Re: km help
Just put a small amount of some non-toxic grease on the grommet. I guarantee you won't taste it as long as you don't use too much.
I'm a professional trombonist myself, so I used some synthetic tuning slide grease that I already had. I applied it when I first got my hookah in August and have not had to re-apply.
The grommet is still very tight, but it will slide out. I hold the base with my feet and wiggle the stem until it slides out.