Sep 06 , 2022
You receive your first hookah in mail or get one from a store, and you are probably raring to set it up for the first session. But there are a few things you need to do before the hookah is ready. Also, you should review everything you have got to avoid any misadventure later.
Here is a stepwise guide to unbox and set up a new hookah for the first time.
Unwrap and Unbox Carefully and Inspect All the Hookah Parts
Most hookahs have a glass base, which is fragile. Your hookah may have other fragile parts, depending on the materials the various components are made of. Hence, you should always unwrap and unbox a new hookah carefully to avoid breaking anything inadvertently.
Hookahs aren’t always perfect. Manufacturing defects or damages in transit aren’t unheard of. Handmade hookah bowls and other components may have finishing or structural anomalies. If you find a chipped bowl or notice any other damage, contact the company or seller immediately.
Most companies will replace the damaged part unless the manufacturer or seller wasn’t at fault.
Clean Every Washable Component Before Using the Hookah
You should not use a hookah straight out of the box. All hookah components may have some dust and residual material from the production process, whether they are manufactured in a factory or handcrafted. You must wash every washable hookah part before the first use.
Your hookah kit should have at least two cleaning brushes. Use the slender and longer one for the stem. The shorter and thicker cleaning brush is for the glass base. You don’t need to use any soap or cleaning agent for the first wash. Use tap water, scrub the parts with the cleaning brushes, and rinse them thoroughly. Allow every component to air dry.
If you don’t have a silicone hose, it is probably not washable. You can use compressed air to blow out any residual matter inside the hose before setting it up with your hookah. Once all the parts are washed and dried, you are ready to set up the hookah for the first time.
The Key Steps To Setting Up A New Hookah for the First Time
Here are the key steps to setting up a new hookah:
- Fill the base with water. Insert the pipe or stem to check how much of it is submerged in the water. The downstem should be around an inch into the water in your hookah base. Add more water or pour out any excess depending on your observation.
- Get the base grommet, rubber or plastic, the largest of the three connectors in the pack. Place the grommet on the base opening and ensure it is perfectly leveled. You may also plug the grommet onto the stem and fit it into the base. Ensure a flat and airtight seal.
- Once the stem is inserted into the base, check if the two are snugly fitted. Try to pull the stem gently and it should have some resistance. The stem shouldn’t just come out of the base without you applying some pulling force. Ensure the base and stem don’t wobble.
- Fit the hose grommet snugly into the connector port. Insert the hose and check if the fit is perfect, without any air leak. The hose shouldn’t be loose or wiggly. At this stage, you may cover the top of the stem and draw air through the hose. You won’t get any airflow.
- If you get some airflow, there’s a leak or the purge valve is stuck. Blow air into the hose and check if the purge valve opens. Review the grommets and if they have airtight seals. Slide the charcoal tray onto the stem from the top and fit the bowl grommet.
- Your hookah is now set up but your session needs a few more steps. You must pack the bowl with shisha tobacco, wrap it with a foil, poke holes, and light the charcoal pieces.
How To Get Started and Manage Every Fresh Hookah Session
Here are the steps to get started with a fresh hookah session and manage it, especially heat:
- Pick your favorite hookah tobacco and load the bowl sparingly. Don’t overpack, up to 80% is usually sufficient. Ensure the holes in the bowl are not blocked by the tobacco.
- Get a foil or two if it is not heavy-duty, wrap it around the bowl tightly, and ensure the top is flat, not saggy or loose. Use a foil poker to make a few equidistant holes.
- The holes should be spread evenly throughout the top of the foil, not isolated or sporadic in any way. Patterns or shapes aren’t important; an even distribution of airflow & heat is.
- Use a lighter to ignite the charcoal pieces. Quick-light charcoal ignites in an instant, but if you have natural charcoal, a lighter wouldn’t suffice. You need a charcoal burner.
- Place two to three natural charcoal pieces on the burner, wait for up to 10 minutes, flip each of them, and allow them to get thoroughly ignited. The whole pieces will turn ashy.
- Place up to three charcoal pieces on the foil, along the edge of the bowl. Wait for a few minutes for the hookah to generate sufficient smoke. Start smoking. Manage the heat by moving the charcoal pieces on the foil. Ash the pieces, add more, or remove, as needed.