Everyday there is more technology surrounding the world of smoking. Among the many types of bongs we have nowadays, we go from vape bongs to the most simple mini glass bong. Water pipes are a very popular kind of bong. The hole on the side of one kind of marijuana pipe is called a “carburetor.” Placed at the very end of the pipe, it’s there to regulate airflow and help control how much smoke you inhale. When the carburetor isn’t burning properly, it can even lead to pipes that don’t work at all. Here’s an easy step-by-step guide for what to do when this happens.


What is the carburetor on a water pipe?

bong water pipe
bong water pipe

A carburetor is simply a hole that regulates air flow. For the purposes of this article, we’ll talk about bongs with two chambers, like the one pictured above. The carburetor sits at the very end of the downstem, and it allows you to control how much smoke passes through from one chamber into the other. We’ll discuss how this works in more detail below.


What causes a carburetor to not work properly?

The exact cause of a carburetor not working properly varies between users. Sometimes, it’s just your pipe piece wearing out, and the hole will no longer seal properly. Other times, it’s a result of the water in the second chamber being too acidic. If this is the case, you’ll notice that your smoke has the sharpness of vinegar and a strange burning sensation when you inhale. This can be solved by letting your water sit overnight before use—the acid will convert back into a neutral pH.

Sometimes, a dirty carburetor can be to blame. In this case, your pipe will still function, but it will produce less smoke than usual. And in extreme cases—we’re talking certain kinds of resin build up—your carburetor can actually get so caked over with resin that it stops working entirely and you’ll have to replace it.


What are some ways to fix a carburetor that doesn’t work?

water pipe
water pipe

1. Use a Carb Cleaner

The easiest way to solve a problem with your carburetor is with a little bit of bong cleaner. There are several kinds of cleaners that you can purchase at any head shop, but we recommend YouCopia Cleaning Concentrate, which you can buy from Amazon for $8.99. It’s great for cleaning bongs, dab rigs and pipes, and can even be used as a glass cleaner.


2. Make Your Own Carburetor Cleaner

If you want to make your own cleaner, you can use a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda (not just any kind of baking soda though—the baking soda should be the one with no additives). You’ll need to dampen the spray bottle with water before spraying it with this mixture and then let it dry completely before using it again. To be safe, always do a test patch on your piece first to see how much cleaner is needed.


3. Do a Patch

The best way to see if your carburetor really needs to be replaced is to give it a thorough cleaning and then do a patch test. This involves soaking the carburetor part in soapy water, then taking it out and letting it dry overnight. Next morning, put some oil on the threads of your downstem and use your finger or another clean brush (or q-tip) to run the cleaner over the scrubbed area. If there’s any residue left when you’re done, you can safely assume that your downstem has more buildup than it needs and should be replaced immediately.


Alternatives to Weed Pipes

desktop vape bong
desktop vape bong

If you’re looking for a better smoking experience than the one provided by weed pipes, you should consider checking out some alternatives, such as vaporizers. As the name suggests, these devices use vapor to get your high—much like a vape pen. These vaporizers are quite popular right now for several reasons. They’re small and discreet, which means they can be used discreetly and not ruin the appearance of your room like a regular pipe would. Additionally, there are no pipes associated with them—not even the carburetor hole!

Another thing you’ll appreciate about these devices is that they emit almost no smoke at all. This means that you won’t end up smelling like an ashtray after using yours. If you use a vaporizer, you can leave your house and expect to still be able to hold a conversation with someone.


Benefits of Weed Pipes

They Can Be Fashionable

Even if you’re not a huge fan of smoking marijuana (or even if you just don’t like the taste), it can still be nice to have a unique piece on your coffee table to show off to your friends. Many water pipes come in cool shapes, such as dragons or other mystical creatures, and can be made from glasses that cost hundreds of dollars, such as a Bohemian glass. This is the kind of pipe that looks cool sitting on your table without doing much else—though it’s also perfectly functional.


They Get Rid Of Residue

Those who use pipes know that weed leaves behind ash and tar residue. This residue sticks to pieces and pipes over time, leading to a really sticky mess. If you use a pipe regularly, it’ll start to gather this tar and build up. Eventually you’ll need to clean out your piece—but what if you don’t have a carburetor cleaner handy? That’s where a cleaning brush comes in handy. These tools are designed to scrape the stubborn gunk out of your pipe as you burn it. Typically they come with soft bristles on the end of a stick, but they’re also available in different forms such as wire brushes that can take off more hardened residue or even steel brushes which reach into every part of your pipe.


Easy Maintenance

With a pipe, there’s no need to take apart the entire thing just to clean out the bowl. Instead, you can simply puff in through the piece and blow through it. This will suck up any residual oil and ash that you may have built up in your piece over time—and it’ll also help clear out any resin build up from smoking too much. For a simple cleaning like this one, you won’t need messy chemicals like alcohol or bleach. Your pipe should have a bowl that’s attached to it, but some models come without one so that you can use a brush on them as well.


There you have it! I hope you enjoyed your reading about bongs. Keep updated in our blog for more info!