Restaurants and commercial kitchens produce a lot of grease during food preparation. As it cools and congeals, this grease buildup will clog drain lines and potentially cause blockages and backups. Grease traps are plumbing devices designed to keep fats, oils, and grease (FOG) from contaminating wastewater before it enters the sewer system. Some are small enough to be installed under a commercial sink, while others require in-ground housing. Grease-trap sizing is determined by the amount of wastewater that is disposed of and is specific to each kitchen.
Grease traps are comparable to Inflammable waste traps in size and function. We hold FOG materials in a large steel basin, which allows sediment to settle and the FOG to form an oily layer at the top. Just as with inflammable waste traps, grease traps must be pumped regularly to remove the buildup of waste products. Grease traps must adhere to the 25 Percent Rule, which states that if the combined accumulation of floating grease or settled solids exceeds 25 percent of the trap’s capacity, a professional waste hauler must pump it. Some restaurants produce enough grease to be pumped on a weekly basis, while others can go two or three months between cleanings. No matter the frequency, it is important to keep close tabs on your grease trap. Approximately 50 percent of all sewer overflows are caused by grease blockages.
There are two types of grease that need to be removed from restaurants and commercial kitchens—yellow grease and brown grease. Yellow grease is used cooking oil, typically collected from deep-fat fryers. Yellow grease can be recycled and used to feed livestock or to make soap, makeup, clothes, rubber, detergents, and biodiesel fuel. Brown grease refers to all other FOG waste that has been captured by a grease trap. Because it has come in contact with rotting foods in the grease-trap receptacle, brown grease is unfit to recycle and must be disposed of in a landfill.
The best way to effectively control grease is to keep as much as out of the plumbing system. Scraping plates into the garbage before washing them, using drain screens on kitchen sinks, and wiping up spills with absorbent materials instead of spraying them with water are three easy ways to manage FOG discharge. This is as beneficial to your bank account as it is to the environment.
For more information about grease management, to schedule grease trap cleaning, or for any other plumbing need in Minneapolis, St Paul and Bloomington MN, contact the professionals at Drain King.
Water Pressure is Important
When battling low water pressure, replacing the piping is not always a practical solution. In fact, this can be costly and unnecessary. There are a number of factors that can affect your home’s water flow, so if something doesn’t seem right, check the four main causes of low water pressure before opting to re-pipe your home or make additional adjustments.
Causes of low water pressure can stem from the main shutoff valve, your water meter, your pressure regulator, or damaged washers and fixtures.
While issues outside your home are likely to cause a change in water pressure within, if only one or a few of your faucets is experiencing difficulty, this generally indicates the need to replace washers or fixtures inside your home. The first step in checking your faucets is to turn on your outside spigot. If the water pressure outside is normal, begin systematically checking each faucet in your home, making sure to include showerheads and bath faucets. Take note of each faucet that generates low water pressure. The washers and fixtures in need of replacement will be at the points of variation in pressure. To easily pinpoint these areas and save time and frustration, contact one of Drain King’s professionals.
If your outside spigot is also experiencing low water pressure, examine your water meter. While it is generally assumed the water meter is functioning at full capacity, this simple error is an easy fix and should not be overlooked. Next, check the main shutoff valve located near the street. Incidents such as water main breaks may require the water to be shut off, then slowly allowed back into the pipes. In many cases, the valve is not fully reopened, which leads to a lower flow of water to your home.
If all of your faucets are experiencing low water pressure, your water meter is fully operating, and the main valve is turned all the way on, your pressure regulator may be to blame. A pressure regulator works exactly as the name implies—it reduces the pressure of the water coming from your town’s main water system to a safe pressure for your home. Pressure buildup can blow out pipes, faucets, and fixtures. If this occurs, repairs to the damaged piping elements will be necessary.
If the problem persists, it may be time to consult Drain King about re-piping your home. Sediment, dirt or years of buildup can obstruct the flow of water and create low water pressure in your home. While this is a costly project, it is well worth the expense. After all, who enjoys showers under lightly sprinkling water?
As our society becomes increasingly aware of the consequences of our daily actions and choices, more companies are finding ways to combat problems that have been wreaking havoc on the environment. The large and ever-increasing number of people alive today is reason enough to shift our thinking into conservation mode; striving to find ways to sustain ourselves and protect the Earth at the same time. Our genius species is constantly reviving, uncovering, and discovering ways to keep our forests green, our waters flowing and clean, and our air crisp and breathable.
Recycling is, without a doubt, one of the most important and revitalizing efforts any human can undertake. To reuse and recreate means less trash in landfills and less byproduct in our waters and atmosphere. This holds true even for food waste.
Restaurants that recycle the fat, oil and grease (FOG) byproducts of their kitchens are taking a necessary step in keeping sewer lines, waterways, and our environment in good shape. Grease accumulation in sewer lines can become a messy and costly nuisance. Using a grease trap that is serviced by professionals will save time, money, and probably a few headaches along the way.
The government has started to regulate the disposal of FOG, and companies have risen to the occasion and stepped up their FOG disposal game. Business owners can rely on professionals to keep their kitchens clean, up to code, and environmentally safe.
When hiring a grease trap service, be sure the fee includes removal and proper disposal of FOG, as well as a thorough cleaning of all grease traps and exterior grease tanks. Regular cleanings will increase the lifespan of equipment, decrease the frequency of clogs and spills, and eliminate the possibility of polluting waterways. Using screens in kitchen sinks, wiping up grease spills instead of spraying them into traps or drains, and adhering to the 25 percent rule for grease traps are other great ways to control FOG.
Whether the goal is to save money while running a clean and efficient business or to do your part in saving the environment, keeping close tabs on fat, oil, and grease recycling and disposal is a good idea, and necessary for the well-being of your patrons and staff. Call the professionals at Drain King and allow us to keep your kitchen running smoothly.
We, as residents of Earth, all have a carbon footprint. There is always a byproduct, a sweet little something left behind from everything we do. Not so sweet is the lack of knowledge available to the general public about the impact every person has on what happens to our environment, the sizable prints left by our everyday actions, and the simple ways to reduce the negative impact of those actions.
According to timeforchange.org, a carbon footprint is ”the total amount of greenhouse gases produced to directly and indirectly support human activities, usually expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).” This number per person grows to be pretty substantial when counting the energy used to provide food, create comfortable living spaces, provide gas to drive a vehicle, and countless other types of energy use.
Though we do indeed create a very large and mostly unsavory change to the planet and its climate, the good news is; there are many easy ways to change our daily habits that will positively impact each carbon footprint. The use of hybrid and electric cars greatly reduces carbon emissions, and it saves the user quite a bit of money on gas as well. Reducing emissions at home can be as simple as hanging clothes out to dry in the summertime and turning the thermostat down a few degrees overnight in the winter.
Other ways to be mindful around the home include washing clothes in cold water as opposed to hot, replacing old and inefficient appliances with Energy Star-compliant models, and installing a programmable thermostat. Being thrifty with energy use at home is always a great idea, as it saves money and the planet simultaneously.
Business owners can also play a large part in creating sustainable living practices and setting a good example in their communities. For restaurants in particular, proper handling and disposal of waste products such as fats, oils, and grease from deep fryers and sauté lines can greatly reduce pollution in sewers and local waterways. When kitchen waste is not disposed of correctly, it can clog sewer lines, which causes messy backups and damage. Installation of grease traps in commercial kitchens and arranging for regular cleaning by a professional are a great way for entrepreneurs to reduce their carbon footprints.
If you are an environmentally conscious business owner, contact Drain King for information on grease trap installation and maintenance. Let’s work together to reduce the negative impact left behind by living on our planet.
Hard Water Cavern
Have you heard the terms “hard water” and “soft water” and wondered what they meant? Have you heard people debate the merits of each? Perhaps you’ve experienced both types and prefer one over the other, but you’re not sure why. This article will answer all of those questions and give you the information you need to choose the type of water that will work best for your home or business.
Let’s start by defining each type. Water is rated on a hardness scale based on how many grains of minerals it contains per gallon. Hard water has a high mineral content. As it flows over rocks and soil, it picks up calcium and magnesium, which are not filtered out in the water purification process. Soft water does not contain the extra minerals. Any water that falls from the sky is automatically soft water, at least until it hits the ground and picks up the extra minerals. Soft water can also be created by treating the water with chemicals or a chemical process to remove the extra minerals. There are benefits to using both types of water, as well as drawbacks for each.
Hard water offers increased health benefits, since added minerals promote stronger bones and teeth and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Most people prefer the taste of natural hard water to water that has been softened by chemical means.
When it comes to cleaning, however, the mineral deposits in hard water react negatively with the cleaning components in soap. This reaction leaves behind a layer of film or scum. If you’ve ever opened the dishwasher to find cloudy spots on your glassware, or your tub has a shadowy ring around it no matter how often you clean, you can blame hard water. This type of water is especially troublesome for pipes and hot water tanks. When hard water is boiled, it leaves behind a layer of calcium, which deposits on coils and in pipes. The more buildup there is, the less efficiently those coils work, causing an increase in energy bills and a decrease in performance.
Soft water is created when the minerals in hard water are removed by artificial means. When an ion exchange column is used to soften water, sodium ions trade places with calcium and magnesium ions. Sodium ions don’t leave behind a mineral deposit or residue, but they do make the water taste salty and can be harmful to people who require low-sodium diets. Because no minerals are left to react negatively with cleaning agents, soft water produces more soap lather with less detergent, making objects look and feel cleaner. With no minerals to build up in pipes or on heating coils, water heaters and pipes work more efficiently. The use of soft water can prolong the life of dishwashers and washing machines.
In conclusion, hard water is best for drinking, and soft water best for washing. Drain King’s experts can help you identify hard or soft water in your home or business and offer solutions that best suit your water-softening needs.