Oct 12 , 2021
Hookahs don’t last forever. Some manufacturers claim their hookahs can function for eternity, but that is simply not true. Like all materials and devices, hookahs have a finite longevity.
A few premium hookahs can indeed last for years, and possibly decades. However, they are among the most expensive set pieces, and perhaps not what you may want to purchase.
Hence, there is a time when you have to change your hookah, a moment that may already be in your past. This guide discusses all possibilities clubbed into five scenarios when a part of your hookah or the entire apparatus needs to be antiqued, or recycled if suitable.
- Visible Signs of Damage
Visible damage is the most obvious sign that your hookah is past its utility. However, visuals can be deceptive. Not all visible signs of damage indicate or imply complete futility. In reality, aesthetic damages don’t pose any significant threat.
The most common visible signs of damage are cracks or fractures. A crack may be a cosmetic fissure, not deep and consequential enough to necessitate the replacement of the part or a new hookah. Likewise, dents and other visible wear & tear limited to the surface or exterior of a hookah are not concerning.
You should be conscious of structural damage.
- If a crack is deep enough and affects the stem right from its embellishment, if any, through to the interior metal, steel, brass, or other material, you must consider an immediate replacement or buy a new hookah.
- If any part of your hookah is warped or deformed to any extent, you should immediately stop using it. Deformation is not common in hookahs. Thus, any misshapen component or a portion of any part is an indication of structural damage.
You don’t have to buy a new hookah if a replaceable part is damaged. Most hookahs that are mass-produced using manufacturing assembly lines have standardized ports or connectors. Hence, you can conveniently opt for a new base, stem, bowl, hose, tray, or another essential part for your hookah.
- Symptoms of Unknown Damage
Telltale signs of damage are easier to deal with. You can spot the problem, assess its severity, and decide accordingly. Some damage may not have obvious signs. You have to perceive the nature of the anomaly and detect the underlying causal problem.
Here are some common symptoms of unknown damage in a hookah:
- A part of the stem gets too hot to touch.
- Insufficient smoke despite correct bowl packing and use of charcoal.
- Air leakage without any hissing noise or other obvious indicator.
Concealed damage, such as cracks inside the stem or some kind of blockage, can cause a temperature spike.
The hookah exterior is usually insulated from the heat inside. You won’t feel the base, stem, or hose to be unusually hot to the touch.
The only exception is the bowl, but even that can be easily managed with some foil.
Interior damage can cause air leakage and temperature fluctuations. The latter affects the quantity and quality of the smoke. Hence, your session gets affected despite flawless stuffing of shisha inside the bowl and using the right number of charcoal pieces in properly lit condition.
- Impossible to Clean
Ideally, you must clean your hookah after every session. If you plan to smoke more than one bowl of shisha tobacco, you may continue for the rounds, and then clean all the components in the end.
However, there will be a time when you won’t be able to restore one or several hookah parts despite thorough cleaning. This stage indicates that the materials are deteriorating beyond usability.
One of the first telltale signs is the hose. Most hoses deteriorate before the base, stem, and bowl. A common symptom of hose deterioration is discoloration. Your hose may also smell strange.
If you cannot clean your hookah bowl, base, stem, hose, grommets, or all the parts combined, it is time for some shisha shopping.
- Unpleasant Smoke
Unpleasant smoke is not always a surefire sign that your hookah is no longer usable. Poor quality tobacco, dirty bowl or hookah parts, and other variable factors could alter the smoke’s flavor.
However, if you are using the same fresh shisha tobacco and there is no other cause of unpleasant smoke, the culprit is probably a deteriorating or degraded part of your hookah. Replace this part or get a new hookah.
- Strange Odor and Texture
Finally, a strange odor or texture calls for a comprehensive inspection. Any kind of rust may have a distinct smell. Rotting materials inside your hookah could cause foul odor and add a weird texture to the smoke. Replace worn-out parts or buy one of the latest bestsellers.