Can You Clean Your Grease Trap Yourself in Ferndale?

clean your grease trap FerndaleTo keep your grease trap functioning at its peak in Ferndale, you need to empty it regularly. Can you clean your grease trap yourself, or does this type of cleaning require a professional? We can’t provide a straight “yes” or “no” answer; consider the following variables.

Don’t Clean Your Grease Trap if…

First, you need to know what kind of grease trap you own. Larger dining establishments and cafeterias usually have units which process between 500 and 2,500 gallons of grease. These are located outside and right below a manhole cover on the company’s premises. In this scenario, you almost definitely need to hire a professional service company.

Smaller Establishments Probably Can, BUT…

Smaller establishments may have smaller units located inside the shop. DIY cleaning for these traps is definitely doable. However, even if you decide to go the DIY route, your county may require licensure. King County, for example, requires owners to have a Certificate of Competency. Some states require a septage hauler’s license.

Why so many hoops to jump through just to clean a grease trap? Improper grease trap maintenance can create serious sanitation issues. Our recommendation is to hire a professional. Most professional cleaners have the certification, expertise and equipment to handle grease traps of all sizes.

As a restaurant owner, you may want to focus your efforts providing high-quality food and excellent dining service. Leave the elbow grease to us.

We Service Grease Traps in Ferndale

Besides servicing grease traps, we also pump out septic tanks and perform on-site sewage inspections. Contact  Lil John Sanitary Service for your next scheduled grease trap maintenance. This ensures the job is done right on the first go. Cleaning your own grease trap is doable, but is it worth the hassle?

We Clean Your Grease Trap For You in Ferndale Eateries

Serving Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, Everson, Deming, Lummi Island, Nooksack, Blaine, Whatcom & Skagit Counties, Maple Falls, Bow Birch Bay, Custer, and Acme.


Posted on December 31, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Recognizing a Grease Trap Emergency in Skagit County

grease trap emergency skagit county

All Skagit County grease traps need to be pumped out eventually, no exceptions. However, what separates routine maintenance from an emergency? With the latter, when is a situation so urgent that it needs emergency grease trap service?

Grease Trap Is Overflowing

If the grease trap is overflowing, that is an emergency that requires priority servicing. Overflowing grease can seep onto the floors and walls, creating an environmental hazard. You’ll need to have the grease trap pumped ASAP. Fortunately, this can be prevented easily with routine scheduled maintenance.

We recommend a cleaning every three months. Aside from being a preventive measure, it also ensures that you’ll remain within municipal compliance. Most cities impose fines for failure to maintain the grease trap.

Clogged Grease Trap

Before a grease trap overflows, it may exhibit signs of being clogged. Much like a household sink, your commercial sink may drain more slowly, or water may pool without fully going down.

A clog also puts the facility at risk of a grease trap fire. As a safety precaution, refrain from using any heating-related appliances and don’t use the water until emergency services arrive.

Foul Odors

A bad smell from the direction of the grease trap doesn’t necessarily mandate an urgent response. However, if the odor is bad enough, it can spread to the dining area and offend patrons. It can also affect employees and possibly make them sick.

Avoid Emergency Grease Trap Servicing in Skagit County

Requesting an impromptu grease trap pumping can slow business operations. Grease trap care is part of our Septic tank pumping and OSS inspections. Avoid emergency grease trap servicing altogether by contacting us at Lil John Sanitary Service.

Commercial Grease Trap Emergency & Maintenance Experts for Skagit County

Serving Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, Everson, Deming, Lummi Island, Nooksack, Blaine, Whatcom & Skagit Counties, Maple Falls, Bow Birch Bay, Custer & Acme


Posted on November 30, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Winter Septic Maintenance for Your System in the Alger Area

winter septic maintenance, septic system maintenance

The Alger area isn’t the coldest region in the state by a long shot. However, temperatures still dip low enough to cause water to freeze. This makes winter septic system maintenance all the more important. Keep these care guidelines in mind as you prepare for winter.

1. Stay Off the Drain Field

Keep heavy vehicles and equipment off the drain field. Keep foot traffic to a minimum. Too much weight causes the soil to condense. While you should follow this rule year-round, it’s even more important in the winter. Weight causes the frost to travel deeper into the soil.

2. Insulate the Drain Field

Prevent water in the septic pipes from freezing by insulating the ground. You can do this in one of two ways. You can let the grass grow an additional six inches. The more common option is by applying mulch across the drain field.

3. Stop Faucet Leaks

If any of the faucet or shower heads leak, call a plumber to fix the problem. Under extreme cold, trickling water can freeze, often at the point where the septic pipe leaves the home. You could also regularly pour hot water down the drain.

4. Check the Grease Trap (for Commercial Establishments)

As you may or may not know, grease and oil congeal (solidify) under cool temperatures. Semi-liquid oil solidifies in the drain and obstructs the opening. This occurs even more frequently in the winter. This is why businesses need to be sure their grease traps are emptied regularly.

We Handle Winter Septic System Maintenance in Alger

Septic pumping is a good idea at the beginning of the New Year. This way, the system is off to a fresh start. Contact us at Lil John Sanitary Services for OSS inspections and more. Winter septic system maintenance ensures that frost does not negatively impact function.

Winter Septic System Checkup for Alger Residents

Serving Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, Everson, Deming, Lummi Island, Nooksack, Blaine, Maple Falls, Bow, Birch Bay, Custer, Acme, Alger, Sedro Woolley, Burlington, Birdsview, Concrete & Mt Vernon


Posted on October 30, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Three Common Portable Restroom Myths Debunked in Whatcom

portable restroom myths whatcom

There are a lot of negative connotations about portable restrooms. Some people won’t even use them unless nature is really calling. We want to dispel some of these portable restroom myths in Whatcom so you can feel comfortable using them at events where they’re offered.

#1: Portable Restrooms Are Unsanitary

Portable restrooms can certainly be unsanitary if they’re not cleaned according to standards at recommended intervals. They require regular pumping, much like a grease trap or septic tank. If maintained properly with regular cleanings, they’re just as sanitary as the toilet in your own home. Most units also come with an attached hand sanitizer dispenser inside.

#2: Portable Restrooms Smell Bad

Like the first myth, portable restrooms can indeed smell like excrement if they’re not well-maintained. Once again, as long as they’re cleaned and pumped out at regular intervals, odors are mostly a non-issue. Most modern units are also properly ventilated. If you’re still worried about the smell, you can place fragrance sticks inside.

#3: Portable Restrooms Are Only for Work Sites and Events

Another common myth is that portable toilet rental is limited to construction sites and outdoor festivals. In reality, their use is far more versatile. They’re also suitable for luxury events like weddings, galas, and black-tie parties. Some businesses also rent portable toilets while the public restroom is under repair.

Don’t Fall for Portable Restroom Myths

Many people refrain from using a portable toilet due to preconceived notions. Do you need to rent a few portable toilet units? Don’t let these portable restroom myths prevent you from contacting us at Lil John Sanitary Services to learn more about the services we offer.

Portable Restroom Myths Debunked in Whatcom

Serving Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, Everson, Deming, Lummi Island, Nooksack, Blaine, Whatcom & Skagit Counties, Maple Falls, Bow Birch Bay, Custer & Acme


Posted on September 29, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Household Cleaners and Septic Tanks: What Whatcom County Homeowners Need to Know

household cleaners and septic tanks whatcom county

Fun fact: Septic tanks are teeming with bacteria. The bacteria are necessary for the breakdown of solid waste; otherwise, a backup will quickly occur. Unbeknownst to most homeowners, though, household cleaners may disrupt the bacteria. Here’s some more helpful info about the negative relationship between household cleaners and septic tanks in Whatcom County.

Which Household Cleaners Are Safe for Septic Tanks?

Always read the label of a store-bought cleaner. Look for labels that indicate the product is “septic-safe” or “septic-friendly.” You’re not, however, limited to these labels. Other safe alternatives include cleaners with the labels:

  • Environmentally-friendly
  • Phosphate-free
  • Biodegradable
  • All-natural

Aim for cleaners that use 100% bio-based active ingredients. This includes natural products, such as citrus or pine oil. You can also use water-based cleaners that list water as the first ingredient. This is a contrast to acid-based cleaners that contain harsh solvents. Additional acceptable and inexpensive options include baking soda and vinegar, both of which are probably already in your kitchen pantry.

Household Cleaners to Avoid

Limit the use of chemical-based cleaners and even some disinfectants, such as anti-bacterial soap. Bleach and ammonia-based cleaners are also fine in moderation. If you require a lot of bleach for cleaning, then we suggest Borax as an alternative.

Cleaners to avoid completely include store-bought drain cleaners and anything containing sodium hydroxide, hydrochloric acid, or sulfuric acid. These are germ killers and badly disrupt the bacteria in the septic tank. The consequence? More frequent septic pumping will be necessary because fewer bacteria are available to break down the solids.

We Keep Your Whatcom County Septic System in Working Order

An OSS inspection will reveal whether pumping your tanks is in order. For businesses, we perform grease trap cleaning. Contact Lil John Sanitary Services for all septic system and grease trap maintenance. Household cleaners and septic tanks have a complex relationship that homeowners must watch carefully.

Your Pros for Questions About Household Cleaners & Septic Tanks in Whatcom County

Serving Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, Everson, Deming, Lummi Island, Nooksack, Blaine, Maple Falls, Bow, Birch Bay, Custer, Acme, Alger, Sedro Woolley, Burlington, Birdsview, Concrete & Mt Vernon


Posted on August 29, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Summer Septic Maintenance in Blaine: The Best Tips for the Hottest Season

septic system care, summer septic maintenance

There are several reasons septic system issues increase during the hot summer months. Outdoor barbecues, increased showers and landscaping all contribute. We’ll go over the ins and outs of summer septic maintenance in Blaine so you don’t have issues.

What Goes Down the Drain Matters

This applies year-round, but it’s even more critical during the summer months because your system typically gets more use. Cooking oils,  disposable wipes, paper towels, and condoms belong in the trash and not down the toilet or drain. Toilet paper is the only manmade substance that should go down the toilet.

Don’t Forget Septic Pumping

Arrange for a septic pumping BEFORE a large social gathering. This is especially the case if it has been more than three years since the last pumping. This maintenance process greatly reduces the likelihood of a system failure at the most inopportune moment.

If you’re hosting a party for a large number of guests, you may also want to consider renting a portable toilet or two. This will take some of the pressure off the septic system.

When Landscaping, Do Your Homework

Many homeowners renovate their landscape during summer. Grass is actually a great cover for drainfields. The same goes for shallow-root plants. Be sure, though, to add a riser if you don’t already have one. Otherwise, a technician will have to dig up the ground to access the opening. Avoid planting trees, shrubs, and vegetable-producing plants. These have deep root systems that can damage the septic pipes.

Leave Summer Septic Maintenance Care in Blaine to Us

With the increased activity at home, summer is the ideal time to schedule an OSS inspection. Contact us at Lil John Sanitary Service for periodic maintenance. Summer septic system care is a must if you plan to host large gatherings and open your restroom to guests.

Summer Septic System Maintenance in Blaine

Serving Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, Everson, Deming, Lummi Island, Nooksack, Blaine, Maple Falls, Bow, Birch Bay, Custer, Acme, Alger, Sedro Woolley, Burlington, Birdsview, Concrete & Mt Vernon


Posted on July 27, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Summer Hygiene Tips for Your Upcoming Event in Blaine

summer hygiene tips blaineDo you have an outdoor family-oriented event on the horizon?  With public health safety a key factor in every gathering, organizing an event of any size has become more complicated. We’ve compiled some summer hygiene tips for your upcoming event in Blaine.

Summer Hygiene Facts

As you plan your event, keep abreast of current Covid-19 conditions. There may be changes in the safety measures you’ll need to put in place for your large event or gathering.

Summer Hygiene Tips for Your Event 

Set up sanitizer stations throughout your venue. Set them right outside the portable toilets, and also by the food serving stations. Also consider setting some up in the food preparation area. Many portable toilets come with a sanitizer inside every unit. Be sure to check sanitizers often and refill them when necessary.

Instruct any helpers to sanitize their hands after using the restroom and before and after handling food. It’s a good idea to also post signs that instruct event attendees to do the same. 

Regarding food preparation, we recommend frequent washing and sanitizing of all food contact surfaces and utensils. Keep perishable foods refrigerated until ready to serve. If you’re serving burgers and hotdogs, cook them fully in order to kill any E. coli bacteria.

We Promote Good Hygiene Practices

Organizing an outdoor event? Contact Lil John Sanitary Services for portable toilet and sanitizer rentals. For homeowners who plan to invite guests over, we recommend an OSS inspection. Guests may repeatedly use the restroom and overtax the septic system. In any case, summer event hygiene is absolutely critical for preventing illness.

Summer Hygiene Tips, Portable Toilet and Sanitizer Rentals for Blaine

Serving Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, Everson, Deming, Lummi Island, Nooksack, Blaine, Maple Falls, Bow, Birch Bay, Custer, Acme, Alger, Sedro Woolley, Burlington, Birdsview, Concrete & Mt Vernon


Posted on June 30, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

How Many Portable Toilets Do You Need for Your Event in Everson?

portable toilets in Everson

Are you planning a summer wedding or other outdoor event? Any gathering that takes place outdoors requires portable restroom rental. Even though this detail isn’t the most enjoyable aspect of the event to plan, it’s one of the most important. Here are a few tips to help you rent portable toilets in Everson.

Don’t Skimp

The general rule of thumb is one portable toilet for every 100 people expected to attend the event. Don’t forget to include people hired to help. 

Although this varies by company, portable toilets usually last about 250 uses before they reach capacity. If your event is scheduled to last more than one day, a servicer may need to pump or replace the units.

Factor in These Variables

The number of people and duration of your event are the two biggest factors. However, additional elements come into play as well. If alcohol is being served, trips to the toilet increase 15 to 20%. If your event is scheduled to last only a few hours, you may need less units. Also, check to see if public restrooms are available nearby; this will also affect your numbers. 

Think About These Extras

You may also need to rent restrooms that are handicap-friendly. And, especially because of Covid-19 concerns, you may want to rent hand sanitizer units and handwashing stations. Consider renting one for every four toilets. 

We Provide Portable Toilets in Everson for Your Outdoor Events

Having too few restrooms is a common complaint at outdoor events. To avoid this happening at your event, contact us at Lil John Sanitary Services. Portable restroom rental is an extension of our OSS inspection service. A consultant will help you determine the correct number of portable toilets for your event. We also offer grease trap cleaning services.

Renting You Portable Toilets in Everson

Serving Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, Everson, Deming, Lummi Island, Nooksack, Blaine, Maple Falls, Bow, Birch Bay, Custer, Acme, Alger, Sedro Woolley, Burlington, Birdsview, Concrete & Mt Vernon


Posted on May 31, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Septic Tank and Holding Tank: What’s the Difference Between the Two in Lynden?

Home Septic Tank Pumping

If you own property that uses a septic system, you’re probably heard the terms septic tank and holding tank. Do you know the difference between the two and what each is for? 

First, The Septic Tank

Homes that aren’t connected to the municipal sewer line have a septic system. The septic tank collects all the waste and wastewater that flows out of the home. It doesn’t just hold waste, though. It also separates heavy solids from light solids. The lighter solids float to the top and the heavy solids sink to the bottom. Between the two lies water that exits out of an outlet pipe into the drain field.

Next, The Holding Tank

A holding tank is also used to store household wastewater, but it doesn’t have an outlet pipe. The waste remains inside until it’s pumped out. Unless your home is located near a body of water, you probably don’t have one. Homes near lakes and rivers often lack soil suitable to act as a drain field. 

Pumping Intervals Vary for Your Septic Tank and Holding Tank

Since holding tanks can’t remove waste on their own, they have to be pumped more often. Homes with a holding tank may require a pump every two to five months. Septic tanks, on the other hand, only require pumping every two or three years. Frequency varies depending on water usage.

We Take Care of Your Septic System in Lynden

Our OSS inspections cover residential septic systems. For businesses, we perform grease trap cleaning. Contact us at Lil John Sanitary Services for a cleaning or checkup. Whether you own a home with a septic tank or holding tank, we’ll get the job done! We also rent portable toilets for events and businesses.

Home Septic Tank and Holding Tank Pumping in Lynden

Serving Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, Everson, Deming, Lummi Island, Nooksack, Blaine, Maple Falls, Bow, Birch Bay, Custer, Acme, Alger, Sedro Woolley, Burlington, Birdsview, Concrete & Mt Vernon


Posted on April 30, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Septic Outlet Filter Cleaning in Ferndale

septic outlet filter ferndale

If your septic system is clogged, how can you find out what’s causing it? Maybe something was thrown down the drain that didn’t belong there. Or maybe you’ve got a clogged septic outlet filter. Knowing how this filter works and why it needs to be kept clean is just as important as pumping the septic tank.

It’s a Screening Device

If you have a mesh strainer for your kitchen sink, you have a pretty good idea of how an outlet filter works. Located in the outlet, the filter acts like a strainer, collecting solid material. Like any strainer, it fills up over time.

Cleaning the Filter

Because of the filter’s location, this is not a job you can do yourself.  Depending on the size of your home and number in your household, the cleaning frequency will vary. An OSS inspection will determine an appropriate interval, usually three to five years for most households. A professional can also examine the filter for signs of damage and decide when a replacement is necessary.

Consequences of a Dirty Septic Outlet Filter in Ferndale

When a filter gets old, it catches less large particles, which leads to backups before it’s time to pump. Some older septic systems don’t have a filter at all. An OSS inspector will be able to determine this and you can have one installed.

We Clean and Install Outlet Filters

Lil John Sanitary Services handles the dirty work, from septic system maintenance to grease trap cleaning. An outlet filter is an inexpensive contraption that prevents costly repairs; taking care of it can add years of life to your system.

Septic Outlet Filter Cleaning in Ferndale

Serving Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, Everson, Deming, Lummi Island, Nooksack, Blaine, Maple Falls, Bow, Birch Bay, Custer, Acme, Alger, Sedro Woolley, Burlington, Birdsview, Concrete & Mt Vernon


Posted on March 30, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business