Septic Tank Grease Trap: Functions, Cleaning & Maintenance

Here, you’ll learn the basics of a septic tank grease trap such as how it works, how it’s maintained, and more.

A septic system’s condition is always determined by the functionality of its parts.

Speaking of parts, there are several of them; consisting of the pipe from the home, the septic tank, drain field, and the soil.

Normally, a septic system should serve just fine with the above components. However, there’s a need to have a septic tank grease trap especially for situations where a lot of fats, oils, and grease are generated.

Such situations are common for restaurants having a septic system.

About Grease Traps For Septic System

Consider the septic tank grease trap as an interceptor designed to prevent grease from getting into the tank. Not only is grease blocked by this trap, but also other oily substances such as wax and fat among others.

Now, a septic system is designed to works smoothly without obstruction.

However, such smooth functioning is short-lived when a grease trap is absent. Excess grease gets into the septic tank, solidifies, and clogs up the system.

Here, it’s obvious that the septic tank grease trap is a key component that must be installed. This is even more important for septic systems installed on commercial properties such as restaurants.

A significant volume of grease goes down the drain in these places.

Why Have A Grease Trap in the First Place?

Grease and sewage don’t mix. Sewage treatment is best handled when there’s little to no grease. This helps the breakdown process as bacteria act faster on sewage.

With excess grease getting into the system, all that is affected.

Now, there’s a peculiar problem with fats, oils & greases (also called FOGS). When these are allowed to flow unhindered in significant quantities, they get into the tank and form a floating hard layer.

Now, you should know that grease is lighter and stays at the surface.

By mixing with other waste products such as soap residue in addition to other solids, grease becomes more of a problem. A hard crust is formed on the wastewater surface that gets to your drain field and clogs it.

This also affects the pipes with clogs and backup being a consequence.

Are Grease Traps Only Required on Commercial Properties?

So far, we’ve been referring to the need for a septic tank grease trap on commercial properties like restaurants. So, are these the only places where grease traps are needed?

Far from it! Grease traps will also be required for residential use.

In other words, these traps should also be included in residential septic systems. Normally, building codes require septic tank grease traps to be present as a pretreatment strategy.

Here, grease, wax, and other oily substances are separated from wastewater.

Septic Tank Grease Trap Care & Maintenance

For grease traps to remain functional and work efficiently, they must be well maintained.

While helping to separate grease & oils from wastewater, grease traps become overwhelmed at some point and require servicing. Servicing in this sense refers to cleaning.

Now, we know that the act of cleaning a grease trap will be considered gross by many homeowners.

This is why the process is best left to a professional. An experienced plumber knows just what needs to be done to return the grease trap to a functional state.

If you’re curious and will want to know how the cleaning procedure is performed, we still have you covered.

i. Septic Grease Trap Cleaning

To clean this key component of the septic tank, you’ll have to remove or detach the trap’s cover.

Detaching the cover will require the use of an appropriate tool like a crowbar. The removal process has to be carefully done to avoid causing damage to the gaskets lying beneath the lid.

With the grease trap’s cover removed, what remains is the removal of its components as well. This is necessary to have clear access to the container or trap itself.

Now, a measuring instrument is used to gauge the level or amount of grease, wax, and oily substance.

Such measuring instrument has to be dipped down the container. The level is recorded for future reference after which the greasy liquid is emptied with the help of a bucket.

What remains is solid waste which is emptied into a leak-proof container for onward and proper disposal.

Emptying the grease trap alone isn’t enough. It has to be cleaned further by using water and soap. This process helps get rid of the scum before the trap is reassembled for continued use.

ii. You Have A Responsibility For Its Care

To ensure the smooth and proper functioning of a septic tank grease trap, you’ll need to take responsibility for its care. Here, the need to avoid pouring grease down your drain is crucial.

Proper disposal of food waste is also important.

iii. Avoid Pouring Grease Down your Drain

This use of septic systems by a lot of homeowners has often been found to be harmful to the system. For many, the practice of pouring grease down their drain seems harmless.

In reality, it does a lot of damage to the system such as those explained earlier.

Having a septic tank grease trap installed doesn’t solve the problem. The real issue has to do with the habit of pouring grease down the drain.

However insignificant it might look at the present, grease steadily builds up or accumulates, thus causing all sorts of problems. You’ll need to be more conscious about the harm being done by such simple action.

A better alternative involves pouring such grease in a separate container rather than emptying same into your drain. The non-plastic material should be used for the collection of grease pending when it’s emptied for treatment by a grease trap pumping company.

iv. Properly Dispose of Food Waste

It’s important to minimize the volume of food scraps getting into your drain. Here, the point is to limit the volume as it’s impractical to completely keep food scraps from getting into the grease trap.

We also recommend you use to lessen the use of your garbage disposal.

With this knowledge about septic tank grease traps, you’re able to better maintain this key component by adopting the tips provided above.

Seeking the help of a professional such as a plumber will go a long way in helping you better maintain your septic tank grease trap.

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