Cam’s Corner: 5 Ways to Optimize Your Drain Maintenance Program!

Grease traps can be different sizes and shapes. According to industry sources and professional cleaning services, a trap should be cleaned after a quarter of the contents has filled with FOGS (Fats Oils Grease & Solids). After 1⁄4 of the contents fill with grease, the trap is no longer effective and the grease and oils you’re supposed to keep out of the municipality’s pipes start to escape. Opportunities for blockages and overflows increase dramatically. Costly fines and cleanout procedures become necessary. This is why a drain maintenance program is critical for commercial kitchens everywhere. Here are five ways to optimize a drain maintenance program.

Create a value proposition – drain programs save money for restaurants, medical facilities, car washes, and others. Some restaurants spend as much as $500 every 90 days on costly baffle cleanout procedures. In addition, emergency cleanouts can be double that and if the issues are serious, baffles and other equipment could break, costing tens of thousands of dollars to fix.

Choose the right chemical treatment – if preventing backups and reducing costly baffle cleanout procedures is the goal, consider offering an active enzyme-based product; if reducing odors and keeping drains free flowing is the goal, consider offering a drain cleaner with odor counteractant. Make sure you understand how your chemistry works and the pros and cons to the program, so you can better educate customers.

Dispense at the right time – many chemical programs rely on the concentration levels and/or volumes dispensed for a product to perform at its best. Therefore, it becomes extremely important to choose the right time of day or night to dispense the chemical so that it does not become diluted with other discharge water from sinks, dishwashers, and other kitchen equipment.

Automate the process – choose a solution that automates the process for service techs and customers. Simple is the key. Prevent glug-glug, theft, and promote employee safety by choosing a programmable dispensing system. Lavo’s drain systems provide worry free, automatic delivery of chemicals in both a 12V battery or 110VAC pump option. Set it and forget it, except for changing the drum or pail each month!

Track the benefits – before the installation, talk with the kitchen manager or GM to find out how much they spend on a monthly or yearly basis for baffle cleaning procedures and emergency calls. Over the course of the next 6-12 months, ask for updates on the cleanout expenses and follow up with the account to show the savings the drain maintenance program has provided.

Campbell Dodson is Co-Founder of Lavo Solutions. For more information, contact Lavo Solutions at or call 949-377-1250.