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Grease in a main drain line

nicholas bonham-carter
nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,510
edited May 2016 in THE MAIN WALL
In a group of buildings, we have a six inch line, protected with a back flow, leaving a building with a deep basement. This line then runs towards the street main a hundred feet away. Along the way it connects to another building, with a restaurant, with no grease trap, and very little possibility of installing one.
As grease builds up in the shared line, it obscures the pipe, and then causes backups into the deep basement.
Our plumber suggests regular cleaning of the whole line. Our only option is a sewer jet running downhill, even though running uphill is preferable.
Are there any additives to the drain which would make the grease easier to blast out-eg, lye?
I am thinking of regular doses, followed by a three-monthly jetting.--NBC

Comments

  • MikeL_2
    MikeL_2 Member Posts: 292
    Nicholas,
    Try large frequent doses of a product like Bio - Clean. I'm surprised the sewer authority does not require grease tanks or traps. Our public works department requires grease seperators on sewer connections from all buildings with commercial kitchens and employs a FOG ( fats, oils, & grease ) inspector who enforces compliance on a rotating schedule...........
  • Bio
    Bio Member Posts: 278
    I've use this in the past with great results, if it doesnt work they'll give your money back guarantee

    http://scotchcorp.com/product/main-line-cleaner/
  • GreenGene
    GreenGene Member Posts: 290
    " Along the way it connects to another building, with a restaurant, with no grease trap, and very little possibility of installing one."

    where there's a will there's a way, have an engineer take a look, in the long run it will probably be cheaper
    SWEI
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,132
    In almost all jurisdictions grease traps are required by code.

    So that's step one. Get the AHJ over there and get that fixed.

    Of course, that assumes that the restaurant cleans the grease trap, which is unlikely unless you have decent oversight in your area...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    GreenGene
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,510
    This is a building with no basement, surrounded by public rights of way on all sides.
    A brand new restaurant, of course would be required to put one in, but not in this case, so we are left with the regular cleaning solution.
    I don't think any product will remove the need for regular drain cleaning, I would just like to make the accumulated grease easier to deal with when doing the quarterly cleaning.--NBC
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,132
    Reminds me a bit of drill sergeant I once knew, who informed us that there are only three answers: yes, sir; no, sir; and no excuse, sir.

    In this case it's "no excuse, sir". In my not so humble opinion, there is no excuse for that restaurant, new, old, or whatever, not having a grease trap on, at the very least, all the dish washing equipment. And maintaining it. I'm not so much worried about your specific drain line, but over the last five decades or so I have seen way too much heartache over restaurant grease in sewers and waste water treatment plants to have any noticeable sympathy.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    SWEI
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,715
    Probably not legal but a ground level relief at your property line may get attention. Since you have a back flow preventer doesn't the restaurant have problems too?
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,510
    We have only had the back flow in for a couple of weeks. When the shared downstream line becomes plugged, our basement drain backed up.--NBC
  • GreenGene
    GreenGene Member Posts: 290
    Seems odd, assuming city sewers how would they react to knowing a restaurant refused to have a grease trap? I thought they were mandatory, I've seen them in all kinds of configurations and arrangements, not an expert but I see that as the only real option.
  • Terry O
    Terry O Member Posts: 67
    You may want to suggest a feed system to treat the waste lines for the grease. Check out Oatey website:
    http://www.oatey.com/products/drain-and-waste-system-cleaners/liquid/cloroben-pt-bio1
    Click on submittal more info... they also have a feeder for regular treatment. Sold these feeders in past with PT and work great. Not as familiar with the newer BIO product.
    Terry O
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,132
    GreenGene said:

    Seems odd, assuming city sewers how would they react to knowing a restaurant refused to have a grease trap? I thought they were mandatory, I've seen them in all kinds of configurations and arrangements, not an expert but I see that as the only real option.

    Depends on the jurisdiction -- but I can tell you that back a few decades ago when I was one of those mean horrible building inspector types, no grease trap -- or a poorly maintained one -- was a red tag item...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • unclejohn
    unclejohn Member Posts: 1,751
    The restaurant either pays to clean their grease out of the line or install the trap.
  • wholesalerbill
    wholesalerbill Member Posts: 20
    Call the plumbing inspector in town and the board of health and report them. Ezy peezy. Problem solved.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,972
    Good neighbors like to settle things without that happening.
    The restaurant is probably aware of the issues they are causing.

    Are there any above floor grease traps that could sit under the pots sink and dishwasher. Would be a PITA, but so is a back up sewer in the kitchen at a busy time of day. And worse for the house basement that becomes the depository for all others connected. Then it is possible that this is a combo sewer/storm drain system.
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,510
    All these buildings belong to us, so there will be no problem imposing some sort of change for the better here.
    The ideal solution of a grease trap could well force our tenant the restaurant out of business. These are not high rent properties, but at least constant, and moderately successful.
    The regular jetting out of the line (paid for by the restaurant), is probably our most viable option. They have a grease collection arrangement with a large collection company, and are not dumping it down the sink. All those plates washed one by one will each add a bit of grease to the line.--NBC
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Not all grease traps are created equal. The generally accepted sizing methods are based on 50+ year old numbers that are basically wrong. http://schierproducts.com/ is worth a few minutes of your time.
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    How many years of jetting the sewer will the pipes take? In other words how old, and what kind of sewer line?
    MikeL_2
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,510
    120 years--clay tile.
    When I get the video from our plumber, I'll see if I can post it somewhere with a link here!--NBC