Restaurant Management 101 – Preventing Drain Backups
If you own or manage a restaurant, the last thing you want to do is shut down your business because your store is flooded. A clog in a drain line can not only cause down time for your restaurant, but also safety issues for employees and potential repercussions from the board of health. There are a number of reasons why commercial kitchen drains continue to back up. It’s essential that you understand how it can happen and implement best practices to prevent clogs from happening.
Why Commercial Kitchen Drains Clog
Fats, oils, and grease can quickly build up in drains. As these substances cool, they begin to harden and stick to the drain pipes. This can lead to major sanitation problems as the end result is clogged pipes or even an entirely clogged septic system. Food scraps can also be a culprit of clogged drain lines. A good way to prevent this is to place a strainer in your sinks and to train employees to clean plates with leftovers into the trash, not down the drain.
Most commercial kitchens have a grease trap in their kitchen to catch fats, oils and grease before they enter the drain lines. Keep in mind that while a commercial grade grease trap is effective, it will be ineffective if the drains aren’t professionally maintained. A grease trap cleaning service will determine how often a cleaning is needed by calculating the daily use of the grease trap.
Toilets and drains in restaurants can also become clogged from neglected septic systems. All of the wastewater from a restaurants flows into the septic tank, and it should be pumped by a professional on a regular basis to prevent backups and major, costly repairs to the system.
Professional Drain Cleaning and Septic Pumping
Today, professional companies use tiny video cameras to diagnose grease problems in the system lines. This helps determine where there is a root issue, break or crack in the line. Depending on the clog, our trained professionals utilize different equipment. Snaking or water jetting may be used to break through the clog and pull out any debris.
We also offer preventative maintenance plans to avoid breakages, overflows, clogs and backups. Customers can choose a plan that best meets their needs, including jetting the lines once a quarter, pumping the non-hazardous waste systems and complete inspections. Preventative maintenance is the best defense against clogged lines and septic tank problems!
Septic Pumping Services by EarthCare: Town Spotlight on Morristown, NJ
The Rich History of Morristown, NJ
Morristown was founded way back in 1710, first as West Hanover, established as a foundry to take advantage of the local iron-ore resources nearby. In 1740 the industrious town was renamed after Lewis Morris who was the governor of the colony at the time.
Today the Morristown National Historic Park, just southwest of town, preserves the campsite where 10,000 American troops camped through the winter of 1779-1780. The infamous traitor Benedict Arnold was court-martialed in Morristown’s Dickerson Tavern in 1779.
Later on, Morristown continued to make its mark on American history when Samuel Morse worked at the Speedwell Iron Works to refine his telegraph equipment and develop his famous Morse Code, according to this article at Encyclopedia Britannica.
Today Morristown is largely residential, but still has an impressive commercial presence in the chemical, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and machinery industries, as well as research facilities. Our EarthCare team is proud to be a part of the Morristown community, and we offer the full range of residential and commercial services.
EarthCare’s Septic Pumping Services in Morristown
The most frequent and best advice we can offer to our customers to avoid septic system trouble is to have the septic tank pumped regularly. Sludge is the heavy solid layer captured by the septic tank to prevent it from flowing out and clogging the distribution of liquids to your septic system’s leach field. Unchecked sludge can lead to costly repairs and hazardous health conditions when it causes backflow to a home or business. This is why septic pumping is always the first step in our septic maintenance program.
We have a handy Septic Pumping Frequency Calculator to help you determine how often your septic tank should be pumped based on the needs of your individual household at the link above.
Residential and Commercial Septic Services at EarthCare
Our team of environmental professionals at EarthCare provides the full range of commercial and residential services to the Morristown community as well as the surrounding areas. Beyond our septic pumping services, we offer septic installation and repair, pipelining, drain cleaning, preventive maintenance, and certified septic inspections to meet local requirements. Don’t hesitate to contact us today to keep your septic system up and running.
Restaurant Grease: What Should You Expect?
Do you know just how much grease is produced by your average restaurant? It is probably more than you think! In fact, a restaurant can produce anywhere from 150 to 250 pounds of grease a week. With over 160,000 restaurants in the United States, that works out to either 128,000,000 pounds of grease used per month or 1,664,000,000 pounds of grease produced by restaurants in a year. That is a shockingly large number!
With such a large amount of restaurant grease being produced, otherwise known as yellow grease, there are important and unique problems to consider. The most important consideration is to keep the sewer system clean by helping to keep the water clean. One way to keep the water clean and mitigate problems caused by grease is to recycle and reuse grease when possible. Minimizing the amount of grease entering the sewer system as well as reducing the amount of grease you use are important ways to keep your system and water clean.
However, no matter how much you might reuse and recycle the restaurant grease, you will require a well-built filtration system to properly deal with the large amount of grease that will be entering your drainage system. The restaurant will need a grease trap (properly known as a grease interceptor) to remove and help process the grease correctly.
Without an appropriate grease trap that can properly handle the large amount of yellow grease produced by a restaurant many problems can and will eventually arise. Not only do many cities require the use of a grease trap, but without one you risk major problems with your drainage system. Such problems include sewage blockages, and backups which can lead to fine, having to close the business until the problem is fixed, and of course costly repairs. Thus, having an appropriately fitted grease trap for your unique needs is incredibly important.
Do feel free to contact us to learn more about grease traps and figure out what specific needs your restaurant might need.
Making Sure Your New Grease Trap is Up to Standards
If you own a food service establishment you are most likely already aware that you must have a new grease trap installed. However, knowing you need to have a trap installed and being qualified to install one are not the same things. Much like any other piece of specialized equipment in your commercial kitchen, your grease trap must be installed by a licensed service provider to ensure that it meets the standards required in your area.
Codes & Plumbing Standards
In most areas, grease traps and the standards that guide their installation, usage and maintenance are prescribed in the areas building & environmental codes. Failure to follow all applicable codes can result in heavy fines in some locations. Having an in-depth knowledge of all plumbing and associated codes will be required to determine appropriate units, location, and installation for your new grease trap.
There are many things to consider when installing a new grease trap including the size, location, and design that will be used. In many locations, the size and location of your trap will be determined for you based on local codes and the qualifications set forth by the city building inspector. A grease trap that is not correctly sized will fail to function correctly and will need to be replaced.
Regardless of what type of trap you have installed, you will need to obtain the proper permits before its installation. You will also need to ensure that your unit and its placement follow all applicable guidelines for your area, this may require upgrades to lines leading into and out of the trap, removal of prohibited or restricted features and meeting accessibility standards for maintenance and monitoring.
A grease trap is not a complicated piece of equipment, but installing it correctly requires specialized knowledge. You should never attempt to install your own grease trap. A licensed plumbing professional can help you get the right product installed in the right location, with the right conditions to keep you and your restaurant running. Contact EarthCare online or by phone at 800-428-6166 for more information about installing, maintaining, upgrading or repairing your commercial grease trap.
My Grease Trap Needs Cleaning, Says the Law. How Often?
When you envisioned your business and all that it would bring to the world, you probably didn’t visualize your grease trap. It’s not the sexiest part of your business, but it’s a necessary component to keeping your establishment clean and running smoothly. And because your grease trap works hard, it needs cleaning. Regular cleaning not only prevents awful odors, damage, health hazards and rodents – it’s a public health requirement in most communities. Each community has its own standards and it’s important to know what they are. For example, if you are a restaurant owner in Ohio, you are likely required to clean at the 25% mark. Other places, such as Worcester County, MA, require cleaning at least monthly.
But is that enough? What does “the 25% mark” mean and how do you know if you’ve reached it? Local regulations will give guidelines as to how often your grease trap should be serviced, but it is your actual usage that will ultimately determine your trap cleaning needs. EarthCare can help you find out.
Not only will our highly trained technicians clean your grease interceptor, they will perform a thorough 14-point inspection with every cleaning and can help you determine your grease trap maintenance requirements. At EarthCare, our mission includes building long-term trust and satisfaction with our customers. Our technicians will take time to educate you about your grease trap so that you can save money and avoid emergencies. This will allow you to have a grease trap that performs better and lasts longer. Cleaning your grease trap has to be done. Why not choose a company with the highest standards? EarthCare team members are graduates of Wind River University – a proprietary program designed to extensively educate our team so that you get the very best in education, safety, quality, and customer service.
Maintenance is key to a successful business. Contact EarthCare to make the chore of cleaning your grease trap easier, while empowering you to keep things running clean and smooth.
Cure-in-Place Pipelining Explained
Cracked and crushed pipes are not a laughing matter. Crumbling water, sewer, or gas pipes require immediate attention. For major repairs, the pipe is dug out and replaced, but normal and minimal pipeline repairs benefit from cure-in-place pipelining (CIPP).
The process of installing cure-in-place is relatively simple. Removing the failing pipe from service so that no water or sewage passes through it is the first step. Once the inside is clean and void of debris, the liner is winched into place and inflated. Curing the liner requires hot water or steam and time. The last step is cutting the ends of the liner making them flush with the pipe and sealing it.
The lining material is a resin saturated polyester that hardens and forms a resilient pipe inside the failing pipe. The CIPP material is rigid and very durable once cured.
“The CIPP liner is made of a non-woven polyester needle felt or glass fibre…” ~UKSTT
The benefits of cure-in-place pipelining extend from quick installation to corrosion prevention. CIPP is an efficient pipe repair technique. Here are five benefits of CIPP:
- Jointless installation accommodates pipes of various shapes and sizes.
- Corrosion proof lining protects pipes from crumbling.
- Fast single day installation makes CIPP repairs convenient.
- Traffic is not disrupted by large trench digging machinery.
- Quick installation and minimal equipment make it cost-effective.
Choosing to repair a pipe with a rigid liner is a smart decision. Resin saturated liners add corrosion protection and support to water, sewer, and gas pipes. Learn more about our pipelining services or Contact us for more information on cure-in-place pipelining and repairs.
How FOG Causes Congestion in Your Pipelines
We’ve all had to deal with slow or clogged drains at one time or another. It is especially common in businesses involved in the food industry due to the large amounts of fats, oils, and grease (FOG) produced in their kitchens. We’d like to help you keep clogs from FOG at bay.
Most FOG problems stem from improper disposal. Fat, oil, and grease should be collected and tossed in the trash. When you wash FOG down the drain, it hardens and sticks to the inside of your pipes when it cools. Eventually, water cannot pass through because the FOG becomes thick and impenetrable.
If you own a business, the best way to avoid drainage issues is by employing regular preventative maintenance. This means scheduling annual inspections to detect any potential problems early. You should also stay current on septic pumping and consider drain cleaning services on a routine basis. An EarthCare technician can evaluate your business and determine a good schedule for these services while staying within your budget. To get started, Contact Us or Request Service Now.
Warning Signs of Grease Buildup
Grease is very damaging to your plumbing and poses a great threat to the environment when mismanaged. It is such a serious issue that the Board of Health has deemed it necessary to create laws regulating its proper disposal. All businesses that deal with cooking or food service are required to install and maintain a grease trap designed to prevent their grease from infiltrating nature and the water supply. Grease trap maintenance must be done routinely, or the trap will malfunction and create big problems for you and your business. Be aware of signs of trouble, and call EarthCare right away if you experience any of the following.
One of the common signs we find resulting from overlooked grease traps is slow drains. It’s quite inconvenient to have a sink full of wastewater that won’t go down because your kitchen staff likely needs to use the sink frequently. This could apply to your floor drain or dishwasher as well. You may think it’s a clog in your drain, but it could actually be a problem with your grease trap. Have a trained professional evaluate the situation and diagnose things correctly so you don’t waste time and money on the wrong solution.
Often accompanied by slow drains, are strange sounds. If you hear gurgling noises coming from your drains when water is going down them, it is a sign that something is creating a blockage. Again, consult an expert to determine whether the noises are due to the grease trap or something different. If it’s the grease trap, have it cleaned right away. Don’t wait for the problem to get worse.
The stench of grease waste is undeniable, and your kitchen employees (and possibly customers) will notice it right away. When your trap is working properly, it shouldn’t be releasing unpleasant smells. Once you are experiencing foul odors, there is a problem that needs to be addressed immediately.
Call the Grease Trap Experts
There is so much involved with running a business that the grease trap often gets neglected. We recommend scheduling regular maintenance with a provider like EarthCare who can keep track of this. Let us take one more thing off your plate. Our technicians want to keep your grease trap running at its best, so you can focus on running your business at its best. To learn more, contact EarthCare today.
How Do You Know the Last Time You had Septic Pumping Service?
Routine maintenance keeps your wastewater facilities running efficiently and saves you money in the long run. But how long has it been since your last septic service? If you’re not sure, check with your local Board of Health, and they should have a record of the last one. If EarthCare performed the service, we keep track and notify the appropriate parties as well. Based on your water consumption, we recommend having your system pumped every 1-2 years, and we can help you determine the ideal frequency for servicing your home.
Know the Signs
If it has been more than 2 years, you need to schedule your next pumping and be on the lookout for any indication of septic problems. You may hear gurgling sounds which mean water is not flowing cleanly down drains. Slow drains and toilets are also fairly common, and people tend to ignore this until the inconvenience gets extreme. Don’t wait on this. Go ahead and treat the problem now before it develops into something more serious and expensive to fix. Another sign is foul odors. Methane gas smells a lot like rotten eggs. If you catch a whiff of such an odor in your bathroom, kitchen or outside, call a professional immediately.
Outside you want to check the grounds for pooling, mushy areas or grass that looks greener than the rest. These indicate excess moisture where there may be sewage leaks from your septic system. All of these signs point to clogs in your wastewater facilities that likely initiated from a full septic tank.
Don’t wait for a sewage emergency to hit your home and leave you without a functioning bathroom or kitchen. Allow our experts to evaluate your residence and set up a service plan to keep your septic system running well. We can also do annual inspections to look for signs of unforeseen trouble. We guarantee this ends up being a sound financial decision and will save you a bunch of hassle as well. For more information on our preventative maintenance options, Contact Us or Request Service Now.
EarthCare’s National Program
If you own a chain of businesses that is spread out over several states, you recognize the convenience of having a single point of contact to handle all wastewater issues at all your locations. Imagine a world where a grease emergency in Maine and a septic disaster in South Carolina can be taken care of with one call. Ok, now stop imagining because EarthCare has made this a reality.
Taking Care of Business Across the Country
We call it our National Program. With this phenomenal service, EarthCare will take all wastewater-related maintenance of your businesses under our wing. There will be no need to keep track of a separate list of service providers or call around trying to find a septic company 500 miles away. We will take care of routine septic pumping, grease trap cleanings and emergency situations at all your sites with a single call to our office.
We have even mastered logistics to the point where we can tackle wastewater problems outside of our service area. It doesn’t matter if you’re headquartered in Boston and have a burger joint in West Virginia, we will make sure the grease trap in WV gets serviced even if you made a call to our Massachusetts office. That’s not all! We still offer discounts to our commercial customers, and this is not affected by our National Program. If you need help managing wastewater services for your franchise restaurants and businesses, Contact Us. We’ll save you a whole lot of time, money and headache.