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Fats, Oils, and Grease in Your Commercial Plumbing


The plumbing systems in commercial buildings are under a lot of strain and pressure. Unlike in a residential property, which only provides plumbing for a handful of people, your commercial building may be used by hundreds of people every day! This means that problems which would accumulate slowly in a home can develop very quickly in a commercial setting.

One of these problems is what plumbers call FOG. This stands for fats, oils, and grease. These substances can have huge impacts on your drains. How do fats, oils, and grease cause plumbing problems? Are the problems worse in commercial plumbing? What can be done about it? We’ll tell you.

Where FOG Comes From

Obviously, fats, oils, and grease are most likely to be a major concern in kitchen settings. Some other commercial enterprises, though, such as automotive services, can lead to FOG accumulation in drains. In a home setting, it might be straightforward to have everyone wipe their greasy dishes with paper towels before washing them in the sink. 

But in a commercial kitchen, there are many factors that make it more likely that a lot of FOG will end up down the drain. The number of people working in the kitchen, the frequency of new employees, and the sheer quantity of fats, oils, and grease make it a huge challenge to prevent FOG buildup in commercial kitchen drains.

What Happens When FOG Builds Up

These substances can be in a liquid state when they get poured down the drain. Unfortunately, they don’t stay that way. As fats cool, they solidify. Imagine this stuff becoming as solid as a stick of butter jammed down a drain! But instead of being in one single clump, they tend to gradually build up in layers over the interior of the drain pipes.

This causes your drain pipes to be narrower and narrower over time. It takes longer and longer for the sink to drain. It’s easier for chunks of food to get stuck in the FOG than it would on smooth, clean pipes. The bits of food will decompose there, causing unpleasant odors to waft out your drains.

At some point, the situation will become critical. The drain will close completely, perhaps when a sizeable piece of food gets caught in the FOG. You’ll have a plumbing emergency on your hands. And if it causes your commercial kitchen or business to shut down, even briefly, you could lose a lot of revenue. 

How to Prevent FOG Problems

The way to avoid all this is to use grease traps. These collect all the wastewater from your kitchen sinks or floor drains and allow them to separate into layers. Grease and food particles are removed from the water before they are allowed through the rest of the drainage system. The FOG problem can be eliminated entirely.

In order for a grease trap to be correctly sized, properly connected to your plumbing, and kept in good condition, it must be selected, installed, and maintained with the help of qualified commercial plumbers in Medina, OH. If you’d like to know more about stopping the FOG from causing problems at your business, we’d love to hear from you.

Contact Crown Group Ohio today with any questions about your commercial plumbing system or to make an appointment.

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