Why Won’t My Gravity Bong Work?

January 16, 2019 Bong Posts

Why Won’t My Gravity Bong Work?

Just bought a new one or made a DIY gravity bong? How about a DIY socket gravity bong? Congratulations! The gravity bong is the best device to get really huge rips or dabs. Imagine hitting a whole bottle full of smokey, milky goodness. However, nothing destroys a good session other than a smoking system not working. Let’s talk about the possibilities why your gravity bong won’t work.

Not enough herb or dab

Herb or dab is the life of your gravity bong. However, this is not like your regular bong where you can use just a bit of herb or dab. The bowl needs to be filled at least more than half-way through. Remember that the gravity bong is for really huge rips. You cannot get a huge rip from a gravity bong if you only got a pinch of herb in your bowl.

Raising the bottle too fast

Raising the bottle creates a suction that draws the milk in from the downstem. This negative pressure burns your herb fast. If you pull too quickly, you won’t be building enough milk, and you’ll be wasting your favorite herb. Start pulling when you see the smoke coming down from the downstem. Observe the action and consistency of the milk as you pull up. You know that you’re pulling too fast when the cherry is too bright, and the milk is a bit thin.

Leakage in the gravity bong

downstem with grommet

16mm Gravitron Downstem Grav Labs

A gravity bong requires the presence of two factors: vacuum and gravity. Vacuum is created inside a gravity bong

when there is no air leaking through. This can be an issue for DIY gravity bongs since you’ll be using a socket, aluminum foil, or a bottle cap as a bowl. Look for possible lose joints or connections in your DIY gravity bong. It’s either there’s a hole in the aluminum bowl or the perforation you made through the cap is too big. There may also be small holes in the bottle that lets air in, making it hard to draw and thicken the milk inside the bong.

You rarely get that kind of problem with commercial gravity bongs like the Gravitron from Grav Labs. If ever you do get a problem, check the grommet of the downstem or the O-ring of the bowl. There should be no space or gap when you place the downstem and the bowl through the mouthpiece of the bottle.

Not enough cherry

Some first-time gravity bong users light up their herb once then let go of the lighter as they draw the bottle up. You have to look at the bowl and observe the cherry as well. If the bowl doesn’t stay cherry, then no smoke will come down through the downstem. Some keep the lighter going for a couple of seconds to get a good cherry before putting it off.

Not enough water

Water is what helps create a vacuum and negative pressure in the gravity bong. As a general rule, you need to fill up the outer base with water until it’s almost at the neck of the inner bottle. You won’t get enough milk if you fill it lower. You will also waste your rip because there’s not enough water to push the smoke up to the mouthpiece.

Blockage in the bowl, downstem, or socket

Blockage can occur in several ways. There could be resin build-up in the bowl, downstem, or socket. This can happen because you are taking really big rips with a gravity bong and you’re not into cleaning. Inspect the bowl and downstem. Do appropriate measures for cleaning and unclogging the downstem so that you can enjoy your gravity bong better.

There could also be a bad chunk that got stuck in the middle of the bowl that refuses to get cherried. Make sure to grind your herb well so that it burns well. If you’re using a DIY gravity bong, check if you made enough holes through the aluminum foil that you used for a bowl. Use a larger needle to create appropriately sized holes for better air circulation.

Bowl is packed too tight

A bowl that is packed tightly is a blockage in itself. Pack your herb using a gentle tap with the end of your lighter, or gently push with the tip of your finger. Don’t push your herb down the bowl. You need to have a bit of space between the granules to help keep the cherry going.

Lift and drop

This may sound crazy, but there are some who take a hit with a gravity bong without pushing it back to the base. It will be very difficult to drag in that smoke because of the vacuum created inside the gravity bong. Once you get the right amount of milk, push the inner bottle back to the base as you drag in the smoke. You also need to do this fast because the longer the smoke is in contact with air, the quicker it becomes stale.

Hope we have answered all the possible scenarios about your gravity bong.  If you’re interested, you can also check out our post about the history of gravity bongs! If you have your own gravity bong solutions, feel free to share them at the comment section!

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