A custom bong can come in various shapes and sizes, so how do you know how much water to add? The amount of water will fluctuate subject to the design and size of the bong you have, so there is no 100% correct answer. But a general rule of thumb is the bong should have enough water to cool and properly filter the smoke being inhaled.
And how much water is that? You need to ensure the downstem of your customized bong is fully submerged in water. This forces the smoke to filter through the water before it’s inhaled, offering the smooth, cool taste that you’ve learned to expect from a bong. Obviously, too much water can adversely affect the flavor of your smoke and the quality of your draws.
Is It True You Can Add Too Much Water?
You bet. Too much water can ruin your smoking experience. In a nicely filled water pipe, the smoke bubbles and filters through the water and remains in the bong body for you to inhale. If a bong is overfilled, it’ll be too hard for smoke to effectively filter through. And any amount which makes it through won’t have room to waft and await to be completely drawn in. Bottom line? If it’s too hard to get a draw from your bong, you should remove some water.
How to Fill a Bong (How Much Water Is Enough)
This is where the rubber hits the road. How much water should you add to a customized water pipe or straight tube bong, for instance? The best answer: barely enough for the downstem and slits to be fully submerged in water. If the downstem doesn’t have slits, then at least be sure the bottom of the downstem is submerged about a half-inch or maybe a little more in the water. You can add more water if you want; you just don’t want water to make it to your mouth as you inhale.
If the downstem isn’t submerged enough, then the smoke won’t filter through the water before you try to inhale. This step gives you the chance to have a clean and cool hit. Too much water will be evident because it will flop into your mouth. This is obviously unsanitary but will also make it harder to pull your hit. In the end, this will ruin the flavor of your smoke.
Types of Bongs and Recommended Water Levels
There are many kinds of bongs you can enjoy. Each custom bong requires a different water level, so let’s take a look at a few and what their recommended water levels are. Keep in mind, nothing we’re going to talk about is hard science. This is more of an art, with near-perfection only achievable through practice and error.
Water Level for a Beaker Bong
Beaker bongs are simple, so the process to fill them is very simple, too. Just dump water into the mouthpiece until you see the downstem is submerged.
Water Level for a Straight Tube Water Pipe
Very comparable to filling a beaker bong or custom water pipe, these bongs need to be filled only until the downstem is underwater. Instead of pouring through the mouthpiece, you can just remove the downstem and dump water through it.
Water Level for a Percolator Bong
Percolator bongs offer the ultimate filtration, but only if you ensure they do what they were designed to do. With single and double perc bongs, you need to make sure both have their bottom hidden in the water. This lets the smoke filter all through the water in any of your percolators.
Water Level for a Round Base Bong
Round base bongs are deceptive regarding water levels. As long as you make sure the downstem is far enough into the water to create bubbles and filter the smoke, you’re good to go. If your bong has an ice catcher, you’ll need to plan for the fact the ice could melt. If this happens, all you need to do is make sure your pulls aren’t changing, and if so, pour out some of the water.
Water Level for Silicone Bongs
In many cases, a customized water pipe or silicone bongs are colored and you can’t see the water level. In this case, we’d advise that you really measure how much water you add to your bong. Observe the bong as you fill it with water, and when the slits are covered, stop – you’ve got enough water. In the absence of slits, just ensure the water is about half an inch from the bottom.
The Next Step: Filling Your Water Pipe
Knowing how much water should be added to different kinds of bongs is useful, but the next step is knowing how to add the water for the best experience. For a normal water pipe absent extra percolators, the process is embarrassingly simple. Just pour water through the bong mouthpiece into the base until you achieve your preferred level.
Or you can add water directly from the downstem into the base of your bong. But if your bong has multiple chambers, including percs, then things can turn a little more complicated. When filling a multiple perc bong with water, you’ll want to pour the water from the mouthpiece into the tube, and then the water will begin to make its way down.
Bottom line: Enjoying a bong often boils down to how much water you add, but the process is pretty simple and often can’t get screwed up, so enjoy.