make sure your foil is shiny side down.
don't put in excessive holes to trap more heat
use 1 coal (i use 40mm)
now for the fun part
cut the bottom half and top half of a coke can to make a poor mans wind cover.
place it on top of your bowl and let to coal idle for 5 minutes
begin smokin with the can on top...
once you start getting clouds you know your hookah is fine
try using 1 coal if you think its burning too fast