Intex air jet valve... Why? How to plug it?

frogabog

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2010
2,834
Portland, Oregon
The new pool return valve has this thing on it that introduces air. It can't be shut down as far as I can tell. I needed to aerate a little so I let it go for the past week but now my pH is where I want it and I want to stop the air. Ideally I'd like to keep it for future aeration purposes so I'm reticent to put sticky tape on it. I've got it covered and wrapped up with plumbers tape, but it's not good enough. Some air is getting through. When I put my thumb over the hole it threads into, I can get zero air bubbles so it's clearly still leaking. If I take it out entirely, there's a threaded hole I'd also rather not gum up with adhesive. I found some old threads about this air jet valve, but no one specifically said what they did to plug it up.

Additionally, I have to wonder exactly why Intex introduced this thing if you can't control whether or not it aerates. I like Intex usually, but this doohickey as it's designed currently makes zero sense to me. Also interesting is that Intex is actually out of stock for this particular item. People clearly are losing and using them.
 

Attachments

Blacklisted

Well-known member
Sep 10, 2013
199
El Cajon CA
I have the old style that's smaller on my pool. You could measure the OD of it and find a vacuum cap (you should be able to find them at Auto parts store) that fits it snugly and use that.
I'm assuming this is the suction side?
 

frogabog

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2010
2,834
Portland, Oregon
Actually no, it's on the return. I'm worried that the Intex threads won't be the same as anything else I could find. I almost put a square of flex tape on it, but that's when I thought about adhesive sticking to it and gumming up the threads. I think Intex got the main idea right with this because there's not a lot of ways to aerate these pools, but 100% aeration isn't a good solution.
 

frogabog

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2010
2,834
Portland, Oregon
Yikes! Well I decided to do a little general searching and found something super weird... Here's Intex's promo video about this thing. It IS intentional, although the theory behind it is super odd. Negative ions? Wha??



This is what is in the description:

Intex® is proud to introduce our innovative Hydro Aeration Technology™ - transforming the Above Ground Pool industry, by bringing revolutionary water aeration techniques into your backyard above ground pool. Improved Circulation and Filtration Fine particles in water clump together and settle to the bottom of the pool during the aeration process, making it easier to filter and remove sediments through the filtration system. The improved filtration and circulation make the pool water healthier and more comfortable. Improved water clarity By mixing air with water, the aeration induces oxidation of iron and manganese, eliminating staining in water. The result is sparkling pool water that looks and feels great! Increased negative ions at the water surface Increased negative ions have been proven to improve the air freshness around the pool as it removes air pollutants and neutralizes free radicals that affect air quality.
 

frogabog

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2010
2,834
Portland, Oregon
No one saw the cap. Went ahead and wrapped electrical tape over the plumbers tape at the top and around the base. It's better but still not 100% bubble free.

Poor design IMO. The cap is too easily lost. If it actually works to eliminate aeration, it should be attached to the air jet somehow. Or, they could have designed it so that maybe you pull up on the top to allow air get through, push it back in to stopper it. It could have been engineered much better.
 
Last edited:

Blacklisted

Well-known member
Sep 10, 2013
199
El Cajon CA
The vacuum caps are a rubber cap that would just go over the top of that fitting. Or another idea is if it unscrews at the bottom or wherever the threads are you could put a ziplock bag over the hole and screw the fitting back in, the bag would stop the aeration if it doesn't tear when you thread the fitting back on. And you would be able to remove it when you want aeration.
 

frogabog

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2010
2,834
Portland, Oregon
That's basically what I was attempting to do with the plumbers tape. It does unscrew, and has a flimsy little o-ring that can't possibly seal it well. But with 3 layers of plumbers tape, I would think it would be fairly solid. Also, it's not only the base that I'm suspecting. The top of this device is where the air is supposed to enter, and that is what the cap is for apparently. I am hesitantly hoping that the Intex cap actually works. I have little faith however.

I wish vacuum caps came in larger sizes, I have some of those. Although I don't think that would seal it either. I've got plumbers tape in many layers over the top, and now electrical tape sealing that all up and then some down the shaft. Still not as good as my thumb over the hole. Weird system. Air is getting through somehow.

Intex actually does have these in stock, but I think I'm going to call them and tell them it didn't come with the pool. Maybe they will send me one.
 

Teald024

TFP Guide
Poor design IMO. The cap is to easily lost. If it actually works to eliminate aeration, it should be attached to the air jet somehow. Or, they could have designed it so that maybe you pull up on the top to allow air get through, push it back in to stopper it. It could have been engineered much better.
My engineering mind has these thoughts all the time. When I use stuff that doesn’t work quite right, I curse the engineer who chose to do it that way! LoL. It’s a curse.

Go down to the local hardware store with the removable part in hand and get a rubber cork/stopper.

 
Last edited:

frogabog

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2010
2,834
Portland, Oregon
You know, that's not the worst idea. Would have to whittle standard corks to this size.

I happened to find the cap, in a hidden away package from opening the pool. Yay for kids "helping". It does no better than my best wrapped in plumbing tape, plus electrical tape (the good stuff). I think the o-ring is inadequate. Or else there's magic.

My thumb however, is queen bee over these bubbles. I would prefer more accurate control of it.
 

slick78

New member
Jul 10, 2019
1
Portland Tx
I have the same fittings and use the intex cap for the top and it stops the air bubbles, however I usually run it without and have never had it raise my PH. So much so that I built an aerator for the pool yesterday, as my PH was at 7.0 with everything else where it is supposed to be.