Grease Trap Frequently Asked Questions

Grease Trap Frequently Asked Questions (Click the link to watch the video)

Checked your Grease Trap lately?

The grease trap is a critical choke point on your outbound sewage system to your building. A backed up system here affects the rest of the productivity on your business. For businesses like restaurants, the odor alone could turn away customers permanently.
Failure to clean your trap can end up harming your organization’s productivity with future downstream repairs as well that could need the aid of a Hydro Jet cleaning service.

Q: What are Grease Traps?

A: Their purpose is to reduce the amount of fats, oils and greases (FOG’s) that enter the main sewers. They are engineered and designed boxes within the drain run that flows between the sinks in a kitchen to the often foul smelling sewer system. They can be made from different materials:
– Plastics
– Concrete
– Cast Iron
– Stainless Steel

They only have waste water flowing through them and are not served by any other drainage system such as toilets.

Q: What happens to the grease?

A: The trapped grease is stored in the trap until it is cleaned out.

Q: Do I need a Grease Trap?

A: Most Local Authorities require a system to prevent grease and fat from flowing into the main sewerage system.


For Restaurants especially, a neglected Grease Trap can fill a building with awful odors that will:
– Shut your business down for a day or more
– Turn off customers, maybe forever
– Create even more expensive repairs downstream of the Grease Trap

Q: How does a Grease Trap work?

A: It slows down the flow of hot greasy water and allowing the grease to cool as it cools, the fat, oil and grease separate and float to the top of the Grease Trap

Q: How Often Should They Be Checked?

A: Usually every 6 to 12 months (Depends on the model)

Q: What are the signs that your grease trap needs cleaning?

– An increase of roaches & centipedes around your drains
– When your Grease Trap becomes too full it can overflow or backup in your sink
– You hear bubbling sounds from the drain
– You notice the sink at your home or restaurant are having trouble draining
– And/or a nasty odor coming from your drains

(Ask Us About our $30 Discount offer on your next Grease Trap cleaning)

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Why we like our Mongoose Hydro Jetter

We have been singing the praises of the best clogged pipes tool in our arsenal, our Mongoose Hydro Jet.  You can see in this picture of our Hydro jet, the largest part could be the tank used to hold water.  The water is forced out at 3,000 pounds per square inch.  That pressure is needed to break thru and empty out the toughest common useage pipe clogs.  On a recent Hydro Jet project we cleared a sewer line downstream of a local bar.   After the nozzle of the hydro jet broke thru the obstruction, the material flowed down the pipe.




We caught it on video, right here:  How Hydro Jetting Works In North Chicago

We want to send a kind word to the team at Mongoose Jetters: we have enjoyed using the tool. We being one of the few plumbing services in Chicago to even own their own Hydro Jet, can endorse it.


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June’s New Products From Chicago Faucets, Kohler, And More

The ever changing Home Improvement industry depends on constant innovation… and that usually means better products to install in your home or office.  Let’s see what’s new!

  1. Chicago Faucets has introduces the 420-T Series faucets. They are not only durable, but also save water with what they call “TempShield scald protection”. The intended result is an efficient restroom faucet that complies with ASSE 1070 requirements. It looks to be a very streamlined install, not needing a separate thermostatic mixing valve below the sink. Why? The 420-T already comes with scalding protection built into it. Pretty nice. (Yes, scalding can be a problem with faucets, as innovations in tankless water heaters can deliver on demand VERY hot water.)
  2. Kohler has introduced a new Shower head with a beautiful aesthetic… the Real Rain Overhead Showering Panel.  It simulates rainfall, instead of pushing the water out thru a narrow shower head.  See the video at the bottom of the post.  Looks quite nice.
  3. Speaking of Tankless Water Heaters… have you wondered what the major differences are?  Rheem, a manufacturing and design leader in the industry, has a handy Tankless vs NonTankless water heater comparison page.  Check it out!


As always, Rocket Plumbing here in North Chicago is ready to install all of these products in your home or office.  If you took your best shot at being the Handyman around your home, and have bitten off more than you can chew, let us pick up the pieces for you!  It happens all the time, and we are happy to help!

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Happy Memorial Day in Chicago and Near By Suburbs in 2018

Happy Memorial day!  Please everyone be safe, and look out for each other celebrating our great country.

Wondering where to go to celebrate?  Below is a list of celebrations listed by areas our Plumbing locations serve.  To all our Rocket Plumbing customers, enjoy some great food, and shake some hands of old friends.

In Chicago:
On May 28th, at the Richard J. Daley Center, join others in the streets of downtown as the city honors our nation’s fallen heroes with one of the largest Memorial Day parades in the country. The Wreath Laying Ceremony begins at 11 am and the parade starts at noon down State Street from Lake to Van Buren.

Near Jefferson Park:

What better place for a picnic than the Jefferson Memorial Park on this day?

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We Will Handle Your Emergency In Skokie, Illinois

We’ve been helping folks in Skokie Illinois for 5 years now.

Here are some “Didja’ Know?” Skokie Illinois factoids:

According to the 2010 census, Skokie has a total area of 10.06 square miles, all land. The village is bordered by Evanston to the east, Chicago to the southeast and southwest, Lincolnwood to the south, Niles to the southwest, Morton Grove to the west, Glenview to the northwest, and Wilmette to the north.

2003 Money magazine named Skokie one of the 80 fastest-growing suburbs in the U.S.

In that same year, Skokie became the first municipality in the United States to achieve nationally accredited police, fire, and public works departments, and a Class-1 fire department, per the Insurance Services Office (ISO) ratings

The Skokie Park District maintains public spaces and historical sites within its more than 240 acres (0.97 km2) of parkland and in its ten facilities. The district is a recent winner of the national “Gold Medal for Excellence” in parks and recreation management. Every May since 1991, the park district hosts the Skokie Festival of Cultures to celebrate the village’s diverse ethnic composition.

The name of the town was changed from “Niles Center” to “Skokie” by referendum in 1940. “Skokie” had previously been used as the name for the marshland on which much of the town was built.

In 1888, the community was incorporated as Niles Centre. About 1910, the spelling was Americanized to “Niles Center”. However, the name caused postal confusion with the neighboring village of Niles. A village-renaming campaign began in the 1930s. In a referendum on November 15, 1940, residents chose the Native American name “Skokie” over the name “Devonshire.”

During the real estate boom of the 1920s, large parcels were subdivided; many two- and three-flat apartment buildings were built, with the “Chicago”-style bungalow a dominant architectural specimen. Large-scale development ended as a result of the Great Crash of 1929 and consequent Great Depression. It was not until the 1940s and the 1950s, when parents of the baby boom generation moved their families out of Chicago, that Skokie’s housing development began again. Consequently, the village developed commercially, an example being the Old Orchard Shopping Center, currently named Westfield Old Orchard.

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Grease Trap cleaning and why it’s so important

Where does grease originate from?

Grease, oil, and fat are normal results of substenances or cooking forms. Numerous different things can fabricate a gathering of grease inside drain pipes, for example, meats, sustenance scraps, dairy items, margarine, espresso grinds, rice, eggshells, numerous cleansers, and cleansers a swell. Essentially whatever else that originates from nourishment or is utilized for cooking can be a potential reason for a grease clogged pipe. Notwithstanding when you are an extremely mindful individual, you may not see the presence of grease in the drain pipe until flooding happens.

Over the years, smashed glass accumalated into a clog that at some point, backed up the other larger bits and pieces, creating a really awful smell that would repulse the most dedicated happy hour customer.

Grease gathering inside a restaraunt’s drain pipes is a noteworthy, yet shockingly normal plumbing emergency in the making. It’s not just restaraunts who this issue, due to so much grease going thru their pipes. Apartment complexes, Corporate buildings, anywhere where a large amount of people gather means your pipes are getting lots of material flowing thru them. For instance, we took our Hydro Jet out to a popular drinking establishment who had a pipe backing up material on to the floor of the major bar in the location.

What was causing the clog?


But by far, the most common cause of the clogged pipes we see are due to Grease build up. Managing a grease clogged drain can be not only disgusting, but compound into a very expensive emergency. At the point when grease gathers inside the drain pipe, it obstructs the section of water and prompts a flood from the influenced plumbing installation. At the point when a grease clogged drain happens everything can get foul, muddled, and unhygienic in a significant rush. Grease is maybe the nastiest of drain issues, and the hardest to manage.

In like manner, you may not know that a specific article contains grease, for example, fat based cleansers. Most cleansers are either creature fat of vegetable based. The issue is that grease doesn’t have all the earmarks of being risky until the point when it overpowers your drainage. Grease tends to develop over a drawn out time frame.

Most cleansers depend on creature fat, or vegetable fats. These kinds of cleanser can cause a grease clogged drain. Fat free cleansers are promptly accessible. Fat free cleansers arrive in an assortment of sorts, shapes, and sizes.

Where can grease collect?

The worst types of clogged pipes we see are those straightforwardly associated with a kitchen sink, particularly in the sink’s grease trap. Fat, oil, grease, and coarseness (what plumbers call FOGG) is pushed thru by normal water use and by all appearances your pipes and grease trap may seem to stream down the sink without issue and normal flushing. Inside the pipe, warmer temp water declines in temperature and cools. The water itself will stream, however the FOGG wind up hardened when presented to cool air. It can either sink to the base of the pipe. However, more probable, glide over water, and gradually coat the highest point of the pipe. As you flush more FOGG into the sink, they collect to make a much greater grease amassing, at that point in the long run a clog. After some time, the grease can totally square water section, causing floods abruptly.

Drain pipe clogging is potentially caused by a blend of calcium and fat too. Human waste and erosion from pipe produces calcium; when blended with fats from any source, development of thick and genuinely hard substance happens. It implies that any pipe situated in any room in the house can get clogged by this material by the blend of calcium and fats.

How to get rid of this nasty grease?

A grease clogged drain is a disturbing issue, and there are changing degrees of difficulty in getting them out. Some of the time it is anything but difficult to reestablish everything back to the satisfactory normal; now and then that isn’t so. On the off chance that you are dependent on getting rid of scraps and food material down your drain, attempt to blend in high temp water with dish cleanser while flushing it down or cooking buildup. Dishwashing fluid helps breaks up grease, however not nearly enough to forestall a grease clog. That’s understandable, these dishwashing agents are not intended to be tool for grease expulsion, but rather they can keep grease from collecting more.

A heavy duty pipe cleaner liquid is more viable to clean a grease clogged drain. A liberal measure of acidic cleaner can enter and possibly handle a thick and hard aggregation of grease. To do this, grab your cleaner and empty it into the sink with standing water, and let it do it’s magic for around 60 minutes. As the cleaner gradually sinks down the drain, it breaks up and washes away thick grease to the sewer, if it’s a clog that is at all possible. If the first try does not work, you may need to try a bigger ‘dose’ of the cleaner. Always make a point to pour a blend of warm water and dishwasher cleanser afterwards, just as you would do for your daily use,.

Now and again utilizing packed air, (for example, CO2) to push down the grease is smart thought, as well. This is a direct result of the destructive property of scathing cleaner. Harsh cleaners are not informed for regular flushing regarding clogs. Visit utilization won’t just dispose of grease, yet in addition erode away the drain pipes. Excessively eroded pipe is inclined to serious harms which conceivably prompt more costly repair. The erosion can likewise clog the pipe notwithstanding grease.

Some times simply cleaning your grease trap is all that’s necessary. However… it’s one of those tasks that often get ignored, as it is so unpleasant. Call us to have it done for you like clockwork every month or six months.

Business compound based cleaners are viable to handle a grease clogged drain, yet a homemade cleaner can also work for some clogs. The most well-known custom home made cleaner is a 1:1 blend of high temp water and vinegar This 1:1 blend works similarly as a industrial cleaner, while also being safer for your handling and less destructive. By including boiling water will help build temperature inside grease clogged drain, and could dissolve the clog for you. Why use vinegar? It can help expel the grease adhering to the walls of the pipe. Give it a few minutes, and then try pouring more boiling water into the sink and it may flush the rest of the grease.

For a more total cleaning, utilizing a controlled drain twist drill in conjunction with hydro jet gear is infrequently prudent. You can lease them from a tool shop and begin the cleaning procedure; however it is prescribed to utilize an expert drain cleaner. In the event that you don’t know with what you’re doing you may not be effective, or more terrible, harm yourself all the while. A grease clogged drain can deliver an awful stench that waits in your home for a long time. You can kill the awful stench by pouring a blend of high temp water and a detergent arrangement into the sink.

On account of a grease clogged house drain, or primary sewer, a high weight water jet is the perfect arrangement. Utilizing the best possible spout, and in he hands of a talented expert, can give a durable arrangement. Essentially utilizing a standard sewer cleaning machine can bring about simply driving the snake forward and backward past the grease, without expelling it by any means.

Rocket Plumbing has been serving the Chicago area’s restaurants, apartment complexes, corporate business parks of their clogged drains, grease trap problems for over 5 years now. We are one of the few plumbing services to own their own Hydro Jet in Chicago. If a grease trap is ignored, it can have major issues appear down stream, which only a Hydro Jet can completely clear, giving you great peace of mind.

How to maintain a strategic distance from a grease clogged drain?

Counteractive action is the way to evade a grease clogged drain and every one of the battles that take after the issue. When cooking or physically washing the dishes, don’t flush fats, oils, margarine, egg shells, and some other oily substances into the sink. On the off chance that you need to clean oily kitchen utensils and plates, you might need to absorb them a grease-dissolving cleaner before the real washing. Some imperative keys to recollect:

• A grease clogged drain happens just when there is an amassing of oily substances; so don’t pour fats, oils, grease, and corn meal down the sink.

• Pots, skillet, and dishes must be wiped of solids before washing. Scratched materials must be discarded in the junk.

• Install a rubbish transfer under the sink to keep a grease clogged drain.

Junk transfers or grease traps are composed particularly to isolate fats and oily substances from water. Set under the sink, it keeps conceivable clog-causing materials from going into the pipe. Whenever introduced and looked after appropriately, grease traps can catch huge measure of oily substances effortlessly. Remember that grease traps are not intended to deal with strong materials, for example, sustenance scraps. To ensure the traps don’t get strong items, likewise utilize sink strainers. In the event that you take after these means, yet still get stoppages, you may have a genuine drain pipe issue that requirements repair.

Do you have a location that has a lot of people moving in and out?  Are you a restaurant owner or manager of a high volume eatery, and can NOT risk a bust pipe that could drive your customers away forever?  You may require an expert drain cleaner.

Our locations that will handle your grease trap repairs and installations: North Chicago – Dupage – Arlington Heights  –  Jefferson Park In Chicago

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Announcing our latest location in Chicago, Rocket Plumbing at Jefferson Park

We are incredibly pleased to announce our latest expansion, our new Plumbing service location at Jefferson Park in Chicago.

Rocket Plumbing today announced that it has opened a new plumbing service location at Jefferson Park in Chicago, Illinois. This new location will extend the coverage area their service trucks and professional licensed plumbers can reach in a timely manner. Jefferson Park is in the Northwest Side of the city via the zip codes of 60630, 60646 which borders the community areas of Norwood Park to the northwest, Forest Glen to the northeast, Portage Park to the south, and the suburb of Harwood Heights to the south.

We are so grateful for the success we have had in the last 5 years, and are looking forward to 5 more!

The more you know:  what Plumbing Systems should your plumber be up to speed on?

  • potable cold and hot tap water supply
  • plumbing drainage venting
  • sewage systems and septic systems with or without hot water heat recycling and graywater recovery and treatment systems
  • Rainwater, surface, and subsurface water drainage
  • fuel gas piping
  • hydronics, i.e. heating and cooling systems utilizing water to transport thermal energy, as in district heating systems, like for example the Chicago steam system.


A Major Advance In Public Health Brought On By Smart Plumbing Standards

You don’t hear much about it anymore, but at one time in our country, Lead pipes were a massive problem.  The more we learned about the detrimental effects of lead in water consumption, the pressure built up for a correction in plumbing standards.

Enter the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974

The Act prohibits the “use of any pipe, any pipe or plumbing fitting or fixture, any solder, or any flux (after the June 1986 amendment) in the installation or repair of (i) any public water system; or (ii) any plumbing in a residential or non-residential facility providing water for human consumption, that is not lead free.”

Additionally there is a prohibition on introducing a pipe, any pipe or plumbing fitting or fixture, any solder, or any flux that is not lead free into commerce; unless the use is for manufacturing or industrial purposes.

The SDWA includes several exemptions from the lead free requirements, specifically for plumbing devices that are used exclusively for nonpotable services, as well as a list of specific products: toilets, bidets, urinals, fill valves, flushometer valves, fire hydrants, tub fillers, shower valves, service saddles, or water distribution main gate valves that are 2 inches in diameter or larger.

In 1986 Congress Amended the Safe Drinking Water Act, prohibiting the use of pipes, solder or flux that were not “lead free” in public water systems or plumbing in facilities providing water for human consumption. At the time “lead free” was defined as solder and flux with no more than 0.2% lead and pipes with no more than 8%.

In 1996 Congress further amended the Safe Drinking Water Act, requiring plumbing fittings and fixtures (endpoint devices) to be in compliance with voluntary lead leaching standards. The amendments also prohibited the introduction into commerce of any pipe, pipe or plumbing fitting or fixture that is not lead free.

Our take:  Not every dictate from regulatory agencies works out as well as the Safe Drinking Water Act has.  We can all be thankful for common sense limitations that we impose on ourselves when taking into account and prioritizing long term benefits and trade offs.  Clean, healthy water is a necessity for life, and we can be proud of the actions we collectively took in 1974 to remove Lead from our water supply.




Original source: Rocket Plumbing At Jefferson Park
Rocket Plumbing At Jefferson Park In Chicago 4712 North Milwaukee Avenue Chicago, Illinois, 60630 (773) 234-0100
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