Shishapedia - My grommet doesn't fit anymore
Shishapedia – My grommet doesn’t fit anymore
Eventually, after using a Hookah pipe for a long period of time you can be sure of one thing, the grommets will wear away. After all, the base, shaft and head are made from glass, metal and clay respectively but the grommets are made from rubber. The rubber will eventually wear away and get soft. This is usually from regularly removing the shaft from the base and the water flowing over the grommet.
The smaller grommet for the head and the hose are not so much a problem if they don’t fit; you could always just use tissue paper to tighten the head or hose!
If it’s your big grommet that has started to wear away you’ll know it. The hookah pipe will no longer stand straight, but often tilt to one side quite substantially and often even slip and slide when in use.
Of course you could always go ahead and buy a replacement big grommet but to find one that actually fits perfectly is almost impossible and very unusual. Most hookah bases are hand-made and therefore their diameter can vary by millimetres to the next hookah. This does make it a real headache when you need to replace a grommet, but there is a simple solution to fix this problem. All you need is a little tape and effort!
The first step is to pull apart the shaft from the base. Then pull the grommet off the shaft (or out the base) and inspect it. If it happens to be in terrible condition with big tears down it you need to figure out for yourself if it is worth fixing. If it is just getting a little rough around the edges it’s a good move, but you don’t want it so break and split while you are using it.
Start by wrapping electrical tape around the bottom of the shaft, where the grommet will sit over. Personally I recommend electrical tape because it comes in the perfect width, it is cheap, and it has a great smooth texture that helps avoid more tears on the grommet when you slip it on and off. To be honest you can use any kind of take as long as it has a soft surface which makes it easy to slip the shaft in and out the grommet.
The base grommets are made from a soft rubber which will have a little space to expand and stretch. The tape will increase the circumference of the area the grommet needs to slip over, and as a result the grommet will stretch a little over the tape. It should fit more tightly then before.
You’re now ready to see if your grommet will slip back on. It is possible it will be a little too tight, and if that is the case you have to help it on with some grease. I would recommend putting a few drops of kitchen oil on the grommet and rubbing it in (to help it stretch further) or using a little petroleum jelly before you attempt to slip it back on. I would say if it doesn’t just fit on the end straight, consider twisting it on.