How to Fix a Hookah: 6 Easy Steps To Troubleshoot Your Pipe

How to Fix a Hookah: 6 Easy Steps To Troubleshoot Your Pipe

Very often we find that our hookah is not functioning like we would like it to. Sometimes you have done everything right, and you are experienced in making hookah for yourself, yet still, you feel something is wrong. Why worry, when you have our team of experts, help you figure out likely problems that often arise uninvited.

These Are The 6 Easy Fixes For Non-Smoking Hookah

  1. Check Your Pipe
  2. Check Your Water Level
  3. Reduce Heat By Removing Coals
  4. Shut All Your Holes
  5. Purge
  6. Check Your Packing

1. First Off, Check Your Pipe!

More often than you would think, hookah pipes start to tear from numerous places. Due to the colors and materials, it is difficult to instantly be able to tell your pipe has been damaged.

Here’s How to Check if The Pipe Needs Fixing

After your pipe is in, lightly blow in and listen to if there are any hissing noises coming either from the pipe or from where the pipe fits into the hookah. If it is coming from where the pipe fits into the hookah, that means it is not fitted properly. You can fix this by buying grummets for the pipe or by wrapping tape around.

rubber grommet for hookah

You can also take your pipe to your kitchen/toilet sink, pour some tap water into the pipe and see if the water comes out from anywhere else other than the other end of the pipe. In that case, you need to buy a new pipe. Check out my recommendations for the best shisha pipe in 2020.

2. Check Your Water Level!

hookah base with ideal water level

Just like you should not drink too little or too much, your hookah needs to find the same balance too. If you do not put sufficient water in your hookah base/bong, you will struggle to inhale smoothly. This is because the low water levels would let too much unnecessary airflow in the base.

You have to remember, water also acts as your filtration, therefore, not enough water will give you harsher smoke which would hurt your throat. Put in too much water on the other hand, and you would find the hookah choking in your inhale.

To solve this, try to find the perfect balance by practice, and you can take an ink marker to indicate the ideal level on your hookah base, you would find that it is usually about 1.5-2 inches above the end of the stem.

3. Reduce The Heat By Removing Coal

removing hookah coal from the top of the head

Too many times, distracted by the thick smoke, we end up cutting our hookah session in half by burning our tobacco too soon.

You are advised to start your hookah session by letting approximately 3 coals sit on the head for a few minutes to get the tobacco heated. Then you gently start pulling in and exhaling to get the flavor started.

Once you feel your hookah is producing sufficient smoke, it is advisable you remove one coal to maintain the temperature and not allow the tobacco to burn at a higher temperature.

Once you reduce the coal, you have now allowed the tobacco to not overheat, retain its juices, and remain flavourful for the rest of your session.

4. Shut All Your Holes

steps you should take to avoid hookah air leaking
There should NOT be ANY other airflow, nor air leakage other than air from your hookah bowl/head.

This airflow will not let your tobacco burn as much as it is supposed to since the airflow will disrupt the necessary heat required from the coals to get the hookah going. Before you place your coals on the bowl/head, place your palm and inhale from the pipe.

If you hear any other noise, other than some suction of your hand, then that means there is a leak that needs to be shut.

5. Purge!

purging Amy Deluxe hookah

Another word for ‘Clear out’. This means, to make sure the valve on your hookah body, found next to where the pipe connects, allows you to blow excess smoke out.

As you smoke, you will notice smoke tends to accumulate in your hookah base. This will clog your hookah soon, giving you a throat burn when you smoke.

To avoid this, lightly blow inside your bowl every few minutes, to clear out the excess smoke settled in the base.

If upon blowing, you feel the valve is clogged, unscrew the valve, tap it to see if the ball inside the valve is not stuck. If it is, then you may lightly oil with, for example, a drop of olive oil.

You now have a perfect valve, make sure you lightly “purge” every few minutes!

6. Check Your Packing

prepared hookah bowl

If you feel your tobacco has burnt too quickly even though you had put a good amount of tobacco, try lightly tapping around your head to loosen the flavor, as you may have packed the bowl too tightly together.

When preparing your bowl (shisha head) with the tobacco, after taking the tobacco out of its packaging, make sure it is not in chunks.

Your aim is to allow all air to pass through as much of your tobacco as possible rather than the heat from the coal only heating the top layer of the tobacco.

To be able to achieve this, avoid pressing the tobacco into the bowl, but rather sprinkle it around to maximize space for airflow.

This would not only increase the length of your session but also smoothen the pull when you inhale from your pipe.


So far you’re sure that your hookah is airtight, you also know that your water level in the vase is ideal, you have removed the coal, purged it, and you still have a problem? Maybe it’s just a time for a new hookah.

If your pipe is new, please let me know your setup in the comment section and I’ll be more than happy to advise you on how to fix your hookah.

About Author
S. Muhammad. A

My name is S. Muhammad. A Marketer by profession, a Hookah smoker by passion! I come from a house where hookah smoking is part of my culture. I have pictures of my grandfather smoking his beloved hookah too. I believe there is art in everything, and I try to depict the art I see in my hookah sessions and try my best to share them with you so you enjoy your hookah with me.

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