2 Main Reasons Why Is Your Hookah Not Pulling! [With Solution]

There are mainly two possible reasons why your hookah is not pulling right:

  • First, the airflow in your hookah, and
  • Second, the seal of your hookah

And these two causes can make your hookah either pull too open or too tight, ultimately hampering your hookah smoking experience.

However, if you want to know the root cause of your hookah not pulling right and want to fix it immediately, read on; we have got everything covered.

Let’s get started:

What Might Be Causing My Hookah Not To Pull?

As said earlier, your hookah may not pull right due to airflow and/or seal.

These two most possible causes can make your hookah pull incorrectly, whether pulling too tight, too open, or even not.

Therefore, depending upon either of these reasons, you will need a solution accordingly, which we have discussed further.

Solutions When Your Hookah Is Not Pulling Right

As of now, you are aware of why your hookah might not be pulling, so it is time to dive more and find the right way to fix these issues.

Here are the most common reasons and their solutions:

What Do I Do If My Hookah Pulls Too Open? [With Solution]

Pulling the hookah too open is one of the most reported issues by hookah smokers.

An open pull of hookah means it is easier to draw smoke on, i.e., you don’t have to draw air that hard.

However, it is also true that some people prefer their hookah pipes to pull more open than others, but when your water pipe is pulling too open (unusual than normal), it might be due to an issue in your hookah pipe.


When hookah is pulling too open, then it might be caused due to either of these reasons:

  • Loose seal of your hookah
  • Having too many holes in aluminum foil

The first reason is quite common for having a hookah pull too open.

If any piece of your hookah is not an airtight seal, you may face leakage and less suction.

The second reason can be too many holes in the aluminum foil.


The solution for the first cause of the loose seal of your hookah is simple.

You must use grommets and gaskets to provide an airtight connection to the different hookah components.

You can also check for any air leakage in your hookah, and then you can provide that tight connection there.

Further, if your hookah is pulling too open and you find a lot of holes in your aluminum foil, you need to change the aluminum foil.

However, after changing, ensure you poke only the required number of holes and that the aluminum foil is tightly wrapped around the hookah bowl.

Putting a rubber band around the foil is also an excellent way to keep it in its place to provide better airflow.

What Do I Do If My Hookah Pulls Too Tight? [With Solution]

As of now, you are aware of the solution when your hookah is pulling too open, but what if it is drawing too tight?

When your hookah is pulling too tight, inhale hard from the hose to get the smoke out of your hookah tool.

And, of course, the smoking session becomes very tiring in this case.


The airflow may be the main reason if the hookah pulls too tight.

Even though you have provided a better airtight connection, you still need good space for air to flow in the hookah and provide smooth suction.

So, the leading two causes for too tight hookah pull can be:

  • Too much water in the hookah base
  • Not enough holes in the aluminum foil


When your hookah base has too much water, then it may be causing your hookah to pull too tight.

You must pour adequate water into the hookah base for smooth suction.

You can read our expert guide on How Much Water In Hookah Base Is Right?

However, if you know that your hookah base has too much water and not enough space for smoke to take place, then the solution is straightforward.

You need to pour out the excess water and keep the water to an adequate level.

The adequate level here is one or one and a half inches above the downstem end when submerged in the hookah base water.

Furthermore, to know if your hookah base has too much or not enough water, you can draw air through a hose pipe and understand the bubbling sound it produces.

Another cause of hookah pull becoming too tight is insufficient air holes in the aluminum or tin foil.

And the solution for this is also straightforward.

You have to poke enough holes circularly to provide better airflow to the hookah.

However, before getting to this step, check for the water level.

And if you observe that your aluminum foil on the hookah bowl doesn’t have enough holes, then you can poke some more holes to solve this issue.

Why Isn’t My Hookah Blowing Smoke?

A hookah has a lot of parts that work together to produce smoke.

However, when your hookah is not blowing smoke, there can be any reason for that.

Therefore, you need to check one of these things, which are highly likely to cause hookah to not work correctly for producing smoke.

1.     Check If Your Hookah Is Assembled Properly

When you assemble your hookah, leaving some leaks and loose grommets is a common mistake.

Therefore, you must ensure your hookah is assembled correctly.

However, another best practice is to put all the gaskets and grommets properly in their places when assembling hookah.

The gaskets and grommets provide airtight attachments and avoid leakages and loose branches.

You must specifically check the purge valve, hookah stem to hookah base, hookah hose port to hookah hose, and hookah bowl port to hookah bowl connections.

These areas of your hookah must be sealed and avoid any air leakage so that your hookah can perform adequately.

To know more about setting up the hookah, you can read our expert guide on How To Set Up A Hookah Perfectly?

2.     Check Heat

Heat is one of the most important factors that help shisha tobacco to produce smoke in a hookah.

And often, your hookah will not blow smoke because you may not add enough heat to your hookah bowl.

Therefore, ensure you have at least two or three coals on your shisha bowl.

Another common mistake people usually make is that they do not adequately lit their hookah coals.

The ideal practice is heating your coals on an electric burner until they turn amber.

Quick Tip: Avoid using quick light coals and prefer standard bowl packing (especially when you are a first-timer) for better sessions.

Furthermore, once you have placed the coals on the bowl, let it be there for at least 2 minutes, and avoid too much heat as it may burn the shisha tobacco quickly.

Your shisha must get warm enough to produce smoke; therefore, putting coals for around 2 minutes before you start smoking is necessary.

3.     Air Leak In Hose

The Hookah hose is a flexible part of your hookah; sometimes, it may have punctures leading to air leakages.

And any air leakage in your hookah could cause you not to let you get any smoke out of it.

First of all, find the puncture in your hookah hose, and to fix it quickly, use tape to wrap around the hole so that it can provide smooth and enough airflow, just like a new hookah.

What Do I Do If There Is Too Much Water in My Hookah Vase?

To identify if your hookah vase has too much water, you can observe from outside if the water level in your hookah vase is high.

However, this method applies to the transparent hookah vase only.

And those who have designer or opaque hookah can try drawing air through the hookah and observing the noises inside it.

If your hookah makes different noises, such as big splashes against the vase or ferocious bubbles, you may have a high water level.

However, there is an easy and quick fix for this issue.

You can pour out the excess water and keep the water level till your downstem is submerged only one or a half inches.


Why is my hookah not pulling smoke?

Although there can be several reasons for hookah not pulling enough smoke, you can try adjusting the hookah base and stem together to check if it works fine.

How can I make my hookah pull better?

To improve your hookah pull, ensure you have provided airtight connections and adequate water level in the base. Also, make sure you use a bowl grommet and ball bearing and secure completely sealed attachments for a better experience overall.

How do you make a hookah pull?

To make your hookah pull for a better smoke, you need all your hookah parts attached correctly.

Apart from having high-quality shisha tobacco, you can also follow some other steps, such as using a diffuser, using better hookah accessories, using a heat management system, packing the hookah bowl slightly denser, and using ice in the hookah base to better your hookah pull.

Hookah Not Pulling: Summary

If your hookah is not pulling correctly, there can be several reasons, from having loose connections to too much water or too little water level in the hookah base.

Hopefully, this guide has helped you know the possible causes, reasons, and solutions to these issues to improve your hookah session.

I hope the next time your hookah is not pulling right; you can resolve that issue yourself.

Till then, keep puffing, and keep enjoying!

Our author
Peter Russell

I smoke hookah every day. Like daily with my gang. This is what I love the most when the thick smoke comes out of my mouth, giving me the best feeling in the world. I have been smoking hookah since 2010, and one day, my friend suggested I share my experience with the newbies. So here I am sharing my whole lot of experience of smoking. Use my tips to smoke better and enjoy every day of your life.

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