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.
Unlicensed Contracting Early Warning Signs:
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
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
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
If the contractor only works on week-ends or after
This is often a sign that the person is an employee who
is moonlighting without a license.
If the contractor displays only an occupational
What all this means...
In order to be lawfully engaged in contracting, a contractor
must be either State registered or certified.
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
· 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
· 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
· 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.