Toubleshooting Guide - How to Fix Your Smoking Sessions
Hello again, and welcome to another B2Hookah blog post. This week, we're going to have more of a troubleshooting guide. Have you ever had a session that was just... Subpar? And you couldn't figure out why? It happens, we understand, it happens to the best of us. This guide is meant to serve as a troubleshooting guide - what are some simple fixes that can be overlooked that'll make your sessions infinitely better. There are plenty of things that you wouldn't even think of that can severely impact your sessions, and we'll try to cover as much as possible! We're going to start at the top of the hookah, and move down from there. The Bowl So the bowl is probably one of the biggest places things can go wrong, as I'm sure that you've seen before. You can pack your bowl wrong, you could foil your bowl improperly, coals could be messed up, etc. etc. However, there are a few key points to remember when it comes to your coals and bowl preparation. As far as coals go, make sure they're completely lit - absolutely no black on them whatsoever. If you're lighting cubes, sometimes it helps to flip them twice. Let the bottoms heat up completely, then flip, then after the tops are cooked, flip them on the side so that there isn't any black at all. As for the bowl, the first thing you'll want to do is make sure you're packing your bowl properly. There's too much to cover as far as that goes, because the way you pack differentiates slightly based on what you're packing. For the sake of time, we'll cover the basics. Make sure you're packing enough tobacco in your bowl, without overpacking. Generally speaking, you'll want to pack enough so that that you're just a quarters width away from the rim of the bowl (again, depending on the brand you're using. Something like Haze or Nakhla can take heat, and thus can be packed a little bit higher). You'll also want to make sure you have ample airflow. If you're using a standard Egyptian bowl, the airflow can be blocked by the tobacco. This can be prevented by taking a toothpick or foil poker and clearing the holes of any tobacco, allowing for proper airflow. Airflow isn't as much of a problem when using a phunnel bowl, because the tobacco generally won't be blocking the spire. After you've done this, you'll be foiling your bowl. You want it to be drum tight, basically as tight as you can get it. After I've got it as tight as possible, I'll usually run my thumb around the rim of the bowl to make sure that it's super tight. After that, you'll be poking holes in the foil. You don't want too many, but you don't want too few either. Honestly, holes aren't as big of a deal as you would think. They do effect your airflow though, so generally what I'll do is after I've poked my holes, I'll literally just put the bowl port on my mouth and breathe through it. It it doesn't feel too tight, it's good. If it is, add holes. When poking holes, it's important to remember that you can always poke more holes, but you can't unpoke them. Once your bowl is finally ready, make sure it gets placed firmly on your grommet. When putting your bowl on the hookah, it's better to pull the bottom of the bowl onto the grommet, rather than pushing from the top. If you're having trouble using a traditional grommet, don't forget that you can use a wet paper towel or napkin as a grommet, many even prefer this to traditional grommets.

The Purge

The purge is something that seems to often be looked over when checking your hookah, but it's important to remember that it's still a place that can provide leaks as far as airflow is concerned. Generally I recommend swapping out any metal purge balls with a small plastic BB, so that it'll never rust. Keep your purge clean, so that you'll never have a stuck purge (not a fun thing to fix mid-session). If you feel like your purge ball is getting stuck too frequently, you can actually coat it with some olive oil, which should lubricate it enough to where it won't get stuck much at all. If you think your purge is having a leak, the easiest way to check is to fill your base up with water, place the hookah on the base, cover the bowl port with your thumb, then directly inhale from the hose port. If you get any airflow, you have a leak in your purge. Fixing it can be as easy as swapping your purge ball out with a bigger one, or as complicated as fixing a weld issue (JB weld is your best friend in this case).

The Hose Port and Hose

The next part we're going to be looking at is the hose, and hose port. This is probably the next biggest spot where stuff can go wrong, after the bowl itself. So for the hose itself, the best way to check for leaks is to take the hose out alone, then cover the port with your thumb and just pull like your normally would. If there aren't any leaks, you shouldn't be able to pull at all. If there are, you'll get mild airflow, but it shouldn't be anything insane, so long as your hose doesn't have a giant gash in it (which I would hope you would notice). If you do feel slight airflow, the best way to find out the specific spot your hole is to cover the hose with soapy water, then do the same practice as before. You should notice bubbles coming off of the area in which your leak is. From there, usually duct tape is your safest bet for plugging the hole. In some cases, with cheap hoses like a NuHose or Fancy hose, it's better to just snag another hose than to plug it, if they're cheap enough. If your hose is good, it's time to check the hose port. What I'll usually do is take the stem naked, then try to plug the hose port on the bottom of the stem (where it would normally enter the base), and try to pull from the hose port directly. Same deal as before - if you have no airflow whatsoever, you're golden. If you do have airflow, check to see if you need to weld the hose port. If you have to weld, JB weld is going to be your safest bet here.

Water Level

This is something that gets debated a lot as to what's right and wrong, but, as most things are with hookah, it all boils down to personal preference. Generally speaking, your water level should be about an inch or so above the bottom of your stem. If you feel like it's hitting too airy, you can add extra water. If it's too restricted, try going with less water. You want at least half an inch of coverage, otherwise when the water bubbles from smoking, it can leave the bottom of the stem exposed, which is something you generally want to avoid. That said, the water is in the base for a reason - unfiltered hookah smoke is not a very pleasant experience.

We good now?

All in all, this should cover most of the major flaws that can go wrong when smoking. Have you tried any of these fixes before? How did they work for you? Are there any we missed? Let us know in the comments below! Hopefully this helps you fix your sessions, if you're having these kind of issues. As always guys and gals, thanks for reading, and happy smokes!

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