While the name hydro-mechanical grease interceptor makes it sound high-tech and fancy; the more commonly known “grease trap” is a mainstay of many Australian kitchens and a necessity in most restaurants. Usually found under the kitchen sink, a grease trap is a container or a vessel that waste water must pass by before flowing through to the sewerage system. This receptacle literally traps any grease such as oils and fats from being flushed out into the municipal waste water system.
The mechanics of an interceptor is really simple. As water flows down any given sink, it will come face to face with the grease trap. Because grease and fats stays on the surface of the water they can easily be captured by the trap through baffling and regulation. The fat and oil remains prisoners of the trap, while the cleaner can freely proceed in the sewers for waste water treatment. If you try to peek inside a grease trap, you will see a dense gloop of thick grease which have accumulated. Over time the efficiency of a trap is lowered when it is filled up with lumps of fats. When this happens an interceptor cannot separate the water from the grease.
As you do not want to odour of rotten accumulated grease dominating your kitchen, it is always a good idea to regularly clean out your trap. Aside from maintaining a pleasant smell in the kitchen, an unmaintained grease trap also contaminates the waste water systems by allowing oils and fats to flow out. This can clog pipes and also impair the water treatment. While not the most pleasant of jobs, cleaning a grease trap is a necessity and should be done on a regular basis to keep the interceptor working optimally.
Here are the steps required to maintain the efficiency of your grease trap from the plumbers at Citi Plumbing in Brisbane:
- Melt some ice – lots of it. Before you commence with the cleaning, leave a some considerable amount of ice in the sink which is directly connected to the grease trap and let it melt. By doing this, the smell is greatly reduced and at the same time the lower temperature will cause the lumps of grease solidify. It is much easier to remove congealed grease than to remove sticky or viscous gloop.
- Scoop it out – after the ice process, scoop out the hardened grease.
- Inspect the clean out – check the clean out and clean it as well. Remove it and thoroughly rinse it off.
- Don’t forget the pipings – inspect the pipings too and remove the accumulated grease on there as well.
- Do it often – consistent removal of grease is important. You should schedule a fixed time to clean your grease trap on a regular basis. The more frequent, the better. This routine cleaning schedule will ensure that the receptacles will function properly and will not release any foul odor or clog up your pipes with an overflow of grease.
If you follow the above steps your grease traps will function efficiently and effectively. Also point to remember is that “prevention is better than a ton of cure”. By this we mean it makes sense when cutting slabs of fatty meat or working with large volumes of oily stuff in your kitchen, can catch the grease before it washes down the sink and throw it in the garbage to minimize grease deposits. Less oils and fatty deposits will mean you won’t need to clean your trap as often.