will be all over the place and would look messy. Check your grease trap for clogging and schedule maintenance.




  • The grease trap is 25% full.


Another indication for a grease trap maintenance is when the level of grease and food particles is 25% of the wastewater depth. Following EPA’s rule of 25% is the best time to have your grease trap cleaned. It was observed that when your grease trap becomes ¼ full, it may start causing problems in your kitchen. It may already cause clogging in kitchen sinks or pose health risks. Therefore, heed the sign to clean your grease trap when it is a quarter full already.



  • When water is not flowing to the sewer


If you look at the grease trap with the tap on, you will be able to see how it works and if it is functioning well. The fats, oil, and grease are meant to be trapped in the grease trap as its name suggests, and the water should go to the sewer where it can be treated. 


When the water is flowing freely, it means your grease trap is not yet clogged with accumulated grease. If the water is not moving and the grease trap is about to overflow, then it must be time for cleaning.




  • Too much food and solids in grease trap


Some food particles and solids wash away from the sink with the oils to the grease trap. When a lot of these solids have accumulated, the grease trap might get clogged. Keeping food particles in the grease trap for a long time may cause bacteria to grow and promote health problems.




  • Overflow of sewage at a manhole


Foodservice facilities are required to clean their grease traps within a 90 days interval. But if you observe overflow of sewage at a manhole in your parking lots or streets, an area in your establishment might have a clogged pipe or drain. A clogged grease trap can also be the cause and should be scheduled for cleaning.




  • When a long time has passed


If you do not remember the last time your grease trap was cleaned, then maybe it is time to schedule the next. For food establishments, EPA requires grease trap maintenance at least once every three months. 


When you hire a professional grease trap cleaning service, you will not forget the last time your grease trap was cleaned. You can come up with a regular schedule to clean your grease trap to make sure that it does not get full.


For professional grease trap cleaning, check out Grease trap cleaning Muskegon, Grease trap cleaning Grand Haven, Grease trap cleaning Whitehall, Grease trap cleaning Holland, Grease trap cleaning Coopersville, Grease trap cleaning Allendale and Grease trap cleaning Twin Lake and line up your next cleaning schedule. Contact us at

Muskegon: 231-739-7423, Grand Haven: 616-847-1072, Whitehall: 231-893-4252, Holland: 616-392-8988, Coopersville: 616-837-1800, Allendale: 616-895-9080, Twin Lake: 231-828-5595 or visit https://www.wmssd.com/ for more details.

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