If you own any type of restaurant, diner, or food service establishment, you may be legally allowed to clean out your own grease trap. However, just because you're legally allowed to do this, doesn't mean it's a good idea! There are some advantages to having a professional company manage your grease trap cleaning, no matter how often it needs to be done. Note a few of those advantages here so you know you're making the best decision about how to care for every part of your establishment, even the grease trap.
Lifting and cleaning the lid
Just lifting the lid of your grease trap to clean it might be more complicated than you realize. You don't want to force it open quickly, as this can damage the gaskets that help to keep the lid sealed. You might need to replace the gaskets and possibly even the lid itself if you were to just yank or force it open.
Once the lid is open, it also needs to be cleaned right along with your trap. To do this, typically the lid itself needs to be disassembled and then put back together. This can be more complicated than you realize, and reassembling it improperly can mean a lid that doesn't close or fit snugly; in turn, you may see a backup of your grease trap and other such damage. A professional will know how to lift the lid properly without damaging it and then clean it thoroughly, and won't be as likely to lose a part or reassemble it improperly.
Paperwork and reports
Usually you need to record how often the grease trap was cleaned as well as how much grease was actually in the trap with each cleaning. A professional will know how to use a measuring dowel to get the right measurement of your grease and solids in the trap, and then will also know how to fill out any reports you need for your local regulating agencies. This can mean avoiding hefty fines simply because your paperwork isn't in order, no matter the condition of the trap itself.
Cleaning and emptying
Cleaning your grease trap means more than just emptying; it involves actually scraping the sides and using a detergent to clean the trap itself. The wrong detergents, tools, or procedures can scratch the trap and actually clog the drain. To avoid this, have a professional manage your grease trap cleaning for you so you know the trap will be properly cleaned and sanitized without damage.