Most hookahs use three grommets for as many critical connections. Generally, all-inclusive hookah kits have these three grommets in the box unless the manufacturer or seller explicitly states otherwise. You may wish to confirm with the store, seller, or manufacturer to be sure.
The largest of the three grommets is for the stem to connect with the base. The smallest grommet is usually for the hose. The midsize grommet among the three in the box is for the bowl. The bowl grommet is used atop the stem. Also known as a gasket, the primary purpose of the grommet is to fit the bowl snugly atop the stem.
Types of Standard Bowl Grommets
The bowl grommet has a secondary purpose, too. The grommet seals the bowl atop the stem in a manner that doesn’t let any air out when you have set up your hookah. Hence, an inappropriate grommet will make your bowl unsteady and wobbly atop the stem. Also, the improper size or shape and resulting poor fit will cause air leakage and disrupt your smoking session.
There are three types of bowl grommets used in most brands and styles of hookah. Irrespective of the sizes, designs, and materials of your hookah and bowl, the three standard varieties of bowl grommet should serve your needs
Egyptian Bowl Grommet
Egyptian bowl grommet is the most traditional of all available varieties. The classic grommet is typically the midway between the other two types: Mod or Modern and Mya. Finding the right Egyptian bowl grommet is a challenge because of the varying sizes. A grommet or gasket is essentially a seal. Hence, a difference of a few millimeters or a fraction of an inch can make a huge difference.
Egyptian hookahs including its bowls are often handmade. Unlike mass produced hookahs that are manufactured per uniform specifications, handmade shishas tend to have some imperfections. Two identical hookahs of the same company can have a slight difference in the bore sizes of the claw bowls. Hence, you need to try and test a few bowl grommets to find the best fit.
Egyptian bowl grommets can vary in height, size, shape, and thickness. The standard height is around 1 inch, but a particular Egyptian bowl grommet may be considerably shorter or taller. The thickness of the wall, which makes the difference between the outer and inner diameters, is usually around 1/5 inch. However, this may vary, too.
Finally, you need to ensure that an Egyptian grommet suits both your bowl and the hookah. If a handmade hookah bowl has slight imperfections in its bore size, then the diameter of the neck of a handcrafted stem may also have an issue. The only solution is trying a few bowl grommets unless the one in your purchased kit is a perfect fit.
Mod Bowl Grommet
Mod or Modern bowl grommets are thicker than Egyptian variants. If you have a modern manufactured hookah, a mod bowl is more appropriate and the one in the box should be a good fit. Mod grommets don’t have as many variations as Egyptian ones, but a particular manufacturer may have their precise dimensions.
If you don’t use multiple bowls, especially of different companies, with a specific hookah model, then the same mod grommet should work fine at all times. Interchanging bowls and hookahs will need some trial and error to select the right grommet for each combination.
Mod grommet bore size is significantly smaller than Egyptian designs. The smaller diameter is because of the narrower stems in modern hookahs. Like Egyptian grommets, mod varieties can be made of rubber, plastic, or silicone. Most mod grommets are slightly shorter in height than Egyptian styles.
Mya Bowl Grommet
Mya bowl grommet is the thinnest of the three major styles. The size is suitable for bowls that have narrow bores. Except for a few hookahs, all bowls are inserted atop the stem. The stem goes into the bowl. Hence, you put the grommet around the top of the stem and then place the bowl on top.
It is possible that none of these three grommet types suit both the bowl and the hookah stem you have. In such a scenario, you may have to use more than one grommet. You may combine Egyptian and Mya grommets to attain the desired thickness and fit. You can use some paper towel, rubber band, or other such material to thicken a grommet for a perfect seal.
Do not use an inappropriate grommet for your bowl, stem and base connector, or the hose port. All these grommets serve as essential seals and play a crucial role in your shisha experience.