Frequently Asked Questions
What do I need to get a quote for precast pole bases?
We need a stamped engineer drawing, often the pole base detail on prints will suffice for a quote and manufacture. Soil mechanics and light fixture schematics are helpful for accurate quoting.
If no stamp, we will provide a stamped engineer drawing at $750.00 per design. We will need light pole and fixture cut sheets as well as exposed height of the base above grade. This info is sent to our engineer who provides stamped detailed drawing for quoting and manufacturing. This process takes about 10 days.
The quote looks great, what happens next?
You will need to provide us: (1) the template for bolt pattern, (2) the size and number of conduits, (3) placement of conduits in relation to J bolts, and (4) the depth below grade for conduit exiting from the base (1” PVC is standard).
We will then provide a CAD drawing showing these details. After the drawing is signed off, the order will be put into the schedule.
When should I expect shipment?
We can provide an estimated time for delivery based on your pole base order and your release schedule. Let us know if your job site can handle a flatbed or if space is limited so that we may plan deliveries accordingly.
We will provide a lifting plate upon delivery that should be used to lift and set your pole bases.
We will need site contact and phone number for our driver.
How do I install pole bases?
Simply, it is a 3-step process: auger, place and then backfill. Check out this Pole Base Video for more information on the installation process.
Utilize the lifting plate provided to ensure a safe and proper installation. Return the lifting plate when finished for a full credit/refund.
Install your light poles and turn on the power!
What kind of septic tanks does Winchester Precast sell?
Winchester Precast sells precast concrete septic tanks just outside of Winchester, Virginia. We offer mid-seam tanks in 750, 1000, 1250 and 1500 gallons. Our top-seam tanks come in 1000, 1250 and 1500 gallons. We also offer EZ-Treat alternative tank systems along with distribution boxes, well casings, plastic risers and plastic lids with 24” inside diameter. Check out our septic tanks page for our product specifications. Call us at (540) 667-2301 for questions about our tanks or to place an order.
All of our septic tanks are vacuum-tested to conform to Loudoun County specifications before they leave the yard.
How long should a septic tank system last?
With routine maintenance, septic tanks should last many years, if not decades. Note any foul odors, wet spots in the drain field or slow-draining toilets to nip potential problems before there is a full septic tank failure. Depending on the quality and type of material used for the tank (concrete, fiberglass or steel), the life expectancy may be shorter due to deterioration or structural problems. Acidic soil may also deteriorate septic tanks prematurely. Be sure to research which type of material would best suit your septic tank needs. Concrete tanks are the national standard.
What size septic tank should I choose?
The size of your septic tank depends on how many bedrooms/occupants are at the residence, along with appliances that are actively used, including dishwashers, garbage disposals and washing machines. Generally speaking, 1-3 bedrooms need a minimum of 1000 gallons, 4 bedrooms need a minimum of 1250 gallons and 5+ bedrooms need a 1500+ gallon tank. The climate and landscape of your area of residence may also be a factor for the size and type of tank you should use. Be sure to discuss your options with a local septic tank professional, the cheapest price up front may not be the best long-term solution.
How much does a septic tank cost?
Not including installation or accessories, concrete septic tanks can range from $1200-$5000 depending on the size and style as required by county or local specifications. Steel or plastic tanks may be cheaper up front, but there would be additional considerations for anchors and special backfill that may increase the cost during installation. Be sure to go through a reputable provider for installation.
How often should my septic tank be inspected?
For a regular septic tank system, depending on how many people live in the home, it is recommended to have your septic tank inspected every 1 to 3 years to ensure everything is working properly.
In Loudoun, Prince William, Fauquier, Stafford, Fairfax and Spotsylvania, Virginia, alternative septic tank systems must be inspected annually to avoid fines. Loudoun requires alternative tanks to be inspected by July 1st every year.
How do I inspect a septic tank?
Septic tanks should be inspected by a septic system professional. Your local health department usually has this information listed online or available by phone. Unless your septic tank has a riser, the inspector would need to dig out the septic tank to check it. Winchester Precast offers septic tanks that are built to Loudoun County’s specs with designs that include 1 or 2 risers, which would allow inspection without digging out the tank.
How often should I empty my septic tank?
A properly-maintained septic tank should be pumped every 3-5 years. Be sure to avoid pouring oils or excess food waste down the garbage disposal. Never flush cigarettes, wipes, cat litter, sanitary products, coffee grounds or cotton swabs down the toilet as these items can clog piping and cause a failure. Routine maintenance is key. If you are looking to purchase a home that includes a septic tank system, ask for the septic maintenance information from the seller.
Can I use Drano to unclog pipes in the house?
Drano is a harsh chemical that can negatively impact the beneficial bacteria your septic tank needs to work properly. Equal parts baking soda and vinegar mixed with boiling water is the best solution to use in drains and showers that are clogged. Plunging or a drain snake after the baking soda/vinegar solution may also help break up the clog. Drano should be used very sparingly, if at all.
What is a distribution box?
A distribution box has several holes for piping to evenly distribute water from the septic tank into the drain field. The amount of holes depends on the needs of your septic system. Winchester Precast offers narrow and wide distribution boxes with various holes to Virginia specifications. Consult your septic service provider how many holes your distribution box needs if you are looking to upgrade or find a replacement. Winchester Precast can sell the distribution box or lid separately if needed.
What is a drain field?
A drain field is the area in your yard where water from the septic tank is distributed through piping into the soil. Drain fields are also known as leach fields or absorption beds. The drain field is a very important part of the septic tank system. The most costly septic repairs are in cases of clogged or failing drain fields. If your toilet backs up, have a professional assess your tank and ask questions about your drain field to ensure there is not a serious problem with your system.
Can I have landscaping or livestock in the drain field?
Grasses are ideal to cover the drain field. Plant trees or large shrubs at least 30 feet away from the drain field as the roots can damage the piping. Vegetable or herb gardens should also be planted away from the drain field to avoid possible sewage contamination or oversaturation of the soil.
Livestock should be kept off of the drain field as they will trample and compact the soil, impeding the soil’s ability to exchange oxygen, which is a necessary part of a functioning drain field. Storm water runoff and water troughs should be kept away from the drain field to prevent oversaturation.