DALLAS GREASE TRAP SERVICES
FAQ: Grease Trap Services in Dallas
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions you might be inclined to consider either before or after you inquire with us concerning your Dallas restaurant grease trap or grease interceptor cleaning service needs.
What is a grease trap?
A grease trap is a tank that collects fat, oil, and grease (FOG) that goes down the sink during usual kitchen operations. Typically, they are placed outdoors and, in most cases, underground. Grease traps are legally required for commercial kitchens in Washington to prevent FOG from accessing the city water system. Grease traps collect the FOG and separate it from the water before it reaches the water system. That’s why they are regulated and closely monitored by local enforcement agencies.
Can I dispose of grease in a grease trap?
No, you can’t. Grease traps are not intended for grease disposal. Never empty grease into them if you want to avoid problems in your kitchen. They are to catch FOG that does enter them. They are not a grease disposal system. Do not overload them.
Why do I need a grease trap?
Municipalities, including the City of Dallas, want to minimize the risks of polluting the city’s water system. That’s why they require installing grease traps in commercial kitchens. If you produce fat, oil, and grease in your kitchen, there is no doubt that you have to install one at your location. Dallas Grease Trap Services follows the grease-trap-regulations in Dallas closely to ensure that you have it installed and maintained according to the legal requirements.
How does a grease trap work?
Your kitchen staff puts grease down the drain during normal kitchen operations. That grease arrives in the grease trap and gets separated from the water. The trap has a holding container where grease stays afloat. The wastewater goes down a pipeline to the city sewer system. The grease that stays inside eventually fills up and has to be cleaned. There are several methods to do it. Every city government has different requirements. When you call us for your restaurant grease trap cleaning services, you’ll have your trap cleaned according to the City of Dallas standards.
How can I maintain my grease trap?
The best way to maintain your grease trap is by not doing it yourself, but hiring professionals like Dallas Grease Trap Services. We have cleaned up after many clients who attempted the do-it-yourself approach. They wanted to save money by conducting their own restaurant grease trap cleaning services but ended up losing money instead.
Aside from hiring professional restaurant grease trap cleaning services, here’s what else you can do to ensure proper maintenance:
- Educate your staff on handling grease and food waste.
- Scrape the food waste from plates before cleaning them.
- Capture debris before it reaches the pipelines by using sink covers.
- Examine the trap for wear and damage from time to time. If you notice an odor coming out of the trap, it may be time to check if the gasket sealing the lid needs to be replaced.
Can you recycle trapped grease and how is it used?
Yes, trapped grease can be recycled and reused. The removed grease is commonly called “brown grease” and, where regulations allow, it is repurposed as boiler fuel or something else. It can’t be used as food for animals, nor can it be processed where animals are being fed or food ingredients are being produced.
If you use services by a provider who collects bone scraps and cooking oil for use in producing animal food, they may service your grease trap as well, but different vehicles must be used. The grease from your trap can’t be taken to the same facility where animal food is made.
Recycling and reusing trap grease is not very common. Most often, it will be taken to facilities where it will be disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.
What size grease trap do I need?
Choosing the right size for your kitchen grease trap is very important for the smooth running of your business. It is best to consult a professional, such as those at Dallas Grease Trap Services, before choosing one.
In any case, there are two criteria you should have in mind when choosing a grease trap: the particular needs of your business and the requirements of the Dallas regulations.
Local governments sometimes require a minimum size of grease trap according to the type and size of business. If that’s the case in your situation, there is no question of what size you will need. If there are no such requirements, or you think that your business needs a larger grease trap than the legally required size, you have to take into account only your business needs. On average, exterior grease traps are 1000 gallons and larger. Investing in a grease trap is an investment that requires careful consideration. Call Dallas Grease Trap Services for advice on the right size trap for you.
Where can I get a grease trap?
We do not sell or install grease traps as part of our restaurant grease trap cleaning services. A licensed plumber can help you purchase and install a grease trap that fits your business needs. Don’t forget to take into account the size of your business as well as the requirements of the local regulations.
Once you get one, we at Dallas Grease Trap Services can help you maintain your grease trap to keep it running properly. We can also help you to comply with local regulations.
How often should I schedule grease trap cleaning services?
It varies from business to business, depending on the size. The more grease your kitchen produces, the more often you’ll need to have it cleaned and serviced. That’s why we design a maintenance schedule for each individual client.
How is a grease trap cleaned?
There are several methods for cleaning a grease trap. Dallas dictates the proper method for certain types of businesses. To ensure that you clean it according to the law, we recommend using a licensed restaurant grease trap cleaning services provider.
We can’t stress enough how important it is to hire a grease trap cleaner that is up-to-date with all the regulations. We have had many clients who tried the do-it-yourself approach. One attempt is usually enough to never try again to clean their grease trap and dispose of the material by themselves. That’s one of the most unpleasant and labor-demanding tasks to ask of you or your employees because they are unqualified for the job.
If you are determined to do it yourself, you should learn what methods the city requires for your business. It could be one of the following two methods:
- Pump and Return. The fat, oil, and grease are pumped out of the grease trap and separated by water. Then, the water is returned into the grease trap. This is the preferred method. A special vehicle is necessary, so some grease trap service providers don’t offer this method.
- Dry Pump. All the contents of your grease trap are removed, and the tank is left dry. Until the water is introduced again, your grease trap can spread a strong unpleasant odor.
Keep in mind that the waste you remove from the grease trap is your responsibility, even after removing it from your property. Make sure that you (if you do it yourself) or your service provider disposes of it at an authorized location, or you’ll be fined. City staff can provide technical assistance and help FSEs save on cleaning costs by using FOG reduction techniques and Best Management Practices.
The grease trap company said I am responsible for the material from cradle-to-grave. What does that mean?
You, as a Dallas business owner, have a duty to ensure that the material removed from your grease trap is being disposed of in a legal and environmentally-friendly way. If a non-reputable service provider cleans your trap and disposes of the waste at an unauthorized location, you’ll be held responsible. That’s why you should be careful when choosing your kitchen grease trap service provider. Working with reputable companies, such as Dallas Grease Trap Services, is the only way to be confident that you’ve made the right choice.
What are the fines if my grease trap overflows?
It is impossible to come up with a specific number because the fines depend on several factors. If your trap overflows, the local authority will take into consideration the following:
- Is this your first overflow?
- Do your grease trap samples contain excessive fat?
- Have you maintained the trap regularly?
The fines also vary by the size and type of your business. Talk to your grease trap service provider to learn more about the fines and regulations that may apply to you and your business.
My grease trap overflowed. Can you help?
Yes, our restaurant grease trap cleaning services can help right away. Call us at 214-617-1500 to get in touch. We’ll be happy to clean and service your grease trap, but if a clog has caused the overflow, we’ll need the help of a plumber. Keep in mind that a regularly serviced and maintained grease trap doesn’t overflow.
Why does my restaurant smell just after I had my trap cleaned?
The most common causes of smell right after you had your trap cleaned are:
- The gasket around the manhole cover may be worn out or corroded. If that’s the case, it allows gasses to leave your grease trap and spread around the restaurant. Such a gasket requires immediate change.
- There could be back up in the line of the trap. Most often, it is caused by food and grease clogs that require plumber’s intervention.
- Your grease trap service provider used the dry pumping method to clean your trap. The odor will disappear very soon. If you don’t want that smell in your restaurant again, ensure you look for a “grease trap cleaning near me” then employ a provider who uses the pump and return method.
Do you repair grease traps?
We don’t offer grease trap repair services currently, but we do the following:
- We monitor your grease trap during service visits.
- We examine the condition of your grease trap and make recommendations for better models and maintenance in order to avoid defects.
- We do regular grease trap checks to ensure that it runs well and doesn’t need a plumber’s intervention.
What is a grease interceptor?
Waste grease caused by cooking, general cleaning, and washing dishes goes down your sink drain. This needs to be captured, or “intercepted” before it can reach the septic system line. A grease interceptor is installed somewhere after, and somewhere before, the line leading to the septic system.
What is an HGI?
An HGI is an abbreviation for a hydromechanical grease interceptor. It’s a technical term describing what is commonly known as a grease trap. These are typically installed immediately after the sink drain and FOG conveyance units. The amount of water that flows through them determines what capacity is required, usually from 20 to 50 GPM.
What is a GGI?
A GGI is an abbreviation meaning gravity grease interceptor. These are typically installed outside near the kitchen, either below or above the ground. These come in sizes from 1000 to 4000 gallons. Their primary purpose is to separate grease waste and particulates from wastewater.
What kind of maintenance does my grease interceptor require?
Proper maintenance of the grease interceptor is crucial to prevent waste grease from getting through the sewer system. If the grease interceptors function is hampered by lack of proper maintenance, this can cause blockages in your plumbing, leading to the sewer line due to the hardening of the waste grease and food solids. This can result in wastewater backups into your premises, causing bad odors and potentially harmful contamination. If the clog is in the sewer line, it can cause a backup resulting in overflow, which can affect not only the environment but neighboring establishments as well.
The local authorities will impose a steep fine for any such blockage, and you could be held liable for any resulting property damages.
What is a good schedule to clean my grease interceptor?
For HGIs, a good rule of thumb is monthly pumping. For GGIs, which are much larger and located outdoors, the typical interval is no more than every three months.
Most jurisdictions now require food service establishments (FSEs) to abide by a regular schedule for cleaning their grease interceptors. It is unacceptable to merely clean them as needed or on anything other than a precise schedule. If you have any questions regarding if your schedule is sufficient for your particular needs, the local authorities will be happy to give you guidance.
Can I use my own employees to clean my grease interceptor?
Unless you have employees who have been properly trained and have enough experience, this is not advisable. There are acceptable standards that must be met, and the correct cleaning/service reports must be submitted to city officials. Dallas Grease Trap Services is a member of the Preferred Pumper Program. It is recognized as a competent authority in the standards issued by local authorities. This assures that the job is done right, and any problems from non-compliance with local codes are eliminated.
Members of the Preferred Pumper Program are certified to follow the proper criteria prescribed by the authorities. While not a requirement, the use of PPP registered service companies is encouraged by the authorities.
How much can I expect to pay to hire a preferred Dallas pumper?
PPP members are regulated by the authorities to assure FSEs are charged a fair and reasonable price for their services. They are required to offer a flat rate for HGI pumping and a per-gallon charge for GGIs. City officials recommend that you contact several PPP members if you wish to shop around for the best deal.
City officials can offer FSEs assistance to help them save service costs through the employment of Best Management Practices, in addition to waste grease reduction techniques.
For further or more specific information about any of the topics included in this FAQ, please call us for a free estimate! We can be reached at 214-308-0006.
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