If you've just moved into an older home that's on a septic system, you know you're going to have to have the septic tank pumped every few years. But you may have additional maintenance if the home has a grease trap. Grease traps are often associated with restaurant kitchens, but older homes on septic tanks often have the traps, too. If you've never dealt with a grease trap before, don't worry; they serve a good purpose, and as long as you take care of them, you should have few to no issues with them.
It Screens Out Fats
Grease traps screen out fats, oil, and grease before they hit the septic tank or get too far down the pipes. Those substances can all become solid and clog the pipes, and they can overwhelm the septic tank. So a grease trap is a good thing to have if you have an older septic tank.
Learn Where It Is
Your grease trap can be under your sink, outside the house, or in another location. If you have the blueprints to your house's plumbing, you should be able to locate the grease trap on those. If not, a plumber or a septic tank maintenance company can help you find it. You should know where the trap is so that you can clean it out, or at least check it to see if you should call someone else to clean it out.
It Has to Be Cleaned Regularly
And yes, it does have to be cleaned out. Sometimes it can require cleaning a few times a year if you aren't careful.
You Still Can't Pour Fats Down the Drain
Just because you have a grease trap doesn't mean you can pour fats down the drain with abandon. This is why you have to clean out the trap, because even a little fat can start to fill up the trap. Take care to dispose of fats, oil, and grease away from sink drains. Wipe out pans and measuring cups first, for example, before washing them. By limiting the fats, etc., that you put down the drain, you can keep the grease trap clearer for a longer time.
If you have any other questions, contact a septic company that also does grease trap cleanouts. They can show you what to look for in a working grease trap and let you know how to tell when it's time to have the trap cleaned.