What to look for when inspecting traps
The Houston Health department recommends that you inspect your grease trap every time that it is pumped out but they don’t tell you what to look for so here goes:
A. Your trap should be empty, you should be able to see the bottom of the trap. If their are a few large rocks or concrete chunks at the bottom that is not a big issue they could have been left from a sloppy install. Large objects such as this can not be sucked up through a vacuum hose on a typical truck. They will have to be removed manually.(we’ve found tricycles as well!)
B. Look for any cracks or breaks in the trap itself. If the cracks or breaks are in the baffles you may have future issues with grease passing through your trap and into the lines going to the city. If this happens the line past the trap may back up causing your trap to explode (over flow) on to the surrounding grass parking lot etc. At that point the city may get involved issues warnings or fines the state(TCEQ) may get involved as well. Trust me this is no fun! Then you have the emergency pump out the emergency plumbing call and a possible remediation company. These things are also no fun and can be quit expensive.
C. Check the walls of your trap especially near the top where the grease collects. Take a close look at the corners (this is where contractors cut “corners”)there should be no grease caked on to any area of your trap. Your walls should be washed down with a pressure washer as well.
D. Check the plumbing for breaks cracks etc. There should be a pipe on the outflow side of the trap that reaches close to the bottom of the trap which allows clean water to exit the trap grease free and out to the sample well.
E. Inspectors look at your sample well and you should too. This is a window to your grease trap soul! If you see grease caked to the walls of yous sample well or you see particulate floating in your waste stream you probably need to pump out more frequently. Remember, it is better to figure this out on your own rather than being told by an inspector to do it. It keeps them happy and that should make your life easier as well. (no ticket means no ticket, no court ,no fine etc)
Call us for a trap inspection