Reactivating your site after lockdown: grease trap issues

Following the national lockdown caused by Covid-19, many FMs are facing ‘back to work’ issues. In this post, we provide some guidance on how to address problems with grease traps that arise when sites have been dormant for several months.

 

Why has COVID-19 impacted grease traps?

 

In our previous posts, we described some of the problems that lockdown has caused for drainage and pump systems. The UK’s restaurant industry has had very tough period, although happily we are seeing many sites opening their doors once again.

However, if your grease management systems have not been maintained as usual they may require close attention. These photos show internal and external units that have not been adequately serviced in recent months. As a result, they are badly clogged up with solidifying FOG.

To help you avoid these kinds of issues, our operations team have put together a quick reactivation guide for store and site managers. These address three of the most common types of grease management system operated by our clients.

 

Grease Release Units

These types of unit are typically cleaned by operatives on site. Assuming the daily cleaning regime had been adhered to and the thermostatic heater left powered up, GRUs should be ready to use. To ensure that the unit is free-flowing, the customer should:

  • Remove all top covers
  • Check that the food catchment basket is empty
  • Check that water or FOG flows from the lever valve fitted to the side of the unit
  • Run hot water through the unit ensuring the water level remains at a fairly constant level
  • If water flows freely through the unit, let several full sinks run to waste to test and refit lids
  • If water rises as if to overflow the unit, request a professional clean by a Metro Mechanical engineer

 

Fat Strippa Units

Fat Strippas will have been powered down over recent months. The FOG is skimmed automatically and the catchment container will then need physically emptying. Because power has been off, the thermostatic heater will not have been operating; so there may be solidified FOG within the unit.

To determine if the unit is free flowing, the customer should:

  • Remove the lid
  • Run hot water through the unit ensuring the water level remains at a fairly constant level
  • If water flows freely through the unit, let several full sinks run to waste to test and refit lid
  • Reinstate power supply
  • If water rises as if to overflow the unit, request a professional clean by a Metro Mechanical engineer

 

Passive Grease Interceptors

These types of unit should be cleaned by professional contractors like Metro Mechanical. As they are cleaned at various monthly intervals, some may be holding a considerable amount of solidified FOG. There is no thermostatic heater to keep the FOG liquified.

To determine if the unit is free flowing, the customer should:

  • Remove the lid
  • Run hot water through the unit ensuring the water level remains at a fairly constant level
  • If water flows freely through the unit, let several full sinks run to waste to test and refit lid
  • If water rises as if to overflow the unit, a professional clean by Metro Mechanical will be required

 

What can Metro Mechanical do?

 

We are able to speak to you on the phone to support you with self-testing your grease management system. But if you require more assistance, we have a team of expert engineers standing by.

 

Please get in touch if you are worried about these issues. The longer sites are left in poor condition, the more significant potential damage will be. We at Metro Mechanical are here to help, so please give us a call on 020 8310 2000 or email on office@metromech.co.uk.