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Rotating Hookah Leaking? Here's How to Fix it

Rotating Hookah Leaking? Here's How to Fix it

By Grabertrain / November 21, 2008
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Here's a quick fact about Rotating Hookahs: They make the perfect party hookah!  Why?  Have you ever had a group of people over at your place, sitting around your hookah, and it tips over because some klutz tugged on the hose a little too hard? And then the coals burn a hole in your favorite berber rug you got at that flea market in Des Moines? I bet you it wasn’t a rotating hookah. When it comes to the ease of passing the hose from person to person and in general sturdiness, it doesn’t get any smoother than with a rotating hookah. There’s a good reason many hookah lounges use them!

So back to the topic of this blog.  Suppose you have a rotating hookah and you're not getting enough smoke out of it.  You're doing everything right but something seems amiss.  The most common problem is that there's a leak in the seal, and it's actually pretty easy to fix.   Here I present to you how to diagnose a leak, how to fix it, and how to make sure it doesn't happen again.

First thing, remove the bowl, tray, and hose(s).  With one hand, you’ll want to plug up the top hole with your thumb. What you do with your other hand depends on the kind of rotating hookah you have:

Auto-seal Rotators: Unscrew all of the hose adapters (including the release valve cap if you have one) and remove the BB’s. Be careful not to lose them! Now screw ONE hose adapter back on (without the BB). You’ll then want to take your fingers and firmly place them over the remaining holes where the BB usually sits. If you’ve got more holes than available fingers, you can also use tape.

Non auto-seal Rotators: Use your rubber stoppers to plug up all but one port (on multiple-hosed rotators). If you have a single hose rotator with a release valve, unscrew the valve cap and place your thumb over the hole.

Now this is going to look really strange if you happen to be alone and someone walks in on you, but what you want to do is blow through the remaining hose port. Ideally, with all available air holes blocked by your fingers (or stoppers), there shouldn’t be any give at all. If you feel air escaping around the edge of the glass, you, my friend, have an air leak. Don’t panic! Fixing the leak simply takes a few extra, easy steps:

1. Unscrew the center shaft from the “hub”, and then unscrew the hub from the top of the glass. This is best done with a friend. Make sure you grip the glass firmly with both hands while the other firmly grasps the hub, and twist. Be careful!

If you don't happen to have a friend with you, wrap the base in a towel and place it between your knees.

DO NOT grab the hub by the hose connectors. This will put stress on them and may cause them to loosen, or even snap off (D'oh!)
2. Once you get the hub off, you’ll see the black rotator grommet. This is what needs to be adjusted to secure the seal. It should be positioned towards the bottom of the threads as seen in the picture.

Now all you’ll need to do is screw the hub back on, and in the same manner as you got it off. It’s important that you screw it on as tight as possible - the tighter it’s on, the stronger the seal will hold. Once again, be careful! Repeat the ol’ “plug and blow” test. If everything went according to plan, you should have an air-tight rotating hookah ready to smoke!

Keep in mind that you’ll only need to do this once, if at all.    Once a firm, air-tight seal has been established on your pipe, you won’t need to unscrew the hose hub again (whew!). Water can be changed by pouring it in and out of the center hole in the hub (where the center shaft screws in).  Ta-da!

As always, happy smoking!

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