A bong percolator, or water pipe percolator is a small additional sub chamber within the shaft of a bong or pipe that provides in-line smoke-water interaction (picture below). Percolators come in different forms, such as dome, pedestal, tree and the more recent double helix. Depending upon the form of the percolator, it may or may not be diffused. The primary purpose of the percolator is to act as an extra chamber to filter smoke through water. The effect is a cool, clean hit. Several companies use different designs, but they all focus on more water to smoke interaction, making for a better filtered and cooler hit.

Percolator Diagram

What is a bong diffuser?

Diffusers are on the end of the bong downstem. A diffuser through many small holes before it goes into a water chamber to pass though the water in small pockets (smoke bubbles), and then rise to the mouth piece. Diffusers make smoke cooler. They also result in an even and steady hit due to the water bubbles hitting the surface simultaneously.

The diffuser serves the primary function of cooling the smoke that passes through it. This is because the surface area contact between the hot smoke, and the cool water. This interaction hydrates the smoke as well. The increased humidity (water) of the smoke reduces the irritation to the upper respiratory tract.

What is a tree percolator bong?

Tree percolators utilize many individual flow paths for the smoke to enter the water. Tree percolators are the newest kind of percolator they manufacture.

What is a dome percolator bong?

Dome percolators use a single encircling piece to direct smoke to the bottom of the water chamber. Dome percolators can be diffused in many different ways, some have triangular slits along the bottom. While others have either a few large holes or many small holes around the bottom of the dome.

What is a coil percolator bong?

Coils limit or increase air flow based on the number of wraps and outside diameter of the tubing. They were the first associated with the ‘slow-draw’ style trap for water pipes.

What is a dewar percolator bong?

Dewar percolators correct an early problem associated with domes, whereby a vacuum creates back pressure pushing water up the bushing. The Dewar contains a jacketed dome that stands up off the bottom of the percolator chamber eliminating the issue.

What is a ring percolator bong?

The ring is a variation on the tree percolator. These have a u-bend that wraps around the up stem and contain either holes or slits. This would be a “slow-draw” percolator and is usually found in shorter pieces. Altering the air flow for intentional drag is claimed to create a smoother hit.

What is a pinwheel percolator bong?

The Pinwheel is just a re-engineered version of the ring percolator.

What is a multiple action dewar percolator?

These are jacketed dewar percolators with round or compressed spheres inside. Holes at the top of the sphere inside the Dewar allow smoke to billow intensely filling the jacket before channeling out slits in the bottom. They act as air diffusers and water percolators in one piece. A sub-category of multiple action dewar percolators include the Atomic Mushroom and Snake Egg.

What is an inline percolator?

Inline percolators resemble the tree with one larger arm sealed inside a jacketed Dewar. The inline contains slits and is usually found in the first chamber of the water pipe. The inline can be made with slits of varying diameter causing increased diffusion and massive visually entertaining bubbly action.

Should I buy a percolator bong?

Q. So you want to buy a bong, and you found out that bongs with percolators are much more expensive than those without them. Should you go for the percolator?

A. The entire purpose of a bong is to cool the smoke and allow you to take a larger hit than normal. All other features obviously contribute to this. An ice catcher puts the smoke in contact with ice; a diffuser splits up the streams of smoke to increase the number of smoke particles in contact with the water. Percolators are additional water chambers through which the smoke passes before it exits the glass. Manufacturers generally put in more than one when they exist, meaning that they also act sort of like a diffuser. The additional water chamber obviously provides additional opportunity for the smoke to cool. Percolators can be placed either before the main water chamber (usually when they are part of an ash catcher) or afterwards, such as when the percolators are in the main tube.

If you’re looking for the best hit imaginable, your bong should have a percolator in it.

Why go Roor when you get get oh so much more?