MONSTERS OF SMOKE Bongs How to measure the water level and temperature in a glass bong for optimal filtration and cooling?

How to measure the water level and temperature in a glass bong for optimal filtration and cooling?

If you are a fan of glass bongs, you know how important it is to get the right water level and temperature for your smoking experience. The water in your bong plays a significant role in filtering, cooling and delivering the smoke from your herb or tobacco. But how do you measure the optimal water level and temperature for your glass bong? Here are some tips and tricks to help you out.

Why does water level matter?

The water level in your bong affects how much filtration and flavor you get from your smoke. There are three types of water levels and their effects on your bong performance:

  • Overfilling

    : The water level goes over the downstem almost up to the neck. This is good for those who want maximum filtration and cooling. The large amount of water lowers the smoke temperature, giving you a hit that is smooth and gentle on your throat and lungs. The downside is that you have to put more effort to pull in the smoke. There is also a greater chance of getting bong water in your mouth, which is not very pleasant. Some people prefer this because it forces the lungs to expand, allowing the smoke to diffuse deeper into the body.

  • Underfilling

    : The water level barely covers the slits or gills of the downstem. This is good for those who want more flavor and potency from their smoke. The reason is that there is not enough water to filter the smoke going through the stem. You get to taste more of your herb or tobacco because it is not diluted too much. However, this also means less filtration and cooling, which can increase the chance of irritation and coughing.

  • Optimal

    : The gills or slits are covered just right. You get to enjoy both filtration and flavor. You get a balanced hit that is not too harsh or too weak. You can pull in the smoke easily without getting bong water in your mouth.

How to measure the water level?

The easiest way to measure the water level is to look at your downstem. If it has slits or gills, you need to make sure that they are completely submerged in water. If it has no slits or gills, you need to submerge the downstem about two inches above the opening for big bongs, or at least half an inch for mini bongs.

You can also use bubbles as an indicator of the water level. When you inhale through the mouthpiece, you should see bubbles forming at the bottom of the bong. The bubbles should make a distinct gurgling sound when the water level is just right. If the sound is too loud or too quiet, you may need to adjust the water level accordingly.

Why does water temperature matter?

The water temperature in your bong affects how smooth and refreshing your smoke is. The temperature of the water is always going to be lower than the burning herb or tobacco in your bowl, so it will cool down the smoke regardless of how hot or cold it is. However, different temperatures have different effects on your smoking experience:

  • Cold

    : Cold water produces cooler and thicker smoke. It enhances the freshness and flavor of your herb or tobacco. It also reduces the irritation and inflammation caused by hot smoke. Many people prefer cold water because it gives them a crisp and refreshing hit.

  • Warm

    : Warm water produces warmer and thinner smoke. It creates a soothing sensation in your mouth and throat. It also helps to moisturize and relax your respiratory tract. Some people prefer warm water because it gives them a cozy and comfortable hit.

How to measure the water temperature?

The simplest way to measure the water temperature is to use a thermometer. You can either dip it into the water chamber or attach it to the side of the bong with a suction cup. You can also use your hand as a rough gauge of how warm or cold the water is.

The optimal water temperature depends on your personal preference and tolerance. However, as a general rule of thumb, you can follow these guidelines:

Water Temperature Range (°C) Range (°F)
Cold 0-10 32-50
Warm 30-40 86-104

What to look out for?

There are also some things you need to consider when filling up your bong with water. Here are some of them:

  • Percolators

    : If your bong has percolators, you need to make sure that they are all submerged in water. Percolators help to filter and cool the smoke further, but they cannot do their job if they are dry. You may need to add more water to your bong if you have multiple percs.

  • Ice

    : If your bong has an ice catcher or pincher, you can add ice cubes to your bong for extra cooling. However, you need to be aware that the ice will melt over time and increase the water level in your bong. You may need to adjust the water level accordingly or drain some water out periodically.

  • Cleanliness

    : Whichever water temperature you prefer, always change your bong water after each session. Leaving it to sit is a recipe for bacteria and grime. Fresher water equals fresher hits. Glass bongs are sensitive to sudden temperature changes, so avoid using hot water to clean them. Use warm water and mild soap instead.


The water level and temperature in your glass bong can make a big difference in your smoking experience. By measuring them correctly, you can optimize the filtration and cooling of your smoke and enjoy a smooth and satisfying hit every time. Experiment with different levels and temperatures until you find the one that suits you best.

Happy smoking!