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Why is my Grease Trap Overflowing?

Grease traps are an essential part of any commercial kitchen. Their main function is to capture grease and oil that would otherwise end up in the wastewater system, causing an array of problems such as clogged sewers, unpleasant odours, and health hazards. This article will explain why grease traps tend to overflow and how you can resolve this problem.

Grease traps are usually installed under sinks or underground outside the kitchen, in order to capture all the fat and oil that would otherwise go down the drain. If food particles slip through, they end up in the sewer system, causing blockages that require expensive maintenance or even building work. A clogged sewer can also cause unpleasant odours, attracting vermin and insects.

Grease Trap Overflow


Grease traps do a vital job of keeping drains clear and preventing blockages from occurring. Unfortunately, they can sometimes get blocked or overloaded due to a number of reasons:

  • Overloading the trap with food waste will cause its capacity to be exceeded, leading to overflows.
  • If you have a problem with rodents getting into your restaurant, they may try to access the trap via any gaps that are present.
  • In some cases, grease traps may become blocked as a result of nearby construction work or heavy vehicles driving over them.
  • If you do not have a grease trap installed at all, you will have no choice but to pour your fats and oils down the sink.

If you experience oily, unpleasant-smelling water as a result of cooking, it may be due to one or more of these problems.

The following steps should help you diagnose and resolve issues with your grease trap:

  • Check your trap for cracks and holes. Any gaps will allow vermin to get near the trap and cause blockages from inside.
  • If you have a rodent problem, make sure all sewers, vents, and hatches are well sealed. Mice can fit through tiny spaces, so you need to be thorough in your inspection if rodents have been a problem in the past. You can then take preventative measures by using traps, poisons, or rodent control products as necessary.
  • If you discovered any gaps during your inspection, seal them as soon as possible to avoid further problems with vermin.
  • Grease tends to sink, so check for grease residue around sinks and other areas where you are disposing of fatty waste. You may have to replace some pipes if they look worn or corroded.
  • Check that the trap itself is not too full by pouring water into it. If it overflows, you will need to clean it out and have the trap emptied by a professional grease or wastewater management company.
  • Check your building’s pipes for blockages. If you have grease or food waste that has gotten stuck, it is likely to cause your trap to overflow. For instance, if there are any small fruit pits or bones in the sink catching basin, they will eventually cause problems.

If you do not know which of these steps to take next, speak with a professional who can inspect your grease trap and offer advice on further preventative measures you can take.

Grease trap needs regular maintenance, they are bound to fail every once in a while, if ignored. If your grease trap has overflowed, it means that the outlet line or somewhere downstream is blocked.

Grease trap overflows can be prevented if a regular cleaning process is done routinely by a professional. It has been observed that most commercial kitchens have their plumbing systems clogged with grease and oil because of lack of maintenance. If you want your drain and sewage system to be in the best condition and reduce the chance of overflow then you need to clean it regularly.

If you discover that your grease trap has failed and there has been an overflow, you shouldn’t try to fix it yourself because doing so can make the problem worse. Instead, you need to call a professional grease trap cleaning company that can fix the issue for you.

Get in touch with Ecotec – our expert engineers will be glad to assist you.