How Much Water to Put in a Bong: A Beginner’s Guide


If you are new to smoking herbs or tobacco with a bong, you might be wondering how much water you need to put in it. The water level in your bong can make a big difference in the quality and smoothness of your smoke, as well as the ease of pulling it through the device. In this blog post, we will explain how to find the perfect water level for your bong, whether it has a simple downstem or multiple percolators.

Why Does the Water Level Matter?

The main purpose of using a bong is to filter and cool down the smoke from your herbs or tobacco before you inhale it. The water in your bong acts as a natural filter that traps some of the tar, ash, and toxins from the smoke, making it less harsh on your lungs and throat. The water also cools down the smoke, which can reduce the irritation and coughing that some smokers experience.

However, if you put too much or too little water in your bong, you might not get the optimal filtration and cooling effect. Too much water can make it harder to pull the smoke through the device, as well as increase the risk of getting water in your mouth when you inhale. Too little water can make the smoke less filtered and more hot, which can be unpleasant and harmful for your respiratory system.

How Much Water to Put in a Bong with a Downstem?

A downstem is a tube that connects the bowl where you pack your herbs or tobacco to the base of the bong where the water is. Some downstems have slits or holes at the bottom to diffuse the smoke into smaller bubbles, which increases the surface area of contact with the water and improves the filtration.

The general rule of thumb for finding the ideal water level for a bong with a downstem is to submerge the bottom of the downstem in about half an inch of water. If your downstem has slits or holes, make sure they are all covered by water. This way, you ensure that all of the smoke passes through the water and gets filtered and cooled.

You can pour water into your bong through either the mouthpiece or the downstem opening, depending on your preference and convenience. Just be careful not to overfill or underfill your bong, and check the water level by looking at it from different angles.

How Much Water to Put in a Bong with Percolators?

A percolator is an additional chamber or device inside your bong that further diffuses and filters the smoke after it passes through the downstem. There are many types of percolators, such as honeycomb, matrix, showerhead, tree, etc., but they all work by creating more bubbles and increasing the contact between the smoke and the water.

If your bong has one or more percolators, you need to add enough water to cover all of their openings as well. The same principle applies as with the downstem: you want all of the smoke to go through the water for maximum filtration and cooling. However, filling a bong with multiple percs can be tricky, as you need to pour water from the mouthpiece and let it trickle down to each chamber.

The best way to fill a bong with percs is to do it slowly and carefully, watching how the water flows and settles in each chamber. You might need to tilt or shake your bong slightly to distribute the water evenly. Once you have filled all of the percs with enough water, check for any air bubbles or dry spots that might interfere with their function.

How to Adjust Your Water Level?

Finding the perfect water level for your bong might take some trial and error, as different bongs have different designs and sizes. You might also have different preferences for how much resistance or drag you like when pulling from your bong. The best way to adjust your water level is to test it by taking a dry hit (without lighting your herbs or tobacco) and see how it feels.

If you feel like it’s too hard to pull from your bong, or if you hear a gurgling sound or get water in your mouth, you might have too much water in your bong. In that case, you can pour out some water until you find a comfortable level. If you feel like it’s too easy to pull from your bong, or if you see little or no bubbles in the water, you might have too little water in your bong. In that case, you can add some water until you see more bubbles and feel more resistance.

Another factor that can affect your water level is the ice. Some bongs have ice catchers or notches that allow you to add ice cubes to your bong for extra cooling. However, as the ice melts, it will increase the water level in your bong, which can make it harder to pull or cause water splashback. To avoid this, you can either add less water when you add ice, or pour out some water as the ice melts.


Knowing how much water to put in your bong is essential for getting the best smoking experience possible. The ideal water level depends on the size and design of your bong, as well as your personal preference. The general rule is to submerge the bottom of the downstem and any percs in about half an inch of water, and adjust it by testing it with a dry hit. Remember to change your water regularly to keep your bong clean and fresh.

We hope this guide has helped you learn how to fill your bong with water properly. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. Happy smoking!