Types of Percolators on Water Pipes

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Types of Percolators on Water Pipes

You’ve probably seen or heard of percolator pipes. You might have wondered “why use a percolator?” or “what's the difference between a water pipe with a percolator and a regular glass water pipe?” 

Percolators are built inside glass water pipes, bubblers, and dab rigs, but you can even buy percolator downstems to upgrade your existing glass water pipe. They make intake from smoking sessions much smoother by allowing more smoke to pass through water. As water passes through the pipe, smoke quickly cools and filters while making your hits taste better.z

There are a lot of percolators to chose from.  Let's go over the basics.

Downstems, or diffused downstem percolators, are one of the most common types of percs. Sitting inside the water, it allows more air to enter the chamber thus improves air flow.  Most water pipes come with downstems.  Take a look at the ones you have on hand.  Most have slits in the bottom, and you’ve likely been using the most basic percolator all this time.

Diffused downstem, types of percolators

Turbine Percolators are discs with angled slits in the main chamber. Creating a whirlpool in the water moving it to the next chamber. Turbine percs are usually paired with honeycomb percs because they are both discs (like in the picture). These are super cool to watch in action and many people chose them for that reason. 

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Matrix Percolators centered at the base of your water pipe. Matrix percs have both vertical and horizontal slits. Often the slits are randomized allowing for a crazy amount of air to flow through the water.

Matrix percolator, types of percolators, up-n-smoke

Showerhead Percolator is another common type of percolator. Similar to an actual shower head this allows smoke to move through the tube and the holed domed end into the main chamber. 

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Inline Percolator is a fairly simple contraption, extending the downstem joint directly into the water chamber. A horizontal tube with a few holes in them - the more holes the more percolation. The holes usually face downward or to the side to divert the water downward.

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Honeycomb Percolators have a disk with a lot of holes in the neck of your water pipe. Parallel to the base of the water pipe. Helping shoot bubbles through the chambers of the pipe, helping cool the smoke. Multiple levels of honeycomb chambers are common; the more chambers, the more percolation you get. 

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Tree Percolators are one of the easiest percs to recognize because of their popularity. Multiple arms that look like mini downstems hang down close to the bottom chamber.  Slits throughout push air into the main tube and down the tree arms. While one of the most popular types of water pipe, these are fairly fragile and can often break easily.

tree percolator, types of percolators, online smoke shop

Disc Percolators are usually recommended for experienced users due to the difficulty of pulling your hit through the perc.  It takes long, deep pulls to get the best filtration possible.

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