Grease Trap Issues: Telltale Signs and Prevention Methods

Grease trap failure can be extremely problematic if you let it go unchecked. Learn the telltale signs of and solutions to grease trap failure!


What your grease trap does and doesn’t do

Are you smelling unpleasant odors or experiencing backed up sinks? It might be a grease trap issue. While most people understand you shouldn’t dump grease or oil down the drain, sometimes it can happen accidentally. Those who have cooked in your kitchen before you may have been careless about disposing of their grease properly. Either way, grease traps act as an “insurance” of sorts, catching any grease that does make it down the drain and separating it from the water before it heads into the sewer system.


Symptoms of a grease trap issue

As you can imagine, grease buildup renders your grease trap ineffective and creates multiple problems throughout your home or establishment if left untreated. These problems include:

  • trapped wastewater
  • foul odors
  • backed up sinks
  • clogged septic system


If you’re noticing any of the above symptoms, check or have someone check your grease trap immediately to see if it is full, clogged, or broken. When left untreated, grease trap problems can cause septic system issues as well. So the sooner the issue is resolved, the better.


How to prevent grease trap problems

Of course, one of the best things you can do to ensure your grease trap continues to function as it should is to avoid dumping fats, oils, or grease down drains in the first place. They are not meant to handle large amounts of FOGs (fats, oils, grease). So never dump your leftover FOG down toilets, sinks, or shower drains! Instead, dispose of used oils, fats, and grease in a tin can or a bowl lined with foil. Once the FOG has cooled, it is safe to throw it in your trash receptacle.


Even if you’re careful, small amounts of grease from dishes and utensils can end up building up in your grease trap over time. To counteract this issue, make sure you clean your grease trap regularly (every 3-6 months.) If you’re unsure whether or not your grease trap is the issue, or you’re unsure how to clean it correctly, be sure to consult a septic expert. Grease traps will only work well if they are used and maintained properly!

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