How do percolators work? | Fifth Ave Green House

You will no doubt have seen percolators on bongs, and water pipes dab rigs but may not understand how they work or what they do. Simply put, a percolator directs the smoke or steam through the water as a filtration method. This filtration cools the smoke down, resulting in softer hits that are much less harsh and cough-inducing than usual.

They come in many different designs, but all of them ultimately achieve the same thing. If, like us, you prefer softer hits or just want a healthier way to smoke, then Percolator bongs and hookahs are well worth the investment when purchasing your smoking cube.

Benefits of Using Filters?

Not only do percolators look cool, they also have three main benefits that will enhance your smoking experience.


If the herb is burned, the resulting smoke can be very hot. A simple lighter can be 600F. Some lighters can even get up to 2000 ° C. As you can imagine, the smoke is burning when it comes out of the bowl. The percolator sits under the water in your pipe. As the smoke diffuses through the air, it slows down and the heat can be dissipated. The smoke that emerges from the water and enters your lungs is cooled by its interaction with the water, resulting in a smoother hit.


Taking blows straight from a joint or pipe without water filtration can be incredibly harsh as the smoke is very dry.

When the smoke is forced to seep through water, some of that water evaporates a little and combines with the smoke. This interaction with water moisturizes the hit so the smoke doesn’t hit the throat or lungs as badly.


Filtration occurs when the smoke comes into contact with the water. Impurities remain in the water and clean the smoke as it passes through. The more bubbles the percolator creates, the larger the surface area of ​​smoke and water. The more filtration you have.

We call H2O or water a polar molecule. This means that when the smoke and water interact, the water magnetically attracts polar contaminants and filters them out of the smoke. Water filtration doesn’t remove all of the contaminants, but in addition to cooling and humidifying, filtration makes for much smoother strokes and coughing fits.

Understanding the different types of percolators

If, like us, you love your cannabis, then you have most likely heard of percolator bongs. But you can’t be sure what they are for or how they work. We take a look at different percolator bongs so you know which are best for your needs.

Yes, you can get a hookah that works fine without a percolator, but we believe a perc bong will take your smoking experience to the next level.

Diffuser downstem

The most basic type of perc is the diffuse downstem. These can be divided into two categories: those with a fixed downstem and those that can be removed from the bong.

They look like a vertical tube that extends from the bowl joint to the main chamber and has slots in it.

The lower end of the handle with the slots is below the water level. As the smoke pours down from the bowl, it is pushed through the water, which cools it down. The smoke then flows up and out of the mouthpiece on top of the bong.

An inline percolator is a horizontal tube with multiple slots. The larger the number of slits, the more bubbles the inline percolator creates. This increases the contact area between smoke and water for better diffusion and cooler hits.

As you can guess from the name, a honeycomb perc contains a multitude of small holes. This round disc-shaped perc fits exactly into the tube of the bong. As the smoke passes through the smoke, the multiple holes divide and diffuse the smoke with excellent efficiency without slowing down the smoking process.

Tree percolators are a pretty simple design. Inside the bong there are a number of sticks, each similar to the branch of a tree. Each link has several slits, which creates an even distribution of smoke and a lot of diffusion.

Jellyfish percolators are similar to tree percolators, but they are a bit simpler. It has a collection of rods, like tentacles, all descending from a central chamber. Unlike three percs, where the slits spread out along each limb, the jellyfish perc has a single hole at the end of each pole. The smoke is focused by each of these rods and diffuses into the water. The effectiveness depends on the number of streets and their size.

Like a sprinkler head, this percolator has a number of short pipes emerging from a central disc or pipe. There are numerous variations of this percolator. It can look like an upside-down jellyfish perc, or the tubes can spread out horizontally. The end result depends on the number of pipes and the width.

Fritted Disc Percolators

The fritted disc percolator is the most powerful of all percolators. It is a more intense version of the honeycomb perc. However, the greater number of holes will fill your water pipe with bubbles that create high levels of smoke. The only downside to this powerful performer is that cleaning is a time consuming task. For the hookah connoisseur, the super cool hits are worth the effort.

Shower head percolators

Named after a shower head, these percolators work in a similar way to Baumperk. They have a single vertical tube that expands to a disc-shaped chamber at the base. This disc has several slots that provide filtration. The slots on the base vary in size and number. This variation is a factor in smoke diffusion into the water. The result is clean filtration with very little air resistance.

Spiral percolators

Spiral percolators, also called coil percolators, use a spring-shaped glass spiral to increase the cooling potential. They can be visually impressive and offer smoother longer puffs.

Turbine percolators

This is one of the chicest and most functional percs ever created. They add great aesthetics to any water pipe. The shape of the percolator is designed so that the water is whipped into a hot tub, where it gets its name. This cyclonic effect looks best when used with dry herbs because the smoke is thicker than when using concentrates. A mini tornado is created in your aqueduct. Diffusion is not as good as some other Percs due to a smaller number of diffusion holes. When combined with other percolators, the turbine perc can reduce the likelihood of back splash by only allowing water through a few carefully angled slots.

If you long to show a cool water and smoke indicator in your water bong when you rip hits, then a turbine perc bong is a must have for you.

Matrix percolators

Matrix percolators are located in the middle of the water pipe and offer plenty of space around it. They resemble shower head percolators in some ways. They have transverse slits that disperse the smoke into a series of prong bubbles, creating a smooth and thick smoke.

At first glance, the Faberge egg percolators seem more decorative than functional. In and of themselves, they don’t seem to be doing much. Its main advantage comes from its proximity to another percolator. They are basically a means of further breaking up the bubbles and distributing the smoke for finer filtration after the smoke has passed through a previous percolator.

This is by no means the exhaustive list as there are dozens of variations on these percolators, but it should give you a good idea of ​​the main styles and types of percs that you are likely to find on one Water pipe.

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