A fully assembled hookah setup should have one open inlet at the top, through the foil or heat management device upon the hookah bowl, and one open outlet through the hose and the mouth tip. Any other open inlet or outlet in the entire apparatus will lead to air leakage. Airflow is a significant element and any disruption, such as blockage or leakage, can adversely affect your smoking session.
Air leakage is not an uncommon problem in hookahs. In most cases, the issue can be resolved with a bit of preemptive upkeep. Some issues may be beyond remedy, and you may have to replace the affected component. Let us discuss the simple steps to test a hookah for air leakage depending on the probable cause and the necessary resolution.
Damaged Parts of a Hookah need Replacement
Once assembled, the full setup functions as an integrated apparatus and there should not be any issue if all components or parts are working as intended. Damaged parts of a hookah can cause air leakage. Common examples are holes in the hose, cracks in the stem or the base, loosely fitted grommets or rubber seals, malfunctioning purge valve, and a combination of these issues.
Sizeable cracks and holes in any component are easy to spot. These parts should be replaced. Loosely fitted grommets may be tightened using tape or rubber band. If you cannot find any obvious cause or fail to spot the precise part of the apparatus wherefrom the air may be leaking, then you should perform a few tests.
Stepwise Guide to Test a Hookah for Air Leakage
You must disassemble the parts of your hookah and clean them, then test every component in isolation. Begin with the stem. Block the opening at the bottom of the stem. Block the connectors, such as the one for the hose. Take to the top of the stem, wherein you install the claw bowl, and blow some air downward. You will feel air pressure building up inside the stem and there will come a moment when you cannot blow any more air into the shaft.
If you can continue to blow in some air and there is a hissing sound somewhere on the stem, then you have found the source of leak. You must repeat the same test with the hose. Block one end of the hose and blow air into it through the other end. The buildup of air pressure will make it impossible for you to blow in any more. If you can continue to blow in and there is a hissing sound or spurt of air through any portion of the hose, then you know where the leak is. Replace these parts or plug these leaks using clever hacks.
There is one other common cause of air leakage in a hookah. This is the purge valve. In its normal state, the purge valve must facilitate the airflow. The small ball inside this purge valve must not be stuck in any portion. It should move inside the valve as it is designed to. If the ball is stuck at the end of the valve, then it may allow air to leak even when you are not purging the hookah. If it is constantly stuck at the base of the valve then it will block normal airflow that is necessary as you inhale smoke during a session.
You can manually restore the ball in the purge valve. Routine upkeep of this crucial component can avoid this problem in the first place. If for some reason the ball keeps getting stuck or the purge valve cannot be restored, then you may have to replace it. You can get a new stem compatible with the base and the bowl that has a more reliable purge valve.
Expertise Advice to Prevent Air Leak in Hookah
Do not use a hose inappropriately. Twisting it, forcing it to bend or coil in a manner that the material may not be able to endure, and mishandling the hose will cause damage. Chinks, excess pressure, dents and such damages can lead to air leaks. Stems, bowls, and bases should also be handled with care.
Glass bases can develop cracks. Metal or alloy stems may suffer damage at the openings and the grommets may not fit properly thereafter. Air leakage may also happen if the bowl is not fitted properly, if there are too many or large holes in the foil, and if the heat management device is faulty. You must check for these possibilities as well.