What Happens if Your Grease Trap isn’t Working Properly?
What Happens if Your Grease Trap isn’t Working Properly?

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What Happens if Your Grease Trap isn’t Working Properly?

If you own or manage a commercial kitchen, you must have a grease trap to prevent fats, oils, and greases (FOG) from blocking your plumbing system. An essential part of any industrial kitchen is grease traps. Cooking-related fats, oils, and greases (FOGs) are intended to be captured and retained by them. By doing this, FOGs are kept out of the wastewater system where they could otherwise cause obstructions, backups, and other issues. A good plumbing system depends on grease traps, but what happens if your grease trap isn’t functioning properly?

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the warning signals causing your grease trap to malfunction and some potential fixes.

What is a Grease Trap?

A grease trap is a plumbing appliance that catches fats, oils, and grease (FOG) from a commercial kitchen to prevent it from entering the drainage system. FOG can harden and clog pipes, costing money in repairs and potentially posing health risks. Before it enters the plumbing system, FOG is stopped by a grease trap, where it can cool and harden while the leftover water drains to the public sewer system. It ensures the plumbing system runs well and helps prevent clogs, backups, and unpleasant odors. Grease traps come in various sizes and designs depending on the institution’s requirements. They need routine cleaning and maintenance to work correctly. You can call West Coast Grease Traps, the experts for grease trap cleaning in Federal Way to take a look and suggest the best way forward.

If Your Grease Trap isn’t Working properly

  • Bad Odors

A grease trap that works properly shouldn’t release unpleasant aromas into the surrounding air. There may be a problem if you smell a bad odor emitting from your grease trap.


A grease trap emits a bad odor due to mechanical problems or inadequate cleaning. A gasket seals the intake into the grease trap to prevent odors from escaping. You can start to smell the trap’s contents if this gasket fails.

Even if the gasket functions properly, insufficient cleaning can still cause odors. It can be caused by infrequent pumping, which leads to an excessively full trap, or by residue and sludge not completely cleared during regular pumping.


Fortunately, one of the most straightforward grease trap issues to resolve is bad odors. The scents are well sealed away since the gaskets are replaced. A thorough pumping followed by hydro-jetting to remove leftover muck should solve any cleaning issues.

  • Clogging of Pipe

One or both of the compartments in your grease trap may get clogged. There will be an overflow in the compartment where the clog is located when it occurs.


Your grease trap may develop a clog in one of the incoming lines, one of the leading lines, or in the crossover line that joins the two compartments. Clogs often happen when debris that has risen from the trap’s bottom becomes stuck in one of these lines.

In some instances, grease that enters one of the lines and congeals into a dam may also cause a clog. It may occur if there is excessive grease in the trap and it cools to the point of solidifying.


You can clear clogs by giving your grease trap system a thorough cleaning. The first step is to pump out the residue, including the grease and sludge, from both compartments. If there is an obstruction in the lines, hydro jetting may push the debris into a nearby compartment or sewer line. The residual residue is wiped off of everything.

  • Over Flow

A spillover can make a sizable greasy and soggy mess. If the problem is not corrected, overflows will continue whenever you try to run any water through the trap.


In most grease traps, grease floats to the top while sediment sinks to the bottom of the compartment. The grease is then sent to the second grease storage compartment of the trap while the clean water is drained out of the core layer and into the sewer. The silt is still present as sludge in the first compartment. Suppose the sludge is rarely pumped out. In that case, it will eventually overfill the first compartment, which will cause an overflow whenever any water enters the system from sinks, dishwashers, and other related drains.


Only timely pumping of the first sludge-containing compartment and the second grease-containing compartment can prevent overflowing. The size of the trap, your grease output, municipal code, and how often you need to pump all affect how often you need to do it. Grease traps, for instance, must be professionally pumped at least once per year.

Maintain your Grease trap Inspection With Professionals.

It would be best to have routine inspections and cleanings done by experts like West Coast Grease Traps, the experts of grease trap cleaning in Auburn. We can fully clean and examine your grease trap to ensure it complies with local standards and requirements. We possess the knowledge, skills, and specific equipment needed to effectively & efficiently manage your grease traps.

Frequent cleaning and inspections can also assist in spotting any problems early on and stop bigger difficulties from developing. 

Experts at West Coast Grease Traps offer the best grease trap cleaning in Olympia, with services such as safe food handling and disposal, to lessen the quantity of FOG entering your system.

Working with experts like West Coast Grease Traps for grease trap cleaning in Tacoma can ensure that your grease trap is correctly maintained, operating at its peak, compliant with local laws, and spares you from making expensive repairs in the future.

Keep your Grease Trap working properly.

Violating local regulations is troublesome; it may incur fines, and reinspection will be required. Depending on the seriousness and frequency of your grease trap cleaning violations, you also run the possibility of having your business closed down, either temporarily or permanently.

Making frequent grease trap cleaning appointments with West Coast Grease Tarps is the best and simplest way to prevent this from happening. We are willing to come out whenever it is most convenient for your company to clean your grease traps. Contact us for grease trap cleaning in Seattle or a free cleaning estimate to book a grease trap cleaning.


In conclusion, a commercial kitchen may have serious issues due to a broken grease trap. Bad odors, spills, damage, and slow draining indicate that your grease trap may not operate properly. Your grease trap can be kept in good working order with regular maintenance, proper use, upgrades, and repair or replacement. If your grease trap needs to be fixed, get assistance from a qualified plumber or contractor for grease trap cleaning in Bellevue, like West Coast Grease Trap.

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