Grease Trap Services Nashville



FAQ: Grease Trap Services in Nashville

All restaurant owners have some questions regarding grease trap pumping or interceptor cleaning services. This is a summary of some of the most commonly asked questions.

What is a grease trap?

A grease trap is a device that is used to trap hazardous FOG (fat, oil, and grease) before it reaches the sewer system of your commercial kitchen. The size of the grease trap installed in your restaurant will depend on the amount of fat you produce. Small grease traps can be installed beneath your sink while larger grease interceptors are located underground, outside your kitchen.  The type of grease trap required for your business is determined by the local officials, and there are set standards that every restaurant owner needs to follow. Collecting the grease before it reaches the sewers works to prevent blockage or backups and keeps the community safe from health hazards. Local authorities in Nashville regularly conduct inspections to make sure your business is following the regulations set out by EPA.

Why do I need a grease trap?

As we have mentioned, a grease trap performs the vital job of keeping grease away from the sewer system. On top of this, installing a grease trap is a requirement for all food establishments in Nashville, TN. If you operate any commercial kitchen, you are required by law to have some grease trap installed in your kitchen. Nashville Grease Trap Pumping is one of the few companies that has been serving the “Music City” for decades and is dedicated to providing the best service possible. When you hire us, we save you from potential financial issues as a result of fines from the authorities.

Can grease be thrown directly into the grease trap?

Definitely no! A grease trap is not like a garbage can and works in a more complicated way. Grease traps catch grease from your kitchen sink and separate it from the water before letting the water continue to the City sewer system. This process is a slow one, so if you pour grease directly into the trap, and it can cause an overload because of a large amount of oil entering it all at once. An overloaded grease trap can result in short and long term problems for you and your business.

How does a grease trap work?

Grease traps are an essential part of all commercial kitchens in Nashville. Like many places in the South, Nashville restaurants continue experimenting with fried foods, which means a lot of greases. Since we all love the fried yumminess of Nashville specialties like the fried sweet potato or fried pickles, all that oil comes with a price. This is where the grease trap becomes the hero. Grease traps are holding containers located below your sink or outdoors that trap fat, so it doesn’t reach the sewer system. Installing and cleaning a grease trap is carefully monitored by the City of Nashville Health Department, so it is essential that you only work with a cleaning company that is licensed and certified.

Why can’t I clean my grease trap myself?

Although it is possible for you to try a DIY approach to grease trap cleaning, in most cases, it is not a good idea. Nashville Grease Trap Pumping has dealt with many restaurant owners who have taken maintenance into their own hands and had to call us for emergency cleaning. Without the right skill and equipment, you are likely to make a huge mess and spend more than necessary in the end. 

This is why it is always a good idea to hire a professional grease trap pumping company to get the job done. If you are thinking of hiring one of your employees, like you, they lack the skill and are not qualified for the job. Even if you are able to get the trap clean, if your appointment is not done according to the local standards, you will be in trouble with local authorities.

So if cleaning your grease trap is out of the question, what can you do? Well, there are a few steps you can take to help keep your grease trap in good condition. For example: 

  • Make sure to remove all food debris before dumping plates into the sink 
  • Contact your grease trap pumping company for training sessions about proper grease disposal 
  • Use sink covers to catch food debris, so they don’t end up in your grease trap
  • Regularly inspect your grease trap and replace necessary parts

Can one of my employees clean my grease trap?

If your employees have undergone training about proper grease trap cleaning and waste disposal, then yes, you can have them clean your trap. However, it is not usual for employees to have training in this area. The best solution is to hire a reputable company like Nashville Grease Trap Services. 

Our company is a member of the PPP or Preferred Pumper Program that is recognized nationwide. This membership ensures that we use all the methods approved by the local authorities and keep your business safe from fines for non-compliance. 

Being a PPP registered company also means we guarantee the best quality service and can perform cleaning on all types of grease traps or interceptors.

Is grease trap oil recyclable?

Yes, it is. There are companies in Nashville that specialize in collecting and recycling grease from your trap. The oil, also called “brown grease,” can be used as fertilizer or biodiesel fuel. However, this dirty oil cannot be used as animal food or processed in an area where animal food is produced. 

If you are interested in recycling the oil from your trap, we suggest that you partner with a company that delivers fresh oil and gets rid of the brown fat. It is good to remember, though, that these are not certified grease trap companies but only get rid of the waste.

When we perform grease trap cleaning or pumping, we take a sample from your sludge and determine whether it can be recycled or not. In often cases, the oil cannot be recycled and has to be disposed of in an eco-friendly manner instead. 

Do you sell grease traps?

No. Nashville Grease Trap Pumping service is not in the field of selling or installing grease traps and focuses on grease trap cleaning services. If you want to buy a grease trap and have it installed, we suggest you seek help from your local plumber. Remember that the size and type of trap installed will depend on local regulations. 

With your grease trap installed, you can now contact us to do all your grease trap cleaning. Our company is known to provide fast, reliable, and quality grease trap pumping services that keep you and your business safe from penalties.

What size of the grease trap should I install?

The City of Nashville has outlined the standard regarding the type and size of the grease trap required for each business. It is essential that you carefully examine these regulations and install the right size to be safe. You may need to consult a professional to help you in this regard.

The size of your business and the volume of the grease that you use are two of the main factors that determine the type of trap you need. The good thing about this is that you don’t have to do too many calculations. All you need to do is decide which category your business fits into and install the corresponding trap.

Grease interceptors are larger than grease traps and can hold from 1000 gallons or even more. If your commercial kitchen serves a lot of fried dishes, then this is the type of grease trap you need. The large capacity is ideal for high volume grease and also means less frequent pumping. One of our experts at Nashville Grease Trap Pumping can guide you through the installation process. 

How is a grease trap cleaned?

Cleaning a grease trap is not something that can be done by anyone. The local authorities in Nashville, Tennessee, have strict guidelines that all grease trap cleaning companies need to follow. This is why the DIY approach always fails.

The right equipment and skills are required to do grease trap cleaning in a way that is approved by the authorities. Still, some restaurant owners are DIY experts and want to do the cleaning on their own. If this is the case, it is good to know the two standard methods used:

  1. Dry pump method. This method starts by removing all the grease from your trap manually and then allowing the tank to dry. Once dry, the cover is returned. The downside with this method is during the drying period, and you will have the problem of the strong foul odor from gases escaping the opened trap.
  2. Pump and return method. This is what professional companies like ours use. The contents of your grease trap are removed using high-tech pump trucks, and then the grease is separated from the water. The grease-free water is then returned to your trap, and the door closed. This method ensures that you don’t have to suffer days with a foul smell in your kitchen.

If you are thinking of doing the cleaning yourself, also be aware that all disposal of grease is your responsibility. Make sure that you are familiar with the regulations set out regarding proper grease disposal.

How regularly should my grease trap be cleaned?

There is no fixed schedule for grease trap cleaning, and a lot will depend on the size of the trap that you won and the amount of grease you produce. If you are a commercial kitchen that provides high amounts of oil, you will need more frequent pumping. A smaller kitchen with low prices of fat may need less regular cleaning. Our company considers your individual needs before coming up with a maintenance schedule that will cater to your needs.

Why is there a foul odor after cleaning my grease trap?

This should never happen if you work with professional Grease trap cleaning services. However, some reasons could cause a foul smell:

  • Using the dry pumping method. If you did the pumping yourself, you could expect a foul odor while you wait for the trap to dry. Also, if you hired a cheap company that lacks proper equipment, this can be a consequence. To prevent this, always search for a grease trap cleaning near me, Nashville, that uses appropriate pumping methods.
  • You have a worn-out gasket. The gasket is essential to keep the foul odor out of your kitchen, so if it is worn out or corroded, gas can escape. The solution to this could be a replacement of the gasket.
  • You have a back-up along your pipeline. If food has found its way into your grease trap, it can cause a blockage that requires the help of a plumber.

What will happen if my grease trap overflows?

Disaster. One of the first consequences is that the authorities will heavily fine you. In the City of Nashville, these fines will depend on several factors. These factors include whether it is the first time this has happened to your business.  Another factor is the concentration of fat found in the samples.

For a more specific amount regarding the penalties for overflow, please contact your grease trap service provider. 

Can you help me if my trap overflows?

Yes, we can! Nashville Grease Trap Services offers emergency grease trap pumping services that will solve your overflow problem. Contact us now at 615-510-1980. Our team always prioritizes overflows and will be at your business as soon as possible. If we detect a clog in your system, we may need the help of your local plumber.

Do you repair grease traps?

Nashville Grease Trap Pumping services do not repair grease traps. However, we offer the following necessary services:

  • Scheduled grease trap inspection to make sure your trap performs at the highest capacity and no blockage or overflows happen
  • Monitoring of your grease trap performance during our visits
  • Inspection of your grease trap components and recommending replacement when needed.

What is an HGI?

HGI stands for Hydromechanical Grease Interceptor. The HGI is also called a ‘grease trap’ and has a smaller capacity ideal for small-scale kitchens with low-fat volumes. This type of trap is installed beneath the sink drain after the FOG conveyance units. The capacity of an HGI depends on the amount of water flowing through it, which can be between 20 to 50 GPM.

What is GGI?

GGI is an acronym that stands for Gravity Grease Interceptor. This interceptor is used in large commercial kitchens that have high grease volumes. It is installed outside the kitchen in an underground compartment and can hold between 1000 to 4000 gallons.

What is a good schedule to follow for grease trap maintenance?

The maintenance will depend on the type of trap you have installed in your kitchen. If you are using an HGI interceptor, you may need monthly pumping considering the small capacity of the unit. However, if you have a GGI unit installed, then maintenance can be less frequency, such as every three times a year.

In terms of having a proper maintenance schedule for your grease trap interceptor, it is wise to follow a strict cleaning routine. If you only call the professionals when you suspect an overflow, it may be too late. Sticking to a regular maintenance schedule will ensure that you are always in compliance with the law.

What type of maintenance does a grease trap need?

Thorough, standard maintenance is required to keep your grease trap functioning properly. Sticking to proper maintenance will ensure that blockages and other issues do not harm your business. There are a lot of horrible consequences if grease reaches the sewer system, including contamination, health hazards, back-ups, and foul odor. Since these problems will affect both you and the surrounding establishments, you will need to pay hefty fines as a result.

What is the cost of hiring a Preferred Pumper?

PPP members are required to offer grease trap pumping services at a reasonable price. This is one of the advantages of working with a Preferred Pumper. For HGI pumping, we usually have a flat rate, while GGI rates are based on the amount of waste per gallon.

If you have any other questions that are not addressed in this FAQ, please contact us at 615-510-1980.



Affordable & Reputable Grease Trap Services

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