how much water to put in your bong

How Much Water Should I Put in a Bong?

If you’re reading this, chances are you have a trusty new bong. But, you’re not quite sure how much water you should be putting in your bong before smoking it. Fear not: you’ve come to the right place, and we’ll show you the quickest and easiest way to find the perfect water level! Learning how much water you should put in a bong is important– it’s the only way you can fully enjoy the cool and filtered smoke they produce. Bongs come in all different shapes and sizes, so smoking your bong without the right water level can be a big drag (see what we did there?).

Whether you’re a bong smoking pro or just learning how to smoke a bong, there’s always more to learn. Read on to learn how to find the perfect water level for your new bong.

This post was updated on January 3, 2019 with new information and water pipes!

What’s the Perfect Amount of Water for My Bong?

Let’s get down to brass tacks: how much water should you put in a simple straight tube bong? The short answer: just enough for the downstem and its slits to be completely submerged in water. If the downstem on your water pipe does not have slits, then make sure that the bottom of the downstem is about a half inch or so into the water. Feel free to add more water if you prefer– as long as no water reaches your mouth when you inhale.

How Much Water Should I Put in a Perc Bong?

The perfect amount of water for your bong can change based on its size. So, what if you have a huge scientific bong with multiple percs and chambers? The idea remains exactly the same– you need to add enough water to submerge all of the different perc openings. For example, if your bong has a matrix perc and an inline perc, then both of them should be submerged in water. This step ensures that you’re taking full advantage of the bong’s filtration!

How Do I Fill a Bong With Water?

Now that you know how much water to put in a bong, we’ll explain how you do it. Believe it or not, filling your bong up with water the wrong way can result in quite a mess.

Filling Simple Beaker or Straight Tube Bongs With Water

For simple bongs that only have a downstem, the water filling process is easy. Simply pour the water through the mouthpiece (on top) into the base, until the downstem is submerged in water. If you prefer, you can remove the downstem, and pour water in through the stem.

Filling a Perc Bong With Water

When your bong has multiple percolators or chambers, it can get a bit more complicated. As we mentioned before, the idea is to submerge the bottom of each percolator in water. So, the best way to go about doing this is pouring water in the mouthpiece, so that the water flows down to the percs on the bottom. If the water doesn’t quite make it down, try blowing through the mouthpiece to push the water down to the lower percs, or (lightly) tilting the bong sideways.

The Finishing Touches

After the water has settled, make sure that all of the percs are submerged. If not, you can always add more water from the top to submerge the percs in the top chambers. If you accidentally overfill a chamber, simply tilt the bong to move the water to the bottom, and then dump it out of the bottom of the bong. You can also fill up the stem of the bong with water from the joint, rather than the top.

What Does the Bong Water Do?

The water is what allows your bong to give the smooth, cool hits that you love so much. It helps to filter out a lot of the harmful toxins in your dry herbs. The bong water also cools down the smoke, making the inhaling process a lot smoother. Some smokers prefer ice cold water, and others prefer warm water. At Toker Supply, we recommend using only water, as other liquids can clog your bong and make it dirty.

Why Does the Water Level in a Bong Matter?

Like we said before, the level of water in a bong can make a huge difference for your smoking experience. With the perfect water level, you can enjoy cool and filtered smoke, and easily pull the smoke through the water. When there’s too much water in your bong, your lungs have to work a lot harder to pull the smoke through. You may also run the risk of getting water in your mouth. On the flip side, not having enough water means you aren’t taking full advantage of the bong’s filtration and percolators.

Shop Bongs and Water Pipes

There’s nothing like smoking from your new water pipe for the first time. At Toker Supply, we carry a large selection of new water pipes that will help you enjoy your smoking experience to the fullest! If you’re in the market for a new piece, be sure to check out our selection.

If you're reading this, chances are you have a trusty new bong. But, you’re not quite sure how much water you should be putting in your bong before smoking it. Fear not: you’ve come to the right place, and we’ll show you the quickest and easiest way to find the perfect water level! Learning how much water you should pu

How much water to put in a bong for the best hit

If you’ve just bought your first ever bong, it’s probably a pretty exciting time in your life! Bongs, or water pipes, are an absolute favourite smoking method around the world and have been for centuries. Whether used for ceremonial use in times gone, medicinally, or for fun with friends, Weed Republic loves the good old bong!

Although they’re nothing new, the complexity of modern bongs, like this scientific double perc ice bong by Glasscity, can leave users guessing as to how to actually use them properly. Perhaps most pressing of their concerns relates to the water itself.

Newbies to the herb are often unsure how much water should go into a bong and who could blame them?! It’s not like we learned about this stuff in primary school and not all of us took part in more illicit extra-curricular activities!

With all that in mind, WeedRepublic has produced this article to show you exactly how much water to put in a bong. By the end of it, you’ll be a veritable expert on the correct bong water level. We’ll be covering the following:

  • Why bong water is so important.
  • How to actually fill a bong with water.
  • How much water to actually use.
  • Why the water level actually matters.
  • If you should ever consider using an alternative to water.

After all that, we’re confident you’ll know how much water to put in your bong and a whole lot more besides. Introductions out of the way, let’s begin this deep dive into all things bong water – eww!

I Smoke Fresh Bong 16″ HoneyComb Straight Water

Why is Bong Water so Important?

Smoke, being the product of combustion, is naturally hot. Hot smoke burns! It burns your throat and it burns your lungs. It will also probably make you cough, which is certainly not part of the perfect smoking experience. Small hand pipes, with only a short distance between the bowl and the smoker, lacking any additional cooling features, are infamously harsh on the lungs.

Bongs, by contrast, provide a much smoother hit. The water in a bong acts to cool the smoke before it reaches the lungs. This smoother hit makes for bigger rips.

When using a bong, the smoker inhales from the mouthpiece, causing the pressure in the chamber to drop. This pressure drop drags smoke from the burning bowl along the pipe and through the water. It then travels up the chamber to an increasingly happy user.

Bong manufacturers have really started to get creative in recent years. Whereas once a simple downpipe would distribute smoke into the water, today there is all manner of different systems that increase the efficiency of this centuries-old smoke cooling technique.

They include:

  • Multiple chambers – Kind of like a double bong. A second pipe will lead smoke through water in a second chamber.
  • Diffuser – Slits at the end of a downstem to break smoke up before it enters the water. They dramatically increase smoke cooling. Dankstop, for example, sells a range of its own no-nonsense diffusers at reasonable prices.
  • Percolator – Percolators are used to break smoke up again before it enters the water and reaches the user. They will divide two distinct chambers and will incorporate a second water filter. Percolators come in many different styles. These include tree perks, like UPC’s Percolator Beaker Bong, and honeycomb perc, as seen on this triple-disc percolator bong by Black Leaf.

Glasscity Beaker Ice Bong | 10 inch | Black

How to Actually Fill a Bong

Filling a bong with water is straightforward enough. However, with many of the more modern glass pieces that might have percolators or multiple chambers, it might be a little trickier.

With a straight tube or beaker bong, like this 18” Genie, first, remove the bowl and/or downpipe (if you can). Then slowly pour water into the chamber to the required right level (more on this momentarily).

When filling a percolator or multiple chamber bong, things aren’t as simple. You may need to help the water through the system to reach the lower chambers. This isn’t a herculean task though. Just slowly rotate the bong side to side slightly being careful not to spill any water from the pipe or strike hole.

If this doesn’t work, form a seal with your mouth around the mouthpiece (like you’re hitting the bong) and exhale slowly. This should force the water through the percolator system and into the lower chambers.

How Much Water Should I Use?

There is no set amount of water to use in a bong. We can’t tell you to use 250ml as we might in an edibles recipe!

How much water you need to put in a bong will depend on the size of it. You want enough so that it provides complete smoke filtration but not so much that the water splashes your mouth from the bubbling or it becomes a challenge to take a hit.

When filling your bong, make sure to do it slowly and take test tokes along the way to check your levels. Once you get to the point that the entire end of the downpipe (and any diffuser) is submerged with no water hitting your lips or going into your mouth (gross!) and you’ve checked it pulls nicely, you’re ready to smoke. Stick your bowl back on, load up some bud, and enjoy!

If you’re using a percolator of any form, the advice is similar. You want to make sure every one of the tiny holes in it is submerged in at least a small amount of water when the piece is positioned at the angle required to smoke. This will create the cleanest possible hit from your water pipe.

Again, make sure you don’t use so much water that you get splashed in the mouth when smoking. Also, check that there isn’t so much that it causes a lot of drag when hitting the water bong. Once you’ve got your water level sorted, you’re ready to load that thing up!

A Note About Ice Bongs

In the interest of an even smoother hit, some ingenious bong manufacturer years ago decided to add what’s sometimes called an ice trap or ice pinch to their bongs. On such bongs, the straight tube leading up to the mouthpiece will have a section where it narrows.

The point is to load the ice via the mouthpiece after you put the water in. However, we all know that ice melts. You should take this into account when deciding how much water to put in your bong.

If you’re using a lot of ice, use a touch less water. It’s important to still make sure you use enough water to cover the downpipe and any diffuser slits fully. The layer of ice should help stop any annoying splashbacks later in the session when the bong water is less than fresh!

Thanks to the obvious cooling effect of ice on the smoke, it’s ok to use a little less water. If using a traditional downpipe, you still want the entire submerged end underwater. With a multi-percolator system, like Zob’s Rasta Circ Perc, however, you can get away with a few bits of the system being out of the water at first. The melt will top it up anyway since ice getting blasted with smoke doesn’t last long!

Silicone Mini Beaker

Why Does Water Level Matter?

Bongs have been designed to provide a creamy smooth hit when filled correctly. If you don’t use enough water, you will find that some of the smoke you inhale will be hotter than usual. This means it’ll be harsh and you might find it unpleasant. Just add a splash more and back to it!

Overfilled bongs can cause a poor user experience too. Rather than giving a rough hit, they can be difficult to smoke for a number of reasons. Firstly, the volume of water can provide too much resistance, making it more of a chore than a pleasure to take.

Secondly, the bubbling water can splash up so high as to splash the bowl from underneath. Getting the bowl wet will mean whatever buds you had loaded up need drying out before you can put them to use. You’ll also need to make sure the bowl is bone dry before starting again.

Other issues can arise from using too much water in the bong as well. If you have a toke or strike hole that’s particularly low down, water might spill out of it when you tilt the bong back for use.

Finally, and definitely the worst thing of all about overfilling a bong, is you end up with bong water in your mouth. Granted, it’s likely freshwater (since you probably just refilled it) but we still don’t recommend getting a mouthful of bong water ever!

Can I Use Another Liquid Instead of Water in my Bong?

There really is no better liquid to use in a bong than water. With water being abundant, cheap, and the best, why would you want to use anything else?

Novice smokers might think it’s a good idea to experiment with other liquids though. WeedRepublic can tell you categorically that’s not.

One suggestion we constantly hear is what if you use some form of alcohol in place of water. People often mistakenly believe it will get them more stoned, or drunk and stoned, or something else. In fact, it will get you less stoned, unless you’re prepared to actually drink the “bong vodka” or “bong beer” or whatever it is!

THC and the other important cannabinoids responsible for that oh-so-sweet buzz and host of medicinal effects are actually alcohol soluble. This means that as they travel through the booze in the smoke, some will bind with the alcohol and not reach the smoker. The end hit they feel will be noticeably weaker.

The same is also true about fats too. Using milk in a bong instead of water will produce exactly the same outcome. Your hit will be weaker and you won’t end up as stoned!

Meanwhile, sugary drinks might seem harmless since they have neither fat nor alcohol content. Whilst they won’t necessarily be detrimental to the smoking experience, do you really want a load of fizzy pop sloshing around in your prized piece? Water is the correct thing to put in a bong so make sure you keep it traditional.

Filing Your Bong with Water Really Isn’t Rocket Science!

Gauging how much water to put in a bong might seem daunting to the absolute novice smoker. However, once you’ve done it once, maybe made a mess of it a few times, and realised that it’s really not that big a deal, you’ll wonder what all the fuss was about.

The important things to remember as you put water in the bong is to use enough water that it entirely covers all smoke outlets. In a traditional water pipe design, this might just be a single downpipe. In a more outlandish percolator design, like this frankly epic showerhead perc from Tsunami Glass, it could be many different components of the system.

Tsunami Glass Swiss Perc Electric Showerhead Recycler Bong


Of course, you can overfill it too. It’s best to give your water bong a good few hard tokes before you start using it with the real herb. Make sure that no splashes reach either your mouth or the bowl and that it feels like it’ll hit well. Then, load that thing up!

If you’ve just bought your first ever bong, it’s probably a pretty exciting time in your life! Bongs, or water pipes, are an absolute favourite smoking method around the world and have been for centuries. Whether used for ceremonial use in times gone, medicinally, or for fun with friends, Weed Republic loves the good o