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Pre-Contract Checklist

Here we would like to offer a checklist of things to look for when interviewing potential companies or individuals to perform any type of repairs, improvement, addition or renovation to your home. Feel free to bookmark this page for reference.

Questions to ask a Potential Contractor:

Ask if they are a state certified license holder.
Ask how many projects they have performed locally.
Ask for references - and contact those references.
Ask if a permit is required for the work.
Ask how long they have been in business.
Get a written estimate and description of the job prior to agreement.

Unlicensed Contracting Early Warning Signs:

When a large down payment or full payment is required before work begins.
In order to be licensed, Florida contractors must demonstrate sufficient financial ability to perform the type of project which the license complements. We require any permit fees up front, but do not request full payment until job completion.

If there are any requests for money during early phases of construction.
As in the first example, the contractor should be solvent.

If a company is not willing to put all terms in writing.
Always a sign of trouble.

If the contractor does not have proof of insurance.
Licensed contractors in Florida are required to have general liability insurance and workers compensation in effect at all times.

If the contractor only works on week-ends or after hours.
This is often a sign that the person is an employee who is moonlighting without a license.

If the contractor displays only an occupational license.
In order to be lawfully engaged in contracting, a contractor must be either State registered or certified.

What all this means...

Since we have been in business for over 45 years in Central Florida, we have seen companies come and go, as well as the aftermath of shoddy or unlicensed work. Here are some common sense guidelines to be aware of. (A nickel's worth of free advice).

· Dixie Septic Tank Inc. will not install any systems without a permit. We have worked very hard to obtain our license and will not put our license in jeopardy by such a request.

· We must attend refresher courses each year to keep our license active and current.

· Each year we get request from customers who want us to install a system without a permit. Please don’t ask us to do that. We politely say no. Beware of any installer who offers to do this, you will get shoddy work and it will cost you more in the end.

· Ask to see the permit for your job if they offer to install a system on the weekend. Something may not be right. We want our employees to spend time with their families and their maker on the weekends.

· If you are caught having work done without a license, it can cost you a whole lot more. The State of Florida can fine you double fees, and make you remove the system and have it done by a licensed installer.

· Our owners have a Master Septic Tank Installers license. This puts us above the average installer. We must have a true knowledge of the rules and also know the importance of soil analysis which can make or break a system.

· Ask to see their license. Is it in the name of the installer? Or is it someone else’s name. We have found many installers using other contractor’s license to circumvent the law.

· Listen very carefully to what the estimator is saying, & ask questions.

· What kind of investment have they made in equipment?

· Our systems require a large investment in machinery to do the job right. With our remote controlled rock truck and our remote controlled tank delivery truck, along with grading excavators that put the least amount of impact on your yard, all of this is geared toward giving you the most professional job we know of.

· Most of the alternative systems, meaning all of those not using rock in the drainfield, can be put in using small machines with very little investment in capital equipment. This has encouraged a lot of installers to try their skills at doing this kind of work, and they go out of business in a short period of time, leaving you with no follow up support.

· Our Patented “Equal Distribution™” system uses the whole drainfield, not just one end as most others do. Please find more on “Equal Distribution™” in the Article section of this web site.

· Don’t you want a system that is using 100% of the drainfield? This is what our “Equal Distribution™” does, no one else can do this, and that is one of the reasons why the “Rock and pipe” system can last well over 25 years if properly maintained.

Be aware of those selling you products to put down you toilets to kill roots. Copper Sulfates are one of them. It says right on the container they are banned (against the law) for use in septic tanks in the state of Florida. At best, it kills the roots in the system, the dead roots still remain in the tank or drainfield. They do not dissolve into thin air, so you are just spending your money on something that does not work in septic systems.

· BE AWARE OF THOSE PUMPING OUT YOUR SEPTIC TANK. Insist on knowing what size tank you have and the condition of the tank and the size. Make a note on your receipt.

· Make sure they pump the whole tank down. We have heard where some companies will not pump the tank down completely, saying the tank needs some bacteria to start over again. This is not true.

· Make sure they properly secure the opening where they pumped it from.

· We have seen many tanks that were pumped down and then a plastic bag put over the lid or small cracks and imperfections on the lid to keep dirt, grass and roots from entering the tank.

· On septic systems installed before 1998, most of the tanks were one compartment. These can be pumped from either end.

· On septic tanks installed after 1998, there are two compartments, with solids and water on the inlet end and water only on the outlet end. I have seen where some pump companies will charge extra to pump both sides. In fact the water on the outlet side will flow back into the inlet chamber as the tank is being pumped down.

· On two compartment septic tanks, they should always be pumped from the inlet side of the tank. This removes both the solids and scum on the inlet side, in addition to the water from the outlet end.

· Be careful of do it yourself plumbers. The law in Florida says only one inlet opening going into the tank and only one outlet going out. We have had to replace many septic tanks when we find where many well intentioned helpers just pop another hole in the side of a tank to eliminate a problem. This means an added cost when replacing the drainfield you also have to replace the tank.

· Be leary of cheap prices, you only get what you pay for. If there is a great amount of difference between us and them, please call us. Maybe we can explain the difference.

· Dixie septic Tank Inc. is happy to share this information with you. No other web site on the subject of Septic Tanks or Drainfields is available with more information.

· We take pride in what we do.

· Please feel free to make a comment or ask a question on our contact us page.

Septic System FAQs

We are pleased to offer a few articles we have written over the past several years. We hope they might offer tips and answers to questions or issues you may have in regards to septic tanks, septic systems and drain fields. Please contact us directly with specific questions for a personal consultation.

Septic System FAQs
Smart Septic Systems
Going Green
Aggregate Rock System
Equal Distribution™
Pre-Contract Checklist
Septic Systems 101
Septic System Maintenance
Bio-Mat 101
Flushing Medication
Facts and Folklore
Pipe and Rock System
Septic Tank Installation
What is OSTDS?
Fat, Oil and Grease
Septic Industry Problems?
Sewer or Septic System?
Time to Take the Gloves Off!
Failing Septic Systems
Eye Opening Definitions
On-Site Estimate

Let us provide you a free estimate. One of our pros can discuss your options and provide a free written on-site estimate... Click to Contact

Dixie Septic Tank, Inc.

335 N. Boundary Avenue
Deland, Florida 32720

Phone: (386) 738-3030
Fax: (386) 740-7666
Lic# SRO991327
Contact Dixie Septic Tank

     
Home Page Failing Septic Systems Septic System Maintenance What is OSTDS?
Septic Services Going Green Bio-Mat 101 Fat, Oil and Grease
Smart Septic Systems Aggregate Rock System Flushing Medication Septic Industry Problems?
Concrete Septic Tanks Equal Distribution™ Facts and Folklore Sewer or Septic System?
Septic System FAQs Pre-Contract Checklist Pipe and Rock System Time to Take the Gloves Off!
Contact Us Septic Systems 101 Septic Tank Installation Failing Septic Systems
Septic Tank Cleaning Eye Opening Definitions
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