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A Beginner's Guide to Percolator Water Pipes

Posted by Jamie Pope on May 04, 2021

A Beginner's Guide to Percolator Water Pipes

A Beginner’s Guide to Percolator Water Pipes

Smoking from a water pipe is a lot of fun and is considered to be one of the healthiest ways to consume dry herb. You may have hit a few water pipes that belong to your homies. Let’s be real, the diffused downstem in their water pipes does the trick, but the smoke could be a little more smooth. Wouldn’t you say?

If you’re looking to dive into the world of percolator water pipes, Cloud 9 Smoke Co has the ultimate guide for you! This guide will tell you all you need to know about percolator water pipes and which percolator is best for you. Let’s dive in!

What Are Percolator Water Pipes?

Percolator water pipes are water pipes that have additional percolation beyond a diffused downstem. Percolator water pipes allow for additional diffusion and filtration to make your smoke silky smooth and easy on the throat. Percolators work to increase the amount of bubbles produced in your water pipe, so your smoke can have repeated contact with air and water!

Water is a crucial element of all water pipes because it’s the component that works to diffuse and filtrate your smoke. Water pipes are known for being safer than hand pipes, wraps, and papers because of this feature alone! Water pipes have the ability to reduce the amount of harmful byproducts our lungs and respiratory system are exposed to, which is why the water in our water pipes changes color after use. Not only does water work to filtrate our smoke, but it also helps to cool the temperature of our smoke, so we can take massive rips without irritating our throats and lungs! Cool, right?

When you throw a percolator into the mix, the percolator acts as an agent that increases the amount of bubbles produced in the water. This means that our smoke will have repeated contact with air and water at a faster rate, which allows the percolator and water to work together to reduce the amount of byproducts we’re exposed to! Not to mention, percolators will make any hit smooth, refreshing, and seamless upon the final inhale.

Types of Percolators

Percolators are a special feature inside our water pipes that are designed to act as a catalyst (speeding agent) to create additional bubbles and filtration. Percolators are often already included in our water pipes, but if your water pipe doesn’t have a percolator, don’t worry! Percolator ash catchers will save the day. There are many types of percolators out there, but their function remains the same. It’s all up to your preference! Sometimes, water pipes will contain more than one percolator of different styles, but remember the goal. It’s all about filtration and diffusion! Here’s a list of the common types of percolators, so you know which percolator is best for your smoking experience.

  • Honeycomb Percolator - Taking on the shape of a honeycomb, this percolator is a flat, disc shaped percolator. Honeycomb percs are a popular choice in the smoking community due to their nature of being able to pull air through the percolator without any resistance or drag! This means that you won’t have to worry about putting in extra work when hitting your water pipe. Additionally, honeycomb percs are one of the most durable percolators to choose for your water pipe since they take on a thick, fitted design!
    • The Olympus Triple Honeycomb Water Pipe contains 3 honeycomb percolators to get your smoke seshes to an apex level. This water pipe is crafted from borosilicate glass and will keep resistance and drag out of your smoking forecast. Priced at $79.99, you can’t find a triple perc water pipe as affordable as this one!

Olympus Triple HoneycombOlympus Triple Honeycomb 2

  • Showerhead Percolator - Showerhead percolators, also known as UFO percolators, have a central disc that is filled with vertical slits for air and smoke to pass through! With this percolator, smoke is drawn through the openings in showerhead perc’s flared bottom and is pulled through a separate diffusion chamber above the water in the base. You can typically find showerhead percs located in the neck of the water pipe!
    • The MOB Glass Versailles Showerhead Beaker is a top-of-the-line beaker water pipe that incorporates a showerhead percolator in its neck. To make your hits the best of all time, this beaker water pipe features a diffused downstem and an ice pinch to work with the showerhead beaker water pipe to keep your smoke in pristine shape! ($129.99)

MOB Glass Versailles Showerhead Beaker

  • Tree Percolator - Tree percolators are one of the OG percolators introduced in water pipes. These percolators consist of multiple rods connected at the top of the percolator, which gives the percolator a tree shape! Air travels from a central tube and down through the rods which are slitted at the bottom, diffuses bubbles into your water pipe. Tree percolators can contain anywhere from 6 - 12 rods per tree and are one of the most common percolators used for stacked percolation in a water pipe! When having a water pipe with a tree percolator, make sure to take extra care in cleaning and maintaining your water pipe. Tree percolators do have a record of being more fragile than other percolators.
    • The MOB Glass Wizard 12 Arm Tree Straight Tube is a high end straight tube water pipe that has a tree percolator located in its neck. With its 12 Arm Tree percolator and splash guard features, this water pipe will give you seamless smoke with no splash back! ($199.99)

MOB Glass Wizard 12 Arm Tree Straight Tube

  • Matrix Percolator - Matrix percs function similarly to showerhead percolators, but contain multiple discs with horizontal and vertical slits. Matrix percolators are very popular in the smoking community because of its high volume of diffusion. With matrix percs, your smoke can circulate in different directions to enhance the diffusion process. Plus, they look mad cool!
    • The Olympus Wedding Cake Water Pipe is an intricately designed water pipe with a stacked body. This water pipe features a fixed matrix percolator in its base to keep your smoke optimally filtrated and diffused for milky, smooth rips! This water pipe also includes a roll-stop 14mm male slide that will allow you to get to toking once this water pipe lands on your doorstep. ($119.99)

Olympus Wedding Cake Water Pipe

  • Inline Percolator - Inline percolators are used to extend your water pipe’s downstem right into the base of your water pipe. Inline percs create a convex shape at one side of the water pipe to accommodate the percolator’s length. You can find inline percolators containing slits or holes facing downward or to the side, which will prevent water from shooting far up into the neck of the water pipe! Inline percolators can stand alone or with other percolators in the water pipe. Usually, glass artists like to pair inline percs with other percolators for ultimate diffusion and reduced splashback!
    • Made in the USA, the MAV Glass Mini Inline Coil Beaker is the perfect example of how glassblowers will incorporate inline with other assets to a water pipe for optimal diffusion and filtration. In place of a second percolator, the MAV Inline Coil Beaker features a removable glycerine coil that you can place in the freezer before a sesh for cool, refreshing rips! ($259.99)

MAV Glass Mini Inline Coil Beaker

  • Swiss Percolator - Swiss percolators take on a unique shape with external holes that takes on the appearance of Swiss cheese. No worries, though! The external holes are purely for aesthetic purposes. Swiss percs force airflow around the external holes to diffuse smoke! Swiss percs are a popular choice in the smoking community due to their low resistance and drag, meaning you won’t have to pull extra hard when using your water pipe.
    • The MOB Internal Swiss Pillar comes equipped with a Dewar’s joint paired with a fixed showerhead percolator to keep all hits, rips, tokes, and more sensible and smooth! The Internal Swiss Pillar’s showerhead percolator works alongside its 6 Swiss percolator pillars and internal recycler to allow for additional filtration, leaving you a happy toker with every sesh. This water pipe takes the cake for convenience and functionality not only with its percolation system, but with its bent neck and splash guard features as well! ($179.99)          
  • MOB Internal Swiss Pillar

How to Set Up Your Percolator Water Pipe

Congratulations on finding your first percolator water pipe! Owning a percolator water pipe is a lot of fun, and your smoke seshes are about to be top-tier. Using a percolator water pipe isn’t too different from traditional water pipes, but we’ve got the load down of all the steps to make sure you’re rocking and rolling on high ground!

  1. Fill your percolator water pipe with water. Start by filling water from your joint piece and downstem until all slits are submerged in water. If you have a flat, or disc shaped, percolator, submerge the entire percolator in water. This will help to make sure your percolator functions at its full potential!
  2. Double check to make sure all percolators in your water pipe are bubbling. You can do this by doing a water test on your water pipe! All you do is place your mouth into the mouthpiece and begin to suck. You should see your percolators forming bubbles! If not, you may need to fill your water pipe with more water.
    1. Make sure that the water isn’t splashing into your mouth, either! This is a huge indicator that you may have added too much water to your water pipe. Carefully position your water pipe above the sink and slowly pour water from its mouthpiece to adjust the water levels in your water pipe.
  3. After a few seshes, you’ll be able to gauge how much water your percolator water pipe needs to provide perfect diffusion and filtration! After all, isn’t experience what smoke seshes are all about?

Should I Fill My Water Pipe with Hot or Cold Water?

This is a huge debate in the smoking community, but in all reality it’s up to you! Since you now know that water pipes are about cooling the temperature of smoke, it would seem counterintuitive to fill your piece with hot water, right? This is a totally fair claim to make, but at the end of the day hot water will still diffuse the temperature of your smoke! Think of it this way, we’re inhaling something that’s been lit on fire. It’s safe to say hot water will be able to cool the temperature of flaming-hot dry herb pretty nicely!

Hot water is all the rage for some tokers due to its ability to make the smoke form into a steam-like consistency. This is due to the water’s viscosity and high humidity. However, cold water will keep your smoke refreshing, smooth, but most of all - dense.

Choosing the right water temperature is definitely up to your preference, but Cloud 9 Smoke Co has tested the different temperatures for you! Give this article a read to learn the differences between smoking from cold water vs warm water.

Always remember to keep your water pipe clean and maintained. Most importantly, make sure to start every sesh off with fresh, clean water. This will reduce your chances of exposure to harmful byproducts and bacteria while allowing your water pipe to percolate and filter your smoke without any disturbances such as fallen ash and resin!

Grab a Percolator Water Pipe and Get to Smoking!

Now that you know how percolator water pipes function and what types of percolators to choose from, what’s stopping you from securing a percolator water pipe? Having a percolator water pipe will help to keep your smoke seshes smooth and refreshing while keeping your health in check! Remember, percolators will increase our smoke’s contact with air and water, meaning that our exposure to harmful byproducts will be reduced while we’re enjoying fat, smooth rips.

Percolator water pipes are all about creating top-tier smoke seshes! Be a top-tier toker and flex your percolator water pipe to the homies and family!