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Filter cycles.


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I purchased a 450 gallon Artesian spa two months ago.  The spa has filter cycles and can adjust them from off to 24 hours.  I understand what the filter cycles are for but I would like to know how they work.  For starters, I understand how the water is filtered.  To explain what I would like to know Ill provide a example...

Lets say I set Filter 1 to run from 11am to 3pm.  When my filter cycle starts lets say at 11am, each of my three jets come on one at a time for 30 secs or so. While each pump runs for 30 seconds, I can fill water being sucked into the intake points (round coaster looking things at the bottom of the spa).  It should be noted that I have 4 intakes in the bottom of the spa.  After the pumps do the 30 second cycle the pumps go off and all that is running is a the circulation pump and I dont feel water being sucked into the intake points.  

So my question is what happens during a 4 hour filter cycle.  Does it repeat this process every 30 mins or hour.  I can not find anything out there to understand what happens after the filter cycle starts in the beginning.  I guess I could stand there for four hours and watch the cycle but I do not think I could do it.  Any help solving my curiosity would be awesome.  

Thank You.  

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