Boston Grease Trap Services
Boston MA Grease Trap Pumping FAQ
These are some of the most frequently asked question food-establishment owners in Boston, Massachusetts ask regarding grease trap pumping and interceptor cleaning services:
1. What is a grease trap?
A grease trap is a device installed either underneath your kitchen sink or underground to tap dangerous grease before it can reach the sewer system. This critical piece of equipment works to ensure that the City sewer system continues to function correctly without blockage or overflows. There are different sizes of grease traps, and the type that is installed depends on the size of your restaurant, among other things. Small scale restaurants use lower traps installed underneath the sink while larger restaurants use interceptors that are installed outside your kitchen underground. The City of Boston has specific guidelines that all establishments need to follow regarding the type of grease trap to install. City officials conduct regular inspections to ensure that the safety measurements in place by the EPA are monitored carefully. By doing this, blockages, leakages, or backups are prevented.
2. How do grease traps work?
Grease traps are one of the basic requirements for all food-related businesses in Boston. Whether you are one of the many fast-food chains that serve Boston’s signature fish and chips or specialize in more exotic dishes like oysters, you need to have a grease trap installed. Grease traps are necessary for all commercial kitchens because of the volume of oil produced by restaurants. Although some restaurants may only use small amounts of fat, it is still essential that this oil is trapped before it reaches the sewer system. For kitchens that produce a lot of fat, larger grease traps or interceptors are required. These are large chambers installed underground that can hold vast amounts of grease. For smaller scale, kitchens or restaurants that don’t hand much oil, grease traps installed under the sink may suffice. Whichever grease trap you use, they play an essential role in lowering the risk of fires and preventing back-ups and blockages.
3. Why do I need a grease trap?
First of all, you need a grease trap to comply with the local health code of the City. Without this device, you won’t be able to operate any food business. Aside from being a prerequisite for all food establishments wishing to work in Boston, grease traps help prevent fires by reducing the amount of grease in your kitchen. They also keep the entire neighborhood safe from blockages and sewer problems. With a grease trap or interceptor installed, you can contact Boston Grease Trap Pumping for regular maintenance, which is also required by the City.
4. What about throwing oil into my grease trap?
This is a bad idea for two reasons- grease traps are not designed to take large amounts of grease all at once. Second, throwing oil directly into your trap would increase the risk of overflows or blockages
because your system won’t be able to handle such a high volume. As a rule, never throw grease directly into your grease trap. Remember, it is not designed to work as a garbage can.
5. Can I DIY grease cleaning?
Some feel that taking up grease cleaning as another DIY project could save them a few bucks, but they are wrong. Many of our clients initially tried this approach but failed miserably, spending more than they ought to. Grease trap cleaning is not a job for anyone and needs specific skills and equipment which only a professional company has. If you try to do the cleaning yourself, you will likely make a big mess and spend on cleaning it up.
Another reason why it is never a good idea to take grease trap cleaning into your own hands is that the Local City Code only accepts jobs done by a certified company. Doing the cleaning on your own could put you in trouble with the authorities. By using an accredited grease trap cleaning company to do the job, you are assured of professional service that adheres to local code.
On the other hand, there are a lot of things that you can do to try and keep your trap functioning in top condition. Here are a few:
- Remove all food debris before putting dishes in the kitchen sink
- Use a cover to catch food debris, so they don’t reach the grease trap
- Get in touch with a grease trap company and schedule regular training programs on a proper grease disposal
- Inspect all the components of your grease trap regularly and replace worn-out parts
6. Can one of my employees clean the grease trap?
No, you should not ask one of your employees to clean your grease trap. Grease trap cleaning services require a degree of skill and specific training which your employees probably don’t have. The only way to get high-quality cleaning is to hire a company like Boston Grease Trap Services.
We are proud members of the Preferred Pumper Program or PPP that is the organization that sets the standards for grease trap cleaning. As members of this organization, we guarantee that all the methods we use are up-to-date, safe, and in line with local code. With a company like ours by your side, you never have to worry about fines or penalties from the authorities
PPP members are also under oath to provide affordable services to their clients. We can make sure that you not only get the best service but also at the most affordable price possible.
7. Does your company sell grease traps?
No. Boston Grease Trap Pumping only provides cleaning and maintenance of grease traps. Once you have a grease trap installed with the help of a professional, we can then step in to ensure that your trap continues to function at its highest capacity. It is good to note that the size and type of grease trap you install will depend on the specifications set out by the authorities.
Although we do not sell or install grease traps, we will be happy to provide professional advice to help you make wise choices. You can always get in touch with us for help.
8. Can I recycle the oil from my grease trap?
Oil from your grease trap is also called brown grease and can be recycled into biofuel or fertilizer. However, local regulations forbid this grease to be used as animal food or processed in an area where animal food is produced.
Restaurant owners who want to recycle their brown grease usually partner with a separate company that specializes in collecting used oil. These companies are not PPP members, so do not have the right skills to perform pumping or cleaning and should only be contacted if you want your grease recycled.
Once our team does pumping or cleaning services for your business, we also take a sample of the sludge to determine whether the grease is recyclable. If not, we dispose of the oil in an eco-friendly manner.
9. What size grease trap do I need for my business?
The size of the grease trap or interceptor you need for your business depends a lot on the local city code. The City of Boston has standards that govern the type of grease trap installed for each food establishment, so you need to follow their specifications. Once you determine where your business fits in, you can quickly identify which hatch you need.
There are several factors that influence the type of grease trap required for your kind of business. For example, a small café may use little grease and therefore need a lower grease trap while a larger restaurant may need a more substantial capacity interceptor. Grease traps only hold up to 200 gallons of oil, while interceptors can hold up to 4000.
Another factor authorities consider is the amount of greasy food you cook in your kitchen. The more fatty food you prepare, the larger the interceptor will need to be. Small kitchens that don’t use a lot of oil could use a grease trap installed underneath the sink.
10. How is grease trap cleaning done?
Grease trap cleaning is a job best left to the professionals at Boston Grease Trap Services and should never be attempted as a DIY project. Choosing to work with a certified company like ours puts you on the safe side of the authorities.
Aside from ensuring you comply with the local regulations, partnering with us also means that your grease trap is cleaned in the most eco-friendly manner possible. We only use the techniques allowed by the local health department, so you have nothing to worry about.
When it comes to grease trap cleaning, there are two methods used that you should be aware of. Each method has its pros and cons, so being informed will work to your benefit.
The first method is called the dry pump method. In this method, grease is manually removed or pumped out from your grease trap and left to dry. During this drying period, your grease trap is opened, which means you can expect foul fumes to invade your kitchen. Once the trap is dry, the cover is returned, and your grease trap continues to function.
The second method is called the pump and return process. This is the method professional grease trap pumping companies use to prevent the problem of foul odor. First, the contents of the grease trap are removed with the use of high-tech pumping trucks. Then, water is separated from the grease and returned
to the trap, so it is never empty and never has to dry. The oil is disposed of, and your trap covered and ready to function.
11. Why is there a foul odor after cleaning my grease trap?
This could be because of two main reasons. The first possible cause of a foul-smelling grease trap is because of the dry pumping method. This method is standard for those who try to do the cleaning by themselves or who hire a cheap company to do the job. Because they lack proper equipment, the dry pump method is their only option. The simple solution to this is to always search for grease trap cleaning near me, Boston, and only work with a certified professional company.
The second possible cause of the foul smell could be because of a worn-out gasket. The gasket is an essential part of your grease trap because it acts as a seal keeping the foul odors underground. If you have a worn-out gasket or a gasket that is corroded, you may need to replace it to fix the problem.
These are two of the most common causes of a foul odor, but there is another possibility, namely, a pipeline back-up. This could be caused by the accumulation of food debris that has reached your trap and caused a blockage. To fix this issue, you may need the help of a plumber.
12. What if my grease trap overflows?
This could mean a lot of trouble for you and your business. The City Officials of Boston will admittedly penalize you if this happens, and there is no telling how badly you will be fined. For the first offense, you could have some leniency, but if this is a repeated problem, the fines are more severe. The officials will also have to take some samples from your grease trap, and if there is a high FOG concentration, the penalties could significantly increase.
For more information about the fines for grease trap overflows, contact your grease trap service provider.
13. Will you help with floods?
Yes, we would be glad to. We offer grease trap emergency pumping for cases such as this. All you have to do is call us at 617-553-1789, and we will gladly send our crew to clean up the mess. Boston Grease Trap Services will do more than clean up the mess; we will also make sure that it never happens to you again. With the help of your local plumber, our team will remove the clog in your system and implement techniques to prevent future problems.
14. Can you help with grease trap repair?
Boston Grease Trap Services do not offer grease trap repair and only performs grease trap cleaning and pumping. Our services ensure that your grease trap continues to function properly and include:
- Monitoring of your grease trap performance
- Regular inspection of your grease trap components and suggesting replacement when needed
- Scheduled grease trap maintenance and pumping which ensures that your trap continues to function at its best
15. What support do grease traps require?
This is determined by the regulations set out by the City of Boston. Both the frequency and the type of cleaning services performed depends on the type of business you have and the amount of grease you use. It is essential that you follow the schedule of pumping provided to prevent overflows and back-ups that cause havoc on the City. If your restaurant is found guilty of causing blockage in the sewer system, hefty fines and penalties are expected. You can prevent all this from happening by working with Boston Grease Trap Service.
16. What is the difference between an HGI and GGI Unit?
HGI is an acronym for Hydromechanical Grease Interceptor, while GGI means Gravity Grease Interceptor. The difference between the two lies in the amount of grease they can handle and the location they are installed. GGI units or grease interceptors are used in large commercial kitchens or kitchens that produce a lot of oil. They can carry from 750 to 4000 gallons of fuel. They are installed underground outside your kitchen and are composed of numerous interconnected chambers.
HGI units are also called grease traps and are located underneath your kitchen sink. The size of grease traps can vary depending on the amount of water flowing through them. Usually, they can only handle 200 gallons of grease.
17. What schedule is ideal for grease trap pumping?
This is not something we can provide a fixed answer for. Because all commercial kitchens are different, several factors are considered before coming up with the best schedule for grease trap pumping. For commercial kitchens that have small grease traps installed, more frequent pumping is necessary about once a month. For larger restaurants with grease interceptors, three-time annual pumping may be enough.
The schedule of grease trap pumping for your specific business will be provided by the authorities after the conduct a thorough inspection. If you partner with us, we incorporate your schedule into our routine, so you don’t have to call us when it’s time for pumping.
18. How much does it cost to hire a PPP company?
PPP members offer the most reasonable, affordable grease pumping services in the City. If you work with a PPP, you guarantee not only the best services but also the best possible price. Our rates are tailored to clients, but generally speaking, those with HGI units are charged a fixed price while those with GGI units are charged according to the amount of grease per gallon.
For any additional questions not included in this FAQ, please call us at 617-553-1789. We will be happy to answer all the questions you have about grease traps and maintenance.
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