DENVER GREASE TRAP SERVICES
FAQ: Grease Trap Services in Denver
As professionals in the grease trap pumping business, we have received several questions regarding restaurant grease trap or interceptor services. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions.
Why should I install a grease trap?
If you are a restaurant operating anywhere in Denver, Colorado, installing a grease trap or grease interceptor is required by law. Grease traps help prevent FOG (fat, oil, grease) from entering the city sewage system, which can lead to blockage and other hazards. All commercial kitchens in the city must have either a grease trap or interceptor installed according to the regulations set out by the local authorities. Denver Grease Trap Pumping is in strict compliance with all these regulations, so when you partner with us, you have nothing to worry about. We ensure that your grease trap is installed correctly and regularly maintained. Doing so saves you from suffering financial problems caused by hefty fines and penalties caused by an interceptor that is not maintained properly and at regular intervals.
What is a grease trap?
As the name implies, a grease trap is a device that traps the FOG that goes down the drain of your commercial kitchen sink. Depending on the size of your restaurant and the amount of grease you produce, traps can be underneath your sink or outside the building underground. Larger businesses often require a large underground interceptor, while smaller restaurants can function with a grease trap under the sink. However, the type of grease trap required is determined by the local officials. It is not something a business owner gets to decide or negotiate; the rules are set by the local authorities. By collecting the FOG before it reaches the sewage system, the interceptor prevents blockage and back-ups, which cause problems in the city sewer lines. You should expect local government agencies to perform regular inspections and enforce fines for improper disposal of grease.
Can I put grease directly into the grease trap?
No. The function of a grease trap is not to be confused with that of a garbage can. Grease traps are designed to catch small amounts of grease as it enters from dirty sink water. The trap separates the grease from the water before allowing the water to make its way through and out to the sewer. Pouring oil directly into the grease trap could cause an overload because the trap is not designed to filter large amounts of grease at a time. Overloading your trap with oil can cause significant problems for you and your restaurant.
How does a grease trap work?
Unlike residential kitchens, commercial kitchens dispose of a lot of oil and grease during their daily operations. This is especially true in Denver, the birthplace of the cheeseburger, where hundreds of restaurants compete to create the best burger. Commercial kitchens that cook burgers, fries, and other oily foods produce a lot of fat, which needs to be trapped before it reaches the city pipe system. A grease trap is a holding container where fat is separated from the water and remains afloat while the water can continue down the pipeline. The City of Denver has specific regulations every restaurant is expected to follow, so it’s best to partner with a restaurant grease trap cleaning company in Denver that is familiar with these regulations.
Can the grease in the grease trap be recycled?
Technically, yes. There are a number of companies in Denver that specialize in collecting and recycling grease for use as biodiesel fuel, animal feed, and fertilizer. The fat accumulated from your trap is called ‘brown grease’ and is not used as food for animals or processed where animals feed or food is produced.
If you want your grease to be recycled, you can partner with a company that delivers fresh oil and takes away the used oil. Remember that these companies are not certified grease trap pumping companies and only have the equipment to dispose of your waste.
Not all oil can be recycled, so when we pump out your grease, we test a sample and determine whether or not it can be recycled. In most cases, the oil is disposed of in a way that won’t cause harm to the environment.
Can I do the grease trap maintenance myself?
Some restaurant owners have taken a DIY approach in an attempt to save a few bucks, but the result is often disastrous. Our team at Denver Grease Trap Pumping often receives calls from such restaurant owners who need help cleaning the mess they created when they tried to clean their grease traps by themselves.
If you want to avoid unnecessary costs, we strongly recommend letting a professional grease pumping company in Denver do the job right from the start. Even if you decide to get one of your employees to do the job, chances are, they are not qualified and lack the proper equipment to do the work properly. The sloppy job done by you or your employees will not go over well with the local inspectors who have high standards.
Even though you shouldn’t embark on a DIY project with your grease trap, there are some essential things you can do to help maintain your grease trap. These include:
- Remove food debris from plates before putting them in the sink for washing.
- Conduct regular training sessions for your staff to educate them on FOG and the proper steps for grease and food disposal.
- Use sink strainers and covers to catch food debris, so they don’t get to the grease trap.
- Carry out regular inspections of your grease trap and monitor wear and tear. If there is a foul odor coming from the trap, you may need to change the gasket sealing the leak immediately.
Where can I purchase a grease trap?
Denver Grease Trap Pumping Services is not in the business of selling or installing grease traps but is dedicated to restaurant grease trap cleaning services. If you want to purchase a grease trap and have it installed, you can ask for help from your local plumber. Remember, however, that the type and size of the grease trap you install should pass the local regulations for your specific operation.
Once you have a grease trap or interceptor installed, you can get in touch with Denver Grease Trap Pumping to perform thorough grease trap cleaning. We are dedicated to providing a fast, reliable maintenance schedule, so your business continues to prosper without interruptions or problems with the law.
What size grease trap do I need for my business?
As mentioned, you first have to take into consideration the regulations set out by the City of Denver and the specific needs of your business. Selecting the right size grease trap is crucial for the success of your business, so we suggest you consult a professional for advice.
Each city has specific regulations when it comes to the minimum size the grease trap can be, which depends a lot on the size of your business. These regulations make it easy to find the right size because all you have to do is find the category your business fits into and get the corresponding volume of the grease trap. If you live in an area where no regulations are available, you may need to do more research and get expert help.
Grease interceptors that are installed outside, often under the parking lot, can hold 1,000 gallons or more depending on the needs of your business. If you have a commercial kitchen that uses a lot of oil, you may need a larger capacity trap to handle your volume. To help you make the right choice, you can contact one of our technicians at Denver Grease Trap Pumping to help you choose the correct size.
How is a grease trap cleaned?
There are very detailed regulations set out by the local authorities in Denver, Colorado, regarding how grease trap pumping services ought to be carried out. With this in mind, it is vital that you only use a certified restaurant grease trap cleaning provider who follows these regulations carefully.
Many of our clients have tried to take a DIY approach to grease trap cleaning and ended up calling us for emergency service work. This reason is why we always recommend hiring professionals from the start. If you try to do the cleaning on your own, you will likely make a mess, not do a thorough job, and spend much more time and money than necessary. Without the right equipment and skills, it is impossible to do a job that the health officials will accept.
Still, some business owners are expert DIY people and can clean their traps without professional help. If this is true in your case, you still need to be well-informed about the requirements of the city.
Some conventional methods for cleaning an interceptor include the dry pump and the pump and return. The dry pump method works by removing all the grease from your trap and then letting the tank dry. The problem with this is that during the waiting period, you will have to deal with a strong unpleasant odor as the trap is left open.
The second method is called the pump and return method, commonly used by professionals. First, the oil is pumped out and separated from the water. The clean water is then returned to the trap, and the door is closed. This method does not result in any foul odor but requires the use of a specific type of truck.
Another thing to remember when cleaning your trap is that you are responsible for all disposal of grease. Again, you will need to follow the specific rules about grease disposal, or else you may be penalized. It is wise to contact the city staff for assistance regarding FOG disposal and reduction.
Can my employees clean the grease trap?
It depends. If your employees have undergone sufficient training and have experience in this job, then go ahead. But often, this is not the case, which means your employees are not in the position to clean grease traps or interceptors properly. Considering the many rules and regulations that a proper cleaning requires, it is best to call Denver Grease Trap Services.
We are a member of the Preferred Pumper Program, which is a recognized authority on local standards. Working with a company like us will ensure that the grease trap cleaning performed for your business is in accord with local standards. Such adherence keeps you safe from issues that result from non-compliance.
As a PPP registered company, we are highly qualified to conduct all types of grease pumping and cleaning services, guaranteeing the highest quality service.
How often should I clean my grease trap?
The frequency of cleaning required for your grease trap will depend on the size of your trap, and the amount of oil your kitchen produces daily. A commercial kitchen with high volumes of grease requires more frequent pumping compared to a smaller kitchen with low volume. This is why our company takes each client’s needs individually and creates a schedule for maintenance to fit these needs.
Why is there a strong odor after cleaning my grease trap?
If you hire professional grease trap company in Denver, this should not happen. However, there are some possible reasons for the lingering smell after cleaning, such as:
- The service provider you hired used a dry pumping method instead of the pump and return method. This method requires some time for the trap to dry, which means a foul odor is expected. To prevent this, we suggest searching for a grease trap cleaning company that uses the pump and return method.
- Your gasket around the maintenance hole is worn out or corroded. This problem can cause the gasses from your trap to escape and enter your restaurant. A simple gasket replacement can address this issue.
- Your line has a back-up in it somewhere. When food debris gets into the trap, it can cause a blockage, in which case you will need the help of a plumber to fix. Scraping food into the trash before washing will help avoid this problem.
How much will I be fined if my grease trap overflows?
There are several factors that local authorities in Denver will consider before deciding on the amount of your fine. However, in the City of Colorado, these fines can range from $1,000 to $25,000 per day and can be charged to both the owner and the contractor. Factors such as how often your business has experienced an overflow, and the concentration of fat in the samples can affect the amount charged.
Another consideration is the size of our business. You can consult our grease trap service provider for a fixed amount of penalties and regulations that apply to your business.
Can you help me if my trap overflows?
Yes, we can! Call us immediately, and we will provide emergency grease trap pumping services before the issue escalates further. Get in touch with us by calling 303-578-9333. Our team will promptly clean your trap or interceptor before you get fined. If the system is clogged, we may request the help of a plumber. The best thing to do is to follow your maintenance schedule carefully and avoid overflows in the first place.
Can you repair my grease trap?
No. Denver Grease Trap Pumping does not specialize in repairing grease traps. The services we offer include:
- Scheduled grease trap inspection to ensure the best performance of your trap and prevent blockage which requires the intervention of a plumber
- Careful monitoring of the grease trap performance during visits
- Examining the condition of the grease trap and recommending replacement or maintenance as preventive measures
What is a GGI?
This stands for Gravity Grease Interceptor. It is a type of interceptor that is installed outside the kitchen, either below or above the ground. This interceptor works by separating grease waste and other particulates from wastewater and can hold 1,000 to 4,000 gallons depending on the size.
What is an HGI?
This is another type of interceptor called a Hydromechanical Grease Interceptor. This is often called a grease trap and is used by smaller-scale commercial kitchens with low-fat volumes. An HGI is installed under the sink drain after the FOG conveyance units, and its capacity depends on the amount of water that flows through them. Usually, this volume can be between 20 to 50 GPM.
What maintenance does my grease trap require?
There are many reasons why regular maintenance of your grease trap is essential. For one, proper maintenance prevents the occurrence of blockages in your plumbing that can be caused by the hardening of grease and solid waste. If oil finds its way into the sewage system, several problems may arise, including contamination, foul order, and back-ups due to blockage. In severe cases, these back-ups can affect neighboring establishments, which will force local authorities to issue heavy penalties to your business. Any property damage caused by the back-up will also be paid by you.
What schedule do you recommend for cleaning a grease interceptor?
The frequency of maintenance depends on the type of interceptor you have in your kitchen. If you have an HGI interceptor, a monthly plan should suffice. For those with a GGI interceptor, cleaning can be done less frequently, like every three months, due to the high capacity of the interceptor.
When it comes to keeping a maintenance schedule for your grease interceptor, you should not call the experts only when you feel like it or when it overflows. Instead, you need to follow a strict schedule of cleaning at regular intervals. Not only will this prevent overflows, but it will ensure that you are operating in compliance with local regulations.
How much does it cost to hire a preferred pumper?
PPP members offer fair and reasonable prices for all their grease pumping services. For this reason, you will always get the best deal if you work with a preferred pumper. For HGI pumping, a flat rate is the norm, and for GGI’s, the price is based per gallon.
For any inquiries about the information in this FAQ, feel free to give us a call at 303-578-9333.
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