How Much Water to Put in Your Bong

bong water level
December 8, 2020 By Cody Marchant

There are many different types of bongs. They all come in different shapes and have different requirements. One of these requirements is how much bong water should be put into your bong at one time. 

Although some people may think there is only one amount of water that should be put into a bong, it is actually different for each particular piece. The amount of water will vary depending on the size, but also the design of the bong that you have. Overall, you should make sure that there is enough water in the bong to bubble and cool the smoke. But let’s get more into detail on how much water you should put into your bong, and why this is important. 

In this article, you will learn:

Let’s get down to business!

What Does Bong Water Do? 

Bong water acts as a filter as well as a percolator. The water provides smoother and cooler hits but also filters out some of the harmful aspects of smoking.

Percolation is the act of cooling smoke when it is going through your mouth and into your lungs. If you have too much water in your bong it will be difficult to get a good hit, but if you do not have enough water then you will get an unpleasant dry hit. If you are an avid weed smoker, than chances are you have taken a dry hit from your bong thinking you already added water. You would think it would smoke just like a bowl but it’s so much harsher for some reason. 

Water is what makes bongs rip so smooth and clean. Make sure to double check that you added water to your bong before lift off.


How it Works 

When smoke passes through the water in your bong, it also brings the heat that was created from lighting the bowl. When the smoke is cooled, it will not feel as harsh in your lungs because it will be cooled. When the bong water bubbles, it will help to remove any particles in the smoke. This gives your hits a nice cool taste which is what most people choose a bong for in the first place.

What About Adding Ice? 

Some bongs have added ice catchers which can be great for an extra chilled smoke sesh. If you decide to put ice in the tube of your bong then you do need to watch out for when it melts. 

As the ice melts, it will slowly begin to fill up the water in your bong. This can eventually push your bong water up to unwanted levels. All you need to ensure is that you pour out a bit of the water as the ice melts.

How Much Water Should You Put in Your Bong? 

Each bong is completely different when it comes to filling them with water. There is one thing that remains consistent, and that is when filling up your bong, you will want to make sure that the bottom of the downstem is touching the water. You want the bottom of the downstem should be about half an inch into the water

If you do not have the downstem far enough into the water, then the smoke will not filter through the water before you inhale it. This step provides you the opportunity to have a cool and clean hit. If you have too much water, you will know because it will splash into your mouth. Not only is this unsanitary, but you will also struggle to pull your hit. Ultimately this will affect the flavor of your smoke.

types of water pipes - beaker base bongs

Beaker Bong Water Level 

Beaker bongs are pretty simple, so the process to fill these water bongs is very simple. Pour water into the mouthpiece until the downstem is submerged. 

best 420 gifts for stoners UPC straight tube bong

Straight Tube Water Level 

Very similar to filling a beaker bong, straight tube bongs need to be filled only to where the downstem is submerged. Rather than pouring through the mouthpiece, you can also remove the downstem and then pour water through it.

different-types of percolators spiral percs

Percolator Bong Water Level

With percolator bongs, you are getting the ultimate filtration. This means that you will need to ensure that they are all doing what they are supposed to do. For single and double perc bongs, you want to make sure that both of them have their bottom submerged in water. This will allow the smoke to filter through the water in all of the percolators. 

types of water pipes - round base bongs

Round Base Bong Water Level 

Round base bongs are pretty simple when it comes to water levels. You really just want to ensure that the downstem is far enough into the water for it to bubble and filter the smoke. If there is an ice catcher, you will need to account for the fact that the ice might melt. All you need to do in this case is to make sure that your pulls are not changing, and if they are, pour out a bit of water. 

types of water pipes silicone bongs

Silicone Bongs 

Often silicone bongs are colored and you will be unable to see the water level. You may want to actually measure how much water you put into your bong. Look into the bong and fill it up with water until the slits on the downstem are covered. If there are no slits, just make sure the water is at least half an inch from the bottom.


How to Fill a Bong with Water 

Depending on what shape of bong you have, it will change how you should fill your bong with water. Here are the general steps in which you should follow when filling your bong properly. 

Step #1

Pour water through the mouthpiece (if your bong is better suited to pouring water through the stem, this is also an option).

Step #2

Take test drag through the mouthpiece without actually lighting anything.

Step #3

Make sure you hear the water bubble. This should be pretty noticeable.

Step #4

If the bong does not bubble or the downstem is not submerged fully, add more water.

Step #5

If there is water going up towards your mouth, and even touching your mouth, when you take a drag, then you may need to pour out some of the water. 

Step #6

Keep trying until you find the perfect amount of water for your bong. Then you can measure this water level, and use it every time you fill your bong.

Why Does the Water Level Matter?

Having the correct level of water in your bong can make a huge difference in the quality of your smoke. When you have the right level of water in your bong, your hits will be cool, and you will be able to smoke with little effort. 

You will also be able to comfortably smoke rather than coughing in pain due to the smoke burning your lungs. The purpose of using a bong is to cool the smoke and make the whole experience better, and not having the right level of water combats that purpose.

The water in your bong filters the smoke and reduces toxins. This is one of the most important parts of having the right level of water in your bong. You can also avoid getting dirty bong water in your mouth and utilize your bong to its fullest capacity.


How Often Should You Replace Your Bong Water?

The water in your bong not only filters the hit but also affects the flavor of your smoke. This means that in order to have the healthiest and tastiest smoke, you should change out your bong water after 1 – 3 smoke sessions

Try to avoid leaving water in your bong. Although it might be inconvenient, it will ensure that you are getting the cleanest smoke. By replacing your bong water each time you use it, you will also avoid mold and mildew that can often build-up. 

When you frequently replace your bong water, you reduce the number of times that you are required to clean your bong, and your smoking experience will be healthier overall. Check out our article of how to clean your bong to learn the best practices to cleaning your bong and how often you should.

Can I Fill My Bong With Other Liquids?

Surprisingly there are actually a few different things to fill your bong with besides water

Warm Tea

Although you typically would not choose to use a warm liquid in a bong, this can be a great option to soothe your throat. Begin by making hot tea with strong flavors such as orange, peach, or even lemon. Avoid using any sugar, as this would make it much harder to clean. Despite this, hot tea alone will clean your bong beautifully.

Bong water alternatives


Although wine is not the most popular alternative to water when using a bong, it can add a bit of flavor. Whether you prefer red or white, you have options. One reason that you might not want to choose wine, is because of its alcohol content. THC is soluble in alcohol, which means that you may lose some of the THC when smoking with wine. If you find a wine with extremely low alcohol content, then you may not need to worry about this. 

Iced Tea

Similar to warm tea, iced tea is a great alternative to bong water. Be sure to avoid sugar, and use simply brewed tea and ice. This will give a beautiful aroma, and you can choose between so many flavors. Try it with an herbal or hibiscus tea. 

Citrus Peels

If you want to use water but also are looking to switch it up slightly, you can add both orange and lemon peels to the water. This will give the water a nice flavor, without using juice or added sugar. It can also help to keep your bong clean and smelling fresh.

Bong water alternatives

Cranberry Juice

Cranberry juice is a great option to fill your bong with because it is acidic. This means that it should theoretically clean your bong for you while you smoke. 

The only thing you need to watch out for is that the sugar can make the whole thing a sticky experience. Look for a juice with no indeed sugar or artificial flavorings.

Where to Get the Best Bongs – HelpingPot 

For a long time, water bongs were considered somewhat taboo. They were only found in sketchy stores and associated with illegal activity. Now, bongs can be found all over the place. Whether that is in a head shop (where they tend to be a bit more expensive) or on a reputable website like HelpingPot.

Check out our selection of glass, silicon, and other material bongs. We have a huge selection on, where you can find anything from the smallest bong to the largest and more high tech percolators you can find. 



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