Grease traps and sewers

Well, I had my very first catastrophic sewer blockage at my new location. Happened . . . .(drum roll) . . . Friday evening just after opening. Landlord was there responding to a neighboring tenant’s complaint her toilet wasn’t flushing. They opened the on-property manhole access, saw some solidified grease around the edges and called me to complain I blocked up the works with grease. Landlord’s son started preaching about in-ground 1000 gallon trap to replace my obviously inadequate 5 gallon floor mount unit. I agreed to pay half plumber costs since it could be my grease . . . landlord said he didn’t think it was his issue since my grease clogged the works and my grease trap wasn’t working. We left the manhole with some sewer solvent that eats organic material and came back the next day.

Still blocked on Saturday morning, and my plumber agreed to come out 3:30pm with a power auger. By the time plumber got there, I had cleaned out my grease trap that was only about 80% filled. He tried putting the auger into the line and kept hitting mud just past the manhole . . . then finally got through to about 9 feet up the line. Stuck hard . . . . pulled the head back and had mud or brown waste on the end. No Grease in sight. Total of 95 minutes on a Saturday, and the line flowed free. Landlord left when water flowed free; I talked with plumber. He believes that there is at least one crack in the terra cotta 4" main running from the man hole, and it is svcking up mud, plus runoff from roof is likely pulling more mud in. I paid the $200 and will get reimbursement from landlord. Follwed up with demand that he repair the sewer so that it not mud up like that again.

QUESTION: in regards to grease trap that runs into municipal sewer system - can I run some RidX or other septic tank conditioner into the sinks to pre-digest waste in my trap to reduce chances of seepage blocking the lines? I know there are Grease Trap enzyme products out there as well . . . will they be safe to put into the city waste system since they are enzymes and bacteria?


Nick…had a simlar situation…the only thing that cleared the line was a “bag” attached to a hose that blew in right open…maybe your rooter guy knows what I am talking about…might want to invest a couple hundred bucks and have him snake the line with a camera to make sure it’s just the leak.

My guy’s looked like a balloon with a small hole in the end. Once we we knew what the game was, he hooked that up and ran it . . . pressure builds up and eventually blows the line clear for a distance. The pressure eventually loses effectiveness, and debris can sit on the pipe down stream, but has a chance of making it go through to the street.

I may end up with the camera guy coming in if the landlord plays games. I am buying this 60 year old plumbing grenade that is just waiting to implode. Hopefully it won’t be the part that runs under about 60 feet of concrete slab floor in my neighbor’s shop.

Red, glad to hear someone out there is using it. Seems a simply insurance policy for grease nightmares. AND more importantly, fewer adventures with the scopp and bucket and the grease trap lid :shock:

I just this weekend finished replacing a broken sewer line. Would not have known if the guy hadn’t put a camera down there to see what was blocking it. Since I am 95% carryout I got by with a porta potty for the employees for 2 days while they were fixing it. ( i also am in a rural community) My customers just wanted to know if they could help in any way.

We use the enzyme and bacterial treatment all the time as preventative maintenance. Works great. Doesn’t work very well though after you’ve got the blockage, but it sure helps to prevent them, and even more importantly, it goes a long ways towards reducing the cleaning frequency of your grease traps. Everyone knows how much fun that can be.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor