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How much water should you put in your bong?

Sometimes, it can be a bit difficult to figure out your bong's proper water level.  Here's a few good tips and tricks to help you figure it out!

Posted by Carlyn Atkinson on

Even with the rise of vaping and dabbing, the classic bong is still one of the best ways to enjoy your cannabis. All types of bongs have their place with different smokers. Whether you have a bubbler bong, perc bong, or anything in-between, you are sure to enjoy yourself ... as long as you know what you’re doing.

One of the most important things to remember before you load your bong is that you need to get the water level right. If the water level isn’t right, your experience can be a real drag. But how much water do you put in a bong? It's a common question we get and something you might be wondering if you're thinking of buying a new bong.

The truth is that the amount of water you need varies depending on the size and design of the bong, so there is no one right answer. But a general of thumb is that your bong needs enough water to properly filter and cool the smoke being inhaled.

Admittedly, it can be a little confusing to figure out the correct water level, but fortunately, many good tips and tricks exist that can help you figure it out. 


Why Do You Put Water In A Bong?

What’s the water for anyway? It’s pretty simple, but pretty important. The water you put in your bong gives your smoke the cool, smooth flavor bongs are famous for. If you don’t add water, you’re basically smoking out of a gigantic glass pipe. You’ll get similar flavors to using a traditional spoon pipe, which isn’t bad, but that’s not why you bought a bong.


Why Does a Bong's Water Level Matter?

Your bong water’s first job is that of filtration. Water filtration is important because it filters the ash, tar, and other particulate matter created when combusting dry herb, making the smoke smoother.

Your bong water also acts as an aerator. When the smoke is drawn through the water, it’s dispersed into tiny bubbles. The increased surface area cools the smoke before it reaches your lungs. This keeps you from getting a blast of hot smoke that’s typical when smoking a hand pipe or blunt. 

Your bong water level matters because if there’s too much water, your bong will be harder to smoke. Your lungs will have to work harder to create enough suction to pull the smoke through the water. If there isn’t enough water, you won’t have enough filtration and aeration and you'll end up with harsher hits.


How Much Water To Put In Your Bong

So how much water should you put in your bong?

The easy answer is that you need enough water to where the bottom of the downstem is submerged in the water. That’s usually about half an inch, depending on the bong. If your downstem is a diffused downstem, make sure the water is high enough to fully submerge all of the slits.

If all of the slits and the main opening of the downstem isn’t submerged, you’re bypassing the water filter. That’s what turns your water bong into a massive hand pipe.


Filling Straight Tube Bongs Or Beaker Bongs

To fill these simple bongs that have a simple downstream, just pour the water down through the mouthpiece at the top. Fill it until the downstream in the bottom is submerged. You could remove the downstream and pour the liquid in through there.

This can make it hard to judge the right amount, though, and you’ll probably have to remove the downstream a few times until you get the right amount.


Filling A Percolator Bong With Water

It can be a little harder to fill percolator bongs or water pipes with several chambers with water. The best way to fill a perc bong is to pour water in from the mouthpiece.

But sometimes, the water can get stuck in the upper percolators or chambers. If it does, blow through the mouthpiece to force the water into the lower parts of the bong. Slightly tilting the bong can also help the water run down into the bottom of it.

Let the water settle and ensure all the percolators are submerged. If they aren’t, add some extra water until they are. Try not to overfill it, but if you do, tilt the bong, and pour the water out from the bottom through the downstem.


Water Levels When Using Ice in Your Bong

So how much water do you add if you have an ice catcher?

If you like to add ice to your bong to have extra cold water to further cool the smoke, the water level you need is not going to change.

When the smoke hits the ice, it’ll melt. As the ice melts, it will change the water level in your bong. Be aware of that, and keep an eye on your water level as it increases. If the level rises too far, hitting the bong could be harder on your lungs. You might also get some splashback and dirty bong water in your mouth, which no one wants.


How Often Should You Replace Your Bong Water?

To have the healthiest and tastiest smoke, changing out your bong water after 1 – 3 smoke sessions is essential. 

You also shouldn’t leave water in your bong. It might seem inconvenient to refill it every time you smoke, but it ensures you get the cleanest smoke. Replacing your bong water after each use will help you avoid mold and mildew that can often build up if you leave water in your bong. 

Frequently adding fresh water to your bong reduces the number of times you’ll have to clean your bong, and your smoking experience will be healthier overall.


Flavored Bong Water

If you’re looking for something different, try some flavored bong water. Adding a flavor to the bong water will flavor the smoke as it passes through the bong water.

If you don’t like the taste of your dry herb, this is a great way to switch it up. If you are bored with the taste of dry herb, this is the most cost-effective way to try something new. Of course, if you really want to switch things up, you can always look into dry herb vaporizers!


Grab Your Next Bong From Smoke Cartel

At Smoke Cartel, we’ve curated a selection of bongs for sale made from durable borosilicate glass and other high-quality, safe materials, like silicone.

Sturdy glass water pipes filter fine particles from the smoke and deliver smoother, cooler hits. Bongs with percolators offer greater diffusion, condensing, and cooling of smoke for massive rips! Glass bongs filter and cool, dry herbs to provide a kinder, gentler smoking experience. You can’t go wrong with a bong. Just remember to add the right amount of water.

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