These are questions that have been posed to search engines and have been referred to this site or have been asked by our vast customer base. So i figured i would knock them out all on one page. If there is a page on this site that deals with the question at hand i will place a link at the end of the question to a spot in the site that deals with that subject and also include any additional information that comes to mind.
1: How does a city inspector inspect a grease trap?
Good question!! No really, how does an inspector really inspect a trap that is full of water and grease? Well, more than likely he walks inside your facility and asks to see your manifests then he looks at the last date it was pumped and if it has been longer than 3 months then he will tell you that you need to pump it out within 5 days or he will (generate revenue for the city)ticket your facility. If you are within 90 day compliance window then he will go out to your sample well and check for grease passing through your trap to the city. If you are passing grease through your sample well then he will let you know that you need to pump more frequently and then give you the 5 day notice as was mentioned above. Please keep in mind that if you are the water is not clear then grease may be passing through the sample well, which means your lines are filling up with grease and that could spell disaster for your grease trap(think exploding grease trap and tceq or health department being called out by a neighbor or a disgruntled employee). Also, there are several LARGE grease trap pumping companies(bigger than the local home grown ones) that will call the TCEQ or the city on your behalf so they can drive up hours on the job site.
2: How do I inspect my grease trap and sample well?
3: How can i get a permit to clean, pump my grease,grit,lint trap in Houston?
Piece of cake! Call Emily in the City of Houston. Her number is 832-393-5740. You will have to pick up your new permit at 7411 Park Place room 109. Now as many of you are now realizing, the permit that was free and lasted as long as you owned your business is now 50 bucks and has to be renewed every year. If you have a number but can not locate it you can find it here.
4: Can having a grease pump truck be profitable?
Another simple answer! Yes, you can turn a profit! No, you are not going to get rich doing it. The key to this business is being able to solve bizarre problems for your clients,treating your customers like family and remember, helping solve problems for your job!! Also, when ever you can give business to or promote a customers business do so!
5: How can i make my floor drains smell better?
The answer is not bleach! Fact : Your floor drains are attached to the sanitary sewer, which smells bad! Each of your floor drains has a p trap at the bottom of it to stop the sewer gas from exiting into the kitchen of your facility. If for some reason you don't use that drain very often then the water, which sits at the bottom of the p trap and acts as a vapor barrier, evaporates and allows sewer gas to enter the building. Your solution is as simple as dumping a gallon of water down the drain to fill the air gap. If you have done this and you are still getting odor from the drain then you may have a cracked p trap. If that is the case you have a couple of options, the first of which is an expensive one. Call a plumber to replace the p trap. If your trap is in a slab of concrete then that will mean jack hammering your slab out or as in the case of a very resourceful MC Donald's owner i have had the privilege of working with for well over 15 years, you tunnel!! Your other option is going to Home Depot or Lowes etc, and buy an in expensive expandable test plug (under $10) to seal off the drain.
Another consideration when you are concerned about interior odors from floor drain is your vent hood!! Yes, i said it vent hood. If your vent hood is not balanced properly then your hood will try to extract more air from the building than your return is dumping back in. How do you check for that? Glad you asked! If your exterior doors have air being sucked through the gaps or when they are being opened you feel a rush of incoming air (when the hoods are on) then your system is out of balance and you need to have your vent hood guy come out and adjust it. Other odor issues go here!
7: Grease trap still smells bad and i just pumped it!
It may not be the trap. We have a whole page on that!
8:I have a sewer gas smell after I installed a new grease pit!
There are a couple of solutions. First let the trap fill up and start to function. Most smell go away once the system is up and running. The other solutions include inflow protectors as seen in the picture. Remember, your trap is hooked up directly to the sanitary sewer so odors may comethrough your sample well. Make sure you have the new style trap lids that aresealed on top (no holes).
9: Does bacteria work in a grease trap?
Yes! It works great, but there are a few caveats. The 100% microbial product must be injected in to your dishwasher drain (you are assured it goes to the grease trap)and may not go in until the dishwasher has been shut down for the night. This should not be a problem if you set the injector to go off after you close down for the night. The product must also be stabilized and capable of withstanding 50 ppm chlorine(your dishwasher should put down 10 ppm chlorine). Your grease trap must be serviced at least monthly which includes the agitation of the grease trap to allow the carbon dioxide to escape the grease cap and a healthy dose of a biological shock treatment. If there is too much CO2 then there will be less contact between the grease and water where the organisms work. The product that you use must contain no enzymes (if the product fees soapy or has any fragrance then don't use it!)
10: Do enzymes work?
Save your money! Enzymes totally defeat the purpose of a grease trap. Enzymes do nothing but chop up grease and send it down your pipes where it solidifies and causes major plumbing headaches. Once the grease takes up its new residents down the line it gets even harder than it was before. At this point cleaning out your trap and lines requires extra effort and costs may spiral out of control. Remember plumbers charge by the hour and when they have to call in a hydro-jet to clean the lines themselves, the equipment costs will go up dramatically as well. Enzymes are not worth the risk!
11: What is the difference between snaking a line and jetting a line?
Hydro-jets use high pressure jets of water coming from a nozzle which is screwed on to the tip of the hose to propel itself down your pipe to clean and flush grease off of the walls of your pipe and remove clogs. Hydro-jetting should be done on pipes no smaller than 3"" in diameter if there are p traps or sharp angles. If your line is in excess of 6" you should use a hydro-jet exclusively . Hydro-jets should be used on the outside lines of your facility so you don't flood the inside of your restaurant. If you do need a jet inside you need to make sure the operator has a way to shut off the jet( gun) inside at the site of the clog. Jets are great for softer objects like grease, sand garbage disposal items and sanitary lines(bathrooms). Think about using this equipment when you want your drains to function like new again.
Snakes are most effective on lines 4" and smaller. The snakes rely on the operator to push the snake down the pipe. If you use a snake that is to small there is a possibility that it will doubles back in your line, get tangled, and stuck in your pipe. Snakes excel at clearing large debris that can get stuck in a line. Things such as potatoes shells and hard objects are ideal used. Think about using this equipment to poke a hole in a line or pushing an object forward that is stuck in a narrowing(grease build up) line. If it is grease (especially soft grease) backing up your line you wind up with the real possibility of poking a hole in the grease and having it fill itself in with more grease. Make sure that you run plenty of water when the job is complete.
The big list of Frequently Asked Questions
For SERVICE or HELP call Andy or Sheryn 713-868-1171