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Frequently Asked Questions

When do I need to backwash?
You will know you need to backwash when you filter pressure gets too high.  You are able to tell by reading the gauge or by simply placing your hand in front of the return.  If you feel no water coming out of the jet you know you need to backwash.  Sometimes the pressure gauge can be broken and you don't even notice so we usually recommend to feel the pressure coming out of the return.  
How do I backwash my filter?
      Backwashing your filter is necessary to maintain proper filter pressure.  There are different ways to backwash depending on which type of filter you have.  If you have a D.E. filter you need to start by opening the shut off valve at the bottom of your filter.  Once this is open water will start to pour out; Now you can start to bump the handle up and down.  You should see clumps of D.E. starting to come out.  You can turn the pump on and bump the handle a few times, turn it off and bump it a few times.  Continue this process until you see only clear water flowing out of the shut off valve.  You now should have removed most of the D.E. from your filter and are ready to add more and start filtering your water again. 
     If you have a sand filter, first, make sure to shut the pump off.  Turn the handle on the filter to backwash and turn the filter back on.  You may start to see green algae water coming out of the backwash which is normal; This is what you are cleaning your filter from.  Keep running the pump while on backwash until water coming out is clear.  Once clear, shut the pump off and turn handle to rinse.  Run the pump while on this setting for about 30 seconds and shut the pump down one last time to move the handle back to filter.  Start running the pump again and you should now have full pressure and a clean filter. 

How long do pool covers usually last?
   The life of a pool cover varies depending on weather, animals, and storage.  Winter storms and ice can wear away at your cover, shortening the life of it.  First, over the winter make sure to keep most water off the cover remove any snow build up right away.  Secondly, birds gathering up on the cover and pecking at it can also leave small holes. Lastly, over the summer make sure to store the cover in a shed or somewhere safe from weather conditions and animals.  When opening the pool, Sparkle Pool Service will make sure your cover is in good condition and will roll it up neatly and place it in your desired location. 

What chemicals are used in openings/closings?
     When you schedule an opening with Sparkle Pool Service we can provide chemicals to help get your pool started for the summer.  We supply you with one or two gallons of liquid shock and the appropriate amount of algecide.  For the closing, we will provide with a kit sized to the amount of gallons in your pool.  For pools up to 10,000 gallons our kits include a non-chlorinating shock to restore water clarity and a pH buffer to help prevent scale build-up over the winter.  For pools up to 15,000 gallons our kits include the same as the 10,000 gallon kit plus a winter stain control to help prevent staining from leaves and other debris.  Call to book your opening/closing now.  
When should I call to book my opening/closing?
     If you're looking to book an opening or closing, we recommend calling about 2-3 weeks before your preferred scheduled date. 
What do I do if my pillow pops/deflates?
     If your pillow deflates, you do not have to worry.  You actually do not even need one as long as you are adamant about keeping water off of the cover.  The pillow is there for if you have extreme ice build up on your cover, it gives the ice something to expand on.  Therefore, providing the cover does not have much water on it over the winter, you do not need a pillow.  
What do I have to do during the winter to maintain my pool?
     During the winter there is not much for a pool owner to do.  All we recommend is keeping as much water off the cover as possible.  At times it may help to keep about an inch or so of water on the cover just to provide a little weight to prevent wind blowing the cover up, but no more. 
Does Sparkle Pool Service provide weekly/bi-weekly maintenance?
     Unfortunately we do not offer weekly or bi-weekly maintenance, however we do openings in the months of May and June and closings in the months of September and October. 
Why did my water level drop during the winter?
     There could be a few reasons as to why your water level drops over the winter.  First, and simplest, you may simply have a hole in the liner.  Secondly, if you use any kind of faceplate to cover up the skimmer, water may drip through.  Most of the faceplates used never actually create a water tight seal and could cause a slow drip.  Lastly, and more commonly, you may be draining your pool yourself and not even know it.  If your covers threads are worn, or if there are any holes in your cover, water from the pool may seep through and onto the cover.  Now as you drain the water on the cover you are actually draining the pool water in which case you may need a new pool cover.
If I am getting a semi in-ground pool, how big will the excavation hole be?
     Generally, the hole for your semi in-ground pool will be about 2 feet bigger than the pool to help with working space and any small adjustments to your pool locations.  If you have an oval pool, the hole on the straight sides will be about 2-3 ft wider on each side.  This is because the straight sides buttress system sticks outs 18 inches from the wall, and then you need to account for working space on top of that.  So for example, if you are having a 15' x 30' semi in-ground pool installed, the hole will be dug about 19' x 36'.
What type of machinery is used for the excavation?
     For excavations Sparkle Pool Service uses two machines.  For backyards with access over 68" we use a Bobcat.  Typically, all you have to do is have a section of fence removed to get the machine in and out, especially if removing dirt.  Now for any yards that do not have this big of access we are sometimes able to use a Dingo, which requires about 36" of access.  This same machine is generally used on most backfills also, as it can reach smaller areas.
What is the clearance needed for the machinery to get into the yard?
When using the Bobcat, a clearance of at least 68" is needed.  This is generally the same size as removing a section of fence.  When using the dingo, only 36" of clearance is needed. 
How do I set up my vacuum to my skimmer?
     This is a very common question asked, especially by new pool owners.  To start the setup, you should put the vacuum hose in the pool and use the return jet or a garden hose to fill the hose up as much as possible to help initiate a prime.  You can now shut your filter off, and remove your skimmer lid and skimmer door.  Attach the skimmer vacuum attachment to one end of the hose and your vacuum head to the other end.  Now clip in your skimmer pole to your vacuum head as well and place the end of the hose with the vacuum attachment over the intake of the skimmer. Make sure there are no gaps to ensure you maintain a full prime; Now you can turn the filter back on.  It may take a couple seconds to get a full prime, but once you do, you're good to go!  If you have any further questions feel free to reach out to us at 631-981-0685.

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