It sounds so simple...but, many new glass owners have asked us about how to fill a bong with water. And the truth is, there's more than meets the eye to this topic. The reality is that the amount of water you put in your bong matters more than you think. It affects the degree of filtration your water pipe offers. Too much water, and you'll have a hard time pulling your hits through as there's too much drag. Not enough water and you're not getting the filtration necessary for a cool, smooth hit.
Finding this balance and discovering the "sweet spot" for your water pipe can be tricky at first. But the good news is you'll get the hang of it after a bit of trial and error. More importantly, you're here at Smoke Honest - the leading resource for all things toking. Today, we're going to unpack this topic in-depth so you can start prepping your water pipe like a pro. We'll explain how much water you need to put in your bong, and address something concerning we see happening: filling your bong with anything besides water!
By the end of this guide, you'll feel confident each and every time you fill up your water bong. So - let's not waste any more time.
Why Learning How to Fill a Bong is More Important Than You Think
Those who have never owned a bong may be thinking to themselves...why is learning how to fill a bong with water so important? Does it really matter? The answer is yes - this is not something you can overlook if you're seeking the best cannabis smoking experience possible.
Here's the thing: bongs offer a unique filtration system that other methods don't. This is what makes them the best way to smoke weed, in our opinion. Water pipes work by cooling and filtering the smoke through water before it ever reaches your lungs. This process gets rid of some of the harmful toxins and carcinogens found in cannabis smoke.
So, how does this happen? Well, as you probably guessed - it all starts with water. We recently wrote a complete guide addressing the question - why is there water in a bong? There, you learned that the water in your bong acts as a filter and a cooling agent. It's responsible for making sure the smoke is smooth and gentle on your throat and lungs.
Therefore, if you don't have enough water in your bong...you're not going to get the full effect of this filtration system. Not to mention, you're more likely to cough up a storm as the smoke will be harsher on your throat. On the other hand, if you put too much water in your bong...you run into different problems. The most common issue is that it becomes difficult to pull the hit through all that water. As a result, many smokers end up having to take mini-hits or waste weed trying to get a big hit out of their bong.
So, as you can see - there's a delicate balance when it comes to how much water should be in your bong. It's not as simple as "just add water." But don't worry - we'll show you exactly how much water to put in your bong so you can avoid these problems. It's time to address the elephant in the room: how much water do you put in a bong?
So - How Much Water Do You Put in a Bong?
The answer isn't as simple as "6 ounces" or "10 ounces". When it comes to answering the question, how much water do you put in a bong, you need to consider your unique water pipe - as there are so many different sizes and shapes out there. As such, a "one size fits all" answer is next to impossible.
The best way to gauge how much water you need to put in your bong is actually based on your downstem. Everyone has different preferences. However, we feel that the sweet spot is adding enough water so that the slits in your downstem are fully underwater. It's important that you check the function of your bong and simulate hitting it. That way, you can see whether or not the downstem slits are covered fully when the bong is angled and pulled on.
If any of the slits in your downstem aren't underwater while you check the function of the bong, you can safely assume you need to add more water. But, if you have more water than necessary, you'll end up with that extra drag we talked about earlier - making it difficult to get good function on the piece.
There will undoubtedly be some trial and error as you find the sweet spot. The good news? It's as simple as adding a bit more water and rechecking the function. If you added too much, dump a bit out and recheck. Over time, you'll start filling your bong on autopilot as you have the sweet spot dialed in.
How to Fill a Bong with Water: Step by Step Guide
Now that we know why it's important to get the water level right in your bong, and we've addressed how much water you need to put in your bong, let's move on to the main event: how to fill a bong with water.
The actual process of filling up your bong is pretty straightforward. But, as we've mentioned throughout this topic so far, finding the sweet spot can be tricky. If your water bong has a percolator(s), matters are complicated even further. Don't stress though - we're here to help. Here's what you need to know:
How to Fill a Bong Without a Percolator
If your bong doesn't have a percolator, filling it up is actually quite simple. You can either pour your water in from the mouthpiece up top or from the downstem join down at the base.
Either way, you'll start by ballpark estimating how much water will cover the downstem slits adequately. Then, stick the downstem back in and see if it's close. If so, you can then check the function and adjust as needed - adding or removing water until you find the sweet spot. It's that simple! Keep reading to learn how to fill a bong with a percolator.
How to Fill a Bong With a Percolator
Now - if your bong does have percolation features incorporated into the design, you'll have to be a bit more strategic with how you fill your bong. That's because you want to make sure you get water into the percs themselves. These little features add more filtration to your water pipe. But, if you don't get water into the percolators, they can't do their job properly.
To fill a bong with a percolator, we recommend starting by filling the main chamber from the mouthpiece. That way, you can make sure water is getting all the way up into the percs. Then, once that's taken care of - go ahead and add more water until it covers your downstem slits adequately. After that, check the function and adjust as needed to find your sweet spot!
Should I Fill My Bong With Anything Besides Water?
We know you've seen people on social media - or perhaps in your group of friends - fill their water bongs with liquids besides plain H20. Where does the Smoke Honest team stand on this matter, you ask? Well, we advise you against it of course! There are a few reasons why. First - water has the perfect consistency for smooth, controlled hits. Adding thicker liquids like milk (yep. we've seen it.) doesn't just affect your hit though - they can get your bong nasty and contribute to a moldy, funky smell. The same goes for sticky liquids like soda.
Think about it like this - adding anything but water to your bong will create a less than desirable smoking experience. The plain, flavorless characteristics of water allow you to truly appreciate the flavor and tasting notes of your flower. More importantly, water keeps your bong clean. As we discussed in our article on how to clean a water pipe, getting sticky residue off your glass is tough. This is even more difficult if you have percolators. In summary - no, don't fill your bong with anything but water!
Should I Refill My Bong With Water Each Time I Use it?
One final question to answer is how often you should change your bong water. We recently wrote a complete guide on this topic. And the answer is - as frequently as you want!
The more often you change out your bong water the better in your opinion. This provides a better experience for you - the smoker - while also cutting back on how often you should clean your bong. By emptying and rinsing your bong with each use, you'll dramatically cut back on how much cleaning effort you need to put in.
Final Thoughts on How to Fill a Bong With Water
That concludes our complete guide on how to fill a bong with water. Whether you came here hoping to learn about filling up your normal bong or you came here to learn how to fill a bong with a percolator - we hope you feel confident in your next steps. Remember - there will be a bit of trial and error while you find the sweet spot. And for real...don't add anything but water to your bong. Whether you have a dab rig vs bong, these same tips apply. Want to learn more about the world of water pipes and cannabis? We have a complete guide on how to use a water pipe for those that are new to this method.
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