Dec 17

FOG Treatment

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You are what you eat as they say. Your drains might suffer from what you don’t eat. Every day across the UK, thousands of catering establishments pour fats, oils, greases ( FOG ), and other organic waste materials straight down the sink. There are fairly hefty penalties now in the UK for polluting the drainage systems and sewers but legislation aside it could end up being expensive in plumbing costs.

Every time fat or grease is swilled down the drain with hot or warm water it solidifies as it moves through the pipes and cools down. Eventually it lines the inside of the drains and narrows the pipes. This in turn leads to an inefficient system with a potential flooding disaster in the making.

FOG is the word used to describe fats, oils and grease and its associated drainage issues. High levels of FOG can cause bad odours, become a health risk and lead to flooding. Much of the problem can be avoided by careful attention to dish washing, using drain strainers and chemicals or enzymes to prevent or unblock clogged drains.

Dec 17

Enzymatic Drain Cleaner

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Chemical and enzymatic drain cleaners are very easy to use. They are also fast acting and effective in clearing up drain blockages. In most cases there is no need to call out a plumber or use expensive equipment to clean the drains. However, it is important to understand your drain system and the sewer into which your waste flows. Using the wrong chemical drain cleaners can cause damage and even personal injury. Since commercial chemicals are stronger that their domestic counterparts you are advised to seek advice or at the very least - follow the manufacturers recommendations carefully.

Enzymatic drain cleaners help to remove obstruction or any restriction in the system. Their use can actually prevent problems in the first place since they tend to prevent blockages taking place. Blockages in catering establishments are generally caused through fat and grease deposits getting into the system.

Enzymatic drain cleaners react with organic material. They are non corrosive and contain bacterial cultures which break down fats and greasy deposits in the drainage system. These types of drain cleaners were originally used in septic tanks before their wider use as an effective and less environmentally damaging way of drain clearance or prevention from blockages.

Enzymatic drain cleaners are often used in conjunction with specialist equipment such as grease traps.

Dec 16

Grease Disposal Tips

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In the UK it is illegal to allow any substance which may pollute or block the free flow of water into the sewage system. This mans any drain or sewer which is connected to the public sewage systems. When it comes to catering establishments this includes oils and grease.

With hefty fines and ever tightening food hygiene regulations it is imperative that businesses ensure that the right procedures and, if necessary, equipment, is installed to prevent fats and oils getting into the system.

The problem stems from the temptation to wash down cooking utensils and crockery in hot water, thus diluting the grease and fats into a convenient liquid which magically washes away. However, once it starts its journey down the pipes it cools, solidifies and lines the pipe walls with congealed fat, eventually over time causing blockages in the system.

There is the additional problem of bad odours, pollution in the local water courses and of course the inconvenience of having to call out a plumber and the associated costs.

In the UK there are approximatley 200,000 sewer blockages and pollution incidents, the majority being caused by fat, oils and grease. Rat infestation and flooding is also a major problem where drains and sewers are not maintained properly.

There are some very simple procedures that can protect your catering establishment from these problems:

- Wipe and scrape all crockery, pans and cooking utensils prior to washing up and place waste in the bin

- Avoid too much oil and grease in the washing up water

- Under no circumstance allow pouring of oil, fat or grease down the sink

- Always use strainers to avoid waste going down the sink

- Waste oils should be collected by a licensed waste contractor

There are a number of companies that can install efficient systems such as grease traps which are designed to stop oils, fats and grease getting into the system.

Dec 8

Blocked Drains

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A blocked drain is one of the last things you need when you are busy. The cost of calling out plumbers and drainage experts is not something that caterers relish. The disruption caused can be nothing short of a disaster. Additionally, there is the risk of possible fines and prosecution by the local authority.

Bio GD is a product which is a blend of microbes that release a continuous and renewable supply of highly active enzymes into the water flow that help digest and degrade fats and grease.

Using a dosing unit it is introduced into the drainage system using a fully automated pump which makes the application effortless, efficient and effective. The dosing system released Bio GD every night after the catering establishment is closed, thus providing a much reduced risk of blocked drains in addition to elminating odours. It is non hazardous and an obvious solution for drainage maintenance.

Further information on this product can be found at the Chemex website.

Nov 21

Drain Cleaner

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When catering establishments, or indeed any business premises suffer from a blocked drain, the disruption caused is never anything short of inconvenient and quite often downright disasterous. Often flooding can occur. Calling out a plumber will not be cheap. Is there anything else that can be done to stop this happening?

Many caterers are aware of the cost and environmenal damage caused by blocked drains. Over time, fatty deposits and oils which have been poured down sinks start to line the walls of the drainpipes and sewers.  Eventually these become inoperative and blockages occur. There is also the danger of pollution should this waste reach streams and rivers.

When you wash out a greasy pan or cooking utensil in warm water the problem is hardly noticeable. The fats and oils will have turned to liquid. However, as it cools and makes its way down your drainage system it hardens. Imagine a busy take away or restaurant where large quantities of liquids are poured down the sinks each day.

Every year in the UK we spend millions of pounds in clearing blockages which normally involves the call out fees of a local plumber or drainage contractor.  Much of the time this can actually be avoided. Staff training in appropriate cleaning methods can mimimise the risk of blockages. If cooking utensils and crockery are prepared properly before washing then waste will not end up going down the sink. Simple procedures such as having strainers or sieves in the sink will help.

Food macerators are popular in the USA and becoming increasingly popular here in the UK. Despite all the hype around the convenience and effectiveness of these units it must be remembered that all they really do is chop and grind food into small bits which then goes staight down the drain, along with any fats or grease. UK best practice frowns upon this and is clear in its advice not to instal them.

There are essentially two ways in which you can avoid problems and having to call out a plumber regularly. The first is to use a grease trap or a grease interceptor. These units are specially designed for drainpipes and they seperate the fat and grease from the waste water. So long as they are correctly installed and well serviced and maintained they will help prevent drainage problems. You will need to keep a written record of maintenance as part of your hygiene control procedures.

Enzyme dosing systems are also effective where used appropriately. Special bacteria produce the enzymes which treat fat and grease in the drains. They can be used in conjunction with grease traps.

A company called Chemex produce a product called Bio GD which is a blend of microbes that release a continuous and renewable supply of highly active enzymes into the water flow that help digest and degrade fats and grease. The Bio GD is fed into the drainage system by dosing equipment through a fully automatic pump which is very efficient and effective and which can be set to operate every night when the premises are closed.

Bio GD is one of the most popular Chemex products, used extensively across the UK by catering establishments, nursing homes and food processing plants. The system elminates blockages and odours, reduces the need for hazardous chemicals and will probably save you a fortune in plumbing bills.

Based in the West Midlands the company has a national network of advisors who can provide more detailed information locally. They advertise the product as the obvious solution fo drainage maintenance.

Solutions for a blocked drain

Solutions for a blocked drain

Nov 21

Shower Drains

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How to clean a shower drain and prevent those bad odours in your bathroom.