INDIANAPOLIS GREASE TRAP SERVICE
Indianapolis, IN Grease Trap Pumping FAQ
Here are some answers to many frequently asked questions you may wish to consider concerning your inquiry with us regarding your Indianapolis food service establishment grease trap or grease interceptor cleaning service requirements.
What is a grease trap?
A grease trap is a chamber that traps fat, oil, and grease (FOG) that goes down the sink during normal kitchen operations. Most often, they are installed directly under the kitchen sink drain; larger units, called grease interceptors, are placed outdoors and in most cases, under the ground. Grease traps are required for commercial kitchens pursuant to Indiana health and safety code to prevent FOG from contaminating the city water system. They trap the FOG and separate it from the water before it can reach the sewer system. They are heavily regulated and monitored closely by local officials.
Is a grease trap used for grease disposal?
No, it can’t be used for grease disposal. Grease traps are not made for that purpose. If you use your grease trap to dispose of grease, you will cause problems in your kitchen. They are designed to trap any FOG that inadvertently goes down the drain. They are not to be used for grease disposal. Doing so will overload them.
Why are grease traps required?
City governments, including the City of Indianapolis, found the need to protect the city sewer and water systems from contamination by FOG waste. The most effective way of doing this is to install grease traps. Any kitchen that uses grease or oil is required to have one installed on the premises. Indianapolis Grease Trap Services stays abreast of all legal requirements with regard to grease traps to help our clients stay in compliance with regulations.
How does a grease trap work?
During normal kitchen operation, waste grease and oil find their way down the kitchen sink drain. The waste gets trapped and separated from the water upon arrival in the grease trap. The greasy waste naturally floats in the mail chamber, while the heavier water continues on to the sewer system. Eventually the FOG waste builds up inside the grease trap and must be removed. This can be accomplished using different methods as each city has their own specific rules. When we service a grease trap in Indianapolis, we strictly adhere to local regulations.
What can I do to maintain my Indianapolis grease trap?
If you’re thinking that you can easily do your grease trap maintenance on your own, think again. Indianapolis Grease Trap Services has years of experience in the profession and we are well equipped. The vast majority of those who attempt to save money by performing this difficult project on their own end up actually losing money, because when all is said and done, they discover they need professional help.
However, you can assist in the maintenance of your grease trap greatly by following these steps:
● Teach your staff on the proper handling FOG waste.
● Remove the food waste from plates before cleaning them.
● Capture debris before reaching 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 out if the gasket sealing the lid to the trap 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, 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. Also, the grease from your trap can’t be taken to the same facility where animal food is made.
However, recycling and reusing trap grease is not very common. Most often, it will be taken to facilities where it is being disposed of in an environmentally-friendly way.
What size of 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 Indianapolis Grease Trap Pumping, 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 Indianapolis regulations.
Local governments sometimes require a minimum size of a grease trap according to the type and size of business. If that’s the case in your situation, you’ll make up your mind easily. 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 Indianapolis Grease Trap Pumping 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 Indianapolis Grease Trap Pumping are at your service for maintaining your grease trap to keep it running properly and keep you away from troubles with the law.
How often should I schedule Indianapolis 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 to clean a grease trap?
There are several methods to clean a grease trap. Indianapolis dictates the proper method for certain types of businesses. To ensure that you clean it according to the laws, we recommend using a restaurant grease trap cleaning services provider that is a licensed and reputable company.
We can’t stress enough how important is to hire a provider that is up-to-date with all the regulations to ensure compliance from your side. We have had many clients running to us after trying the do-it-yourself approach. One attempt is usually enough never to 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 from you or your employees. And because they are unqualified for the job, it often ends with disasters.
However, if you are determined to do it yourself, first 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 then returned back into the grease trap. This is the preferred method. A special vehicle is necessary, so some grease trap services providers don’t offer this method as a service.
● Dry Pump. All the content from your grease trap is removed, and the tank is left dry. Until the water is introduced again, it can spread a strong unpleasant odor.
Finally, keep in mind that the waste you’d 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 Indianapolis 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 your non-reputable and reckless 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 Indianapolis Grease Trap Pumping, is the only way to be confident that you’ve made the right choice.
What are the fines if the 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?
● Does trap grease samples exceed in 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 317-548-1925 to get in touch. We’ll be happy to clean and service the 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 in Indianapolis 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 call for “grease trap cleaning near me” that employs the pump and return method.
Do you repair grease traps?
We don’t offer repair grease trap 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 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 which flows through them determines what capacity 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 hardening of the waste grease and food solids. This can result in waste water 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 cannot only affect the environment, but neighboring establishments.
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 any schedule short of precise intervals. 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 which must be met and the correct cleaning / service reports must be submitted to city officials. Indianapolis Grease Trap Services is a member of the Preferred Pumper Program so 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 with non-compliance with local codes are eliminated.
In addition, members of the Preferred Pumper Program are certified in the field of knowledge required to follow the proper criteria prescribed by the authorities. While not a requirement, the use of PPP registered service companies is encouraged by them.
How much can I expect to pay to hire a Preferred 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! You may contact us by calling 317-548-1925.
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