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Romancing the Smoke: What's leaking?

Romancing the Smoke: What's leaking?

By Katie / June 29, 2012
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If you’re just tuning in to Romancing The Smoke, this is a blog following my journey to becoming a hookah know-it-all. If you’re also a beginner, or a pro who wants to offer some advice, then I hope you’ll follow along!
 
Water, water everywhere and not a drop...will stay in the base when all you want is to smoke hookah and not spend your evening obsessing over where the damn leak is coming from!!! It's going to be okay, just take a deep breath - we're going to get through this together. Leaks, specifically air leaks, are a fairly common occurrence with your hookah, especially if it gets a lot of use. Generally, these leaks are pretty easy to fix. You are always welcome to contact us and our hookah pros will hand-hold you through it. But since I am a lucky lady, I can just walk into their office holding my leaky hookah, maybe crying a little, and someone will help me. I have learned the mysteries behind the leaking hookah, and am prepared to pass my knowledge unto you!
(If you have a rotating hookah, refer to this blog post.)
Step one: Let's make sure that this leak really exists - Take off the bowl and the tray - Hold your thumb over the top of the hookah, sealing the opening where the bowl would normally go - Suck in through the hose - If you are able to draw air, then...THERE'S A LEAK! AHHH THE HUMANITY!
 
Step two: Here, leaky leaky leaky... Hose: We need to isolate the part that is malfunctioning. First let's check the hose. Remove it from the hookah, plug one end of the hose, try to suck air in through the other end. If you CAN draw air, then that hose is the culprit. Hose Adapter: If everything is good with the hose, then once again seal the top of the hookah with your thumb, and suck directly from the hose adapter (with no hose attached) – if you are able to draw air – then you can be sure that the leak is in the hookah itself, not the hose. The likelihood of a shaft leak is plausible (but rare) and if you don't see any obvious breakage of the base, then the grommets are most likely to blame. Grommets:If there are no evident holes, chips, or cracks that are to blame, then it's time to examine your grommets. Grommets are the rubber seals at each connection point - at the bowl, hose adapter, on the lip of the base, and any other main detachable part that your hookah may have. The grommets should fit tightly, and when connected to the hookah, the connecting item should not wiggle.
Step three: The fix
* If the bowl is wobbly, and is allowing air to pass through the seal, that can be easily fixed with this fancy little paper towel trick!
* The base grommet can easily stretch and get worn over multiple uses, so it is common for this little piece to be at fault for leaks as well as a leaning shaft. Once again, here is an easy at-home fixthat just calls for a little tape and elbow grease.
* If your hose easily falls out of the hose adapter, or if there is other evidence that the hose grommet is too loose, that can be tightened by doubling up on grommets or pulling out that roll of tape again!
* However, you may at some point need to suck it up and buy some replacement parts. Obviously, if the base or the shaft are damaged, it's best to pick out a new one and go from there. But the grommets are very easily replaceable. * If your hose has a hole or a loose tip, there's always electrical tape, but I would suggest just investing in a new hose.
* If none of these tricks of the trade work for you, then let us know. Like I said, the pros around here are always happy to help you find the problem and the best way to fix it. Share you stories and advice with us in the comments section, I always love hearing about everyone's unique experiences when troubleshooting!
 
Until next time, happy smoking! -Katie
 
To see tutorial videos on this subject, and others, check out our How-To Playlist on YouTube!
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