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Rant: Hookah hoses

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  #1  
Old July 12th, 2009, 01:13 PM
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Default Rant: Hookah hoses

This is a rant I posted a little while back on my hookah blog and I felt that it was worth a post. I hope you enjoy.

"Countless times have I seen the question “how do I tell if my hose is washable?”


There is a very easy answer to this often asked question. If you have to ask then assume it’s not.



Washable hoses are a fairly new development in the world of hookah smoking. Old style hoses are made of leather and have a coiled metal spring running the entire length to maintain the shape of the hose and to prevent it from collapsing when a smoker takes a draw. That design has worked for an extremely long time but it was assumed that after a while the hoses would need replacement. Unprotected metal and leather are not the most resilient materials against the destructive power of moisture. Anyone who has owned cheap leather clothes should know the problems a little rain can pose if the clothing is not properly treated with saddle soap or another similar product. I do not recommend trying to use saddle soap on your hoses.


Now I am really hoping that this is not a shock to anyone reading this blog but hookah “smoke” has a very high moisture content. That is why the clouds are so dense and visible. A cigarette smoker and take in the same volume of air but seem to breath far less smoke when exhaling. The smoke is just less visible because the moisture content is so much lower. The “smoke” produced by a hookah is much more accurately called vapor as it is vaporized moisture from the honey, molasses and glycerin mixture. This high moisture eventually rusts out the old hoses and eats the leather. Nasty right? I live on the water in New England so if I leave a traditional hose out without ever using it rust will occur and the leather will break down. Might take a while but this is the area that eats cars alive just based on the salt content in the air. I prefer washable hoses over traditional.
As a quick aside do not assume that the vapor from a hookah is any less dangerous than actual smoke. The only way in which it is proven to be less dangerous is the heat you are inhaling.


Back to the subject at hand.


Washable hoses are a nice advancement and every company producing such a hose is very proud to force that information down your throats. Frankly there should be no question as to the type of hose because being washable is a huge selling point. Every hookah I order I usually pay the extra money to upgrade to a true washable hose. If a hookah comes with washable hoses it will be well known and many people will buy it just based on that fact.



There are some complaints regarding the modern washable hoses though.
Firstly is the designs. They all look the same. Many people buy hookahs with a distinct look and would love to see some variation in the hoses as well. Not everyone wants a KM blue double pear with a blue razan hose. Some people like to stand out a bit.


Second is the looser draw. I know what many of you are thinking “but i want to draw from a hose with the diameter of a pringles can. How can the larger gauge hoses have a problem?” There are advantages and disadvantages to both ideas. A larger gauge makes for an easier draw but for those that are not drawing lungfuls of smoke each time this is pointless. With some more traditional smokes it’s almost impossible to actually draw that deeply and the thicker gauge means you need to pull more times to clear the smoke from the hose and actually draw new smoke into it. It’s fluid mechanics at it’s most basic. The cloud seeker though will enjoy a large gauge hoses to a point. Once you reach a certain size it’s an impediment unless you have godly lung capacity. I am an actor and singer and find the current average inner diameter to suit me just fine but i know of many people that the draw is too loose and they cant draw new smoke without rapid puffing which can lead to hookah sickness and a far less enjoyable experience.


Lastly is the idea of flavor buildup. I am not a fan of this concept. Firstly a washable hose can build up flavor as well it just takes longer since the leather absorbs moisture more readily than plastic. Second, I like the idea of being able to get the gunk out and starting fresh if a hoses ever has an off taste to me. I understand that some people like the buildup effect but I smoke too many flavors to have one hose for each type and I enjoy my flavors to be crisp and accurate.


If one company could design a line of washable hoses that offered varied draws and varied designs I believe that they would dominate over other companies for a short period until they all followed suit. I would absolutely love to have a washable hose in a more Syrian style with a tighter draw than any of the four razan/nammor hoses i have can give me but this will not be possible until they know we want them.


If you are interested in a hose with some personality and a little something different then we need to let the companies know this. They do what they think people want and the overwhelming voice is one of “A more open draw!” and “Make it look like a KM hose!” so that is what we get. These companies are run by people with an invested interest in what is a small community of hobbyists in the western hemisphere. If we speak they will listen."
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  #2  
Old July 12th, 2009, 01:23 PM
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Default Re: Rant: Hookah hoses

Great post, i agree with everything on there. Yes, though, we need more variety in hoses. Do i hear a "Sahara Build Your Own Hose"? lol. Buts yea, too many companies are doing the plain hose, large handle thing. I would like to see some more hoses that might have skinnier handles, or hoses with some type of design going along the outside fabric.
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  #3  
Old July 12th, 2009, 01:52 PM
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Default Re: Rant: Hookah hoses

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldgr33ntea View Post
Great post, i agree with everything on there. Yes, though, we need more variety in hoses. Do i hear a "Sahara Build Your Own Hose"? lol. Buts yea, too many companies are doing the plain hose, large handle thing. I would like to see some more hoses that might have skinnier handles, or hoses with some type of design going along the outside fabric.

Oh yea? How much would you want to pay for one? Everyone wants more detail, etc on these hoses, but when the price comes out to $40 a hose I can guarantee 90% of people who want this type of product would turn up thier nose.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 02:08 PM
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Default Re: Rant: Hookah hoses

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Originally Posted by kingboyb View Post
Oh yea? How much would you want to pay for one? Everyone wants more detail, etc on these hoses, but when the price comes out to $40 a hose I can guarantee 90% of people who want this type of product would turn up thier nose.
Well we already saw slight variation when new washables came on the market to try and stay ahead of the competition. Large and smaller sizes, new and more modern colors as well as different mouth pieces. But all together the changes were minute and often looked terrible. A basic washable hose with a different and less "KM" style would cost the exact same to produce as it uses the same materials.

I am really hoping that the new long handled Mya hoses are washable but I doubt it. If they are I am most likely grabbing one of those since I like the look of it.

Remember that these are business people always looking for the next big hit product. They just don't seem to know what we want.

Let us not forget the "advancements" the nammor hose has shown us. Flashing lights in clear plastic and piss colored transparent hoses accented by green and red with ridiculously unwieldy mouth pieces and handles...
The people who make themselves heard are the ones who's ideas see the light and frankly I have no faith in these people based on what i have seen so far.
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  #5  
Old July 12th, 2009, 02:28 PM
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Default Re: Rant: Hookah hoses

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingboyb View Post
Oh yea? How much would you want to pay for one? Everyone wants more detail, etc on these hoses, but when the price comes out to $40 a hose I can guarantee 90% of people who want this type of product would turn up thier nose.
The thing is. I really wouldnt mind paying $40 a hose if they incorporated the things that interest me. The thing that is stopping me from buying the hoses on todays market is that they are boring. If there was a hose with a slightly skinnier handle, some sort of design on the actual hose, some unique colors, and washable, i would have absolutely no problem throwing down $40 a hose. But yes, i do see your point. In order to give accurate ideas to the hose companies, we must give our opinion as a whole, and make sure that the type of hose would suit most of us so that everyone else also wouldnt mind putting down 40 for a hose. And chances are, it would be much less than that. If i were a hose company and i had a whole forums telling me one hose that they all want, i would make it and sell it just over the manufacturing costs, because with the shear number of people wanting them, you would still make some serious cash, not to mention building a customer base.
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  #6  
Old July 12th, 2009, 03:29 PM
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Default Re: Rant: Hookah hoses

i could see spending 40 bucks on a hose espically if its something eye catching and usefull......great post
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  #7  
Old July 12th, 2009, 03:50 PM
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Default Re: Rant: Hookah hoses

I agree.

I dont really like my razan hose and will be going back to traditional unwashable hoses soon enough.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: Rant: Hookah hoses

I would rather pay $40.00 for a hose that is washable and will last longer than 1 year as opposed to a hose that cost $30.00 that I can't wash and have to buy 1 for each flavor. It seems that right now most of the washable hoses available are the ones with the tiny handles. I prefer a little longer handle but not something that looks like a club. I don't even want to get started about the mouth pieces...

Lights and shiny things are not my forte so to speak. Yet a hose with a traditional design and artwork would be nice.

So yes I must also agree with everything stated above in the opening post.
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  #9  
Old July 12th, 2009, 04:35 PM
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Default Re: Rant: Hookah hoses

I'm thinking about cutting off the actual tubing of my hose and replacing it with clear surgical tubing and cover it with a hose cover. Seems like a good solution
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  #10  
Old July 12th, 2009, 04:43 PM
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Default Re: Rant: Hookah hoses

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Two View Post
I'm thinking about cutting off the actual tubing of my hose and replacing it with clear surgical tubing and cover it with a hose cover. Seems like a good solution
Yes, it is a good idea. But you have to make sure that your get the right kind of tubing. It must be food safe, and preferably not super stiff. In the Home made section, there is a tutorial of how to do this correctly.
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  #11  
Old July 12th, 2009, 05:00 PM
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Default Re: Rant: Hookah hoses

Great post. I also prefer washable hoses buy not as wide as a nammor but wider than a mya. It has to have a long handle for easy smoking and prefeably without puffballs. It would be a good idea to have it available in a wide variety of colours. This is my preferance but I agree there should be a wide range of design and sizes etc available in washable hoses.

If my preferred hose was available I would pay $50 nevermind $40
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Old July 12th, 2009, 05:01 PM
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Default Re: Rant: Hookah hoses

Very good points on all sides. Yes it would be nice to get a washable that had all the looks and characteristics I want. No I would not pay 40.00 for it. So I am stuck. I too have gone back to basic synthetic leather hoses from Sahara and my Razan sits collecting dust. Do I miss the draw? Not really. But a very good post Kal.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 05:34 PM
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Default Re: Rant: Hookah hoses

Thank you.

In all seriousness new types of washable hoses would probably land around 21 or 22 bucks like the others that already exist. That's bout what I would expect to pay and based on materials and what is already available that is the most I would pay.

I want to reiterate, I love my razans. I use them all the time. But there are blends that I feel benefit from a different style of hose. For those I pull out my nour hose. I love it as well and I am sad to think that it will eventually become useless. At that time I will have to pay around 15 bucks to get a good hose that will again eventually rot. If there was a washable version I could spend 5 more and have it for a much longer time.

The nour hoses also look awesome to me.
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  #14  
Old July 12th, 2009, 10:37 PM
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Default Re: Rant: Hookah hoses

ya, i dont mind the nammors to much but i do see issues with them, no argument on that front. i like the wide flow even when i smoke my black style but thats all personal. i would like a hose i dont have to worry about washing it is hot water (even though i dont wash them really), i dont mind the hose tubing it self but if it was up to me to design a hose from scratch i would probably use a thinner handle, probably drop the puffs for something else, and make the end of the hose tips a bit thinner (still not out of metal unless it was silver or gold just due to the pure properties of the metals/tastes)

after reading this i think im going to try and make a hose or 2 when i get back up to school, not sure what i will do for ends but i will probably use a good plastic (or might even take apart my broken nammor instead of rebuilding it). idk i have access to a lathe but idk if i could really lathe plastic on it too easily, we will see

-matt
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Old July 13th, 2009, 04:09 AM
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Default Re: Rant: Hookah hoses

^^ I've thought about making my own hoses too but unless you'll be making them in bulk, it's not very cost effective if you want to build something similar in materials and quality as say a Nammor/Razan. For one, it's difficult to find a readily available source for hose material that is washable, 1/2" ID (size of Razan hose), maintains it's shape, and flexible enough to be used well with a hookah. Tubing is too susceptible to kinks and reinforced tubing is too rigid. A lot of commonly found stuff that could work isn't available in hookah friendly sizes, unless you really want to be sucking on a 1-1/2" to 2" hose. I found some flexible pond hose that might work out well, but it's too expensive to be worth it unless you buy a lot of it. Making the tips removable also becomes a problem when trying to find properly sized grommets. From what I've seen, the handles of the Razan are sized that big because of the grommets. It was much easier and cheaper in the end to buy a Razan and mod it for what I wanted out of a hose, although I do admit I still think about building my own every now and then.

Making acrylic tips on a lathe would be fairly simple assuming you know how to operate a lathe. If you want to make a Razan style tip, shape the tip first on a lathe and then take it to a sander to square off the sides a bit. After that it's simply a matter of drilling down the center of it, polishing the whole thing clear, and then applying acrylic paint to the inside to finish the look.
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Old July 13th, 2009, 09:37 AM
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Default Re: Rant: Hookah hoses

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Originally Posted by foibled View Post
^^ I've thought about making my own hoses too but unless you'll be making them in bulk, it's not very cost effective if you want to build something similar in materials and quality as say a Nammor/Razan. For one, it's difficult to find a readily available source for hose material that is washable, 1/2" ID (size of Razan hose), maintains it's shape, and flexible enough to be used well with a hookah. Tubing is too susceptible to kinks and reinforced tubing is too rigid. A lot of commonly found stuff that could work isn't available in hookah friendly sizes, unless you really want to be sucking on a 1-1/2" to 2" hose. I found some flexible pond hose that might work out well, but it's too expensive to be worth it unless you buy a lot of it. Making the tips removable also becomes a problem when trying to find properly sized grommets. From what I've seen, the handles of the Razan are sized that big because of the grommets. It was much easier and cheaper in the end to buy a Razan and mod it for what I wanted out of a hose, although I do admit I still think about building my own every now and then.

Making acrylic tips on a lathe would be fairly simple assuming you know how to operate a lathe. If you want to make a Razan style tip, shape the tip first on a lathe and then take it to a sander to square off the sides a bit. After that it's simply a matter of drilling down the center of it, polishing the whole thing clear, and then applying acrylic paint to the inside to finish the look.
i honestly would probably use a food grade tubing from on line as apposed to what ever i can get at the hard ware store, much easier to get what you want. as to the over flexibility, using tapes to cover the tube to color and reinforce is probably a good way to go (and i dont mean duct tape, gaffers tape would be a god base and then using something else to accent it)

as to the tips, idk if i would want acrylic tips honestly, maybe delrin, granted its more expensive but its nicer just not sure if its food safe.

-matt
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Old July 13th, 2009, 12:03 PM
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Default Re: Rant: Hookah hoses

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Originally Posted by mattathayde View Post
i honestly would probably use a food grade tubing from on line as apposed to what ever i can get at the hard ware store, much easier to get what you want. as to the over flexibility, using tapes to cover the tube to color and reinforce is probably a good way to go (and i dont mean duct tape, gaffers tape would be a god base and then using something else to accent it)

as to the tips, idk if i would want acrylic tips honestly, maybe delrin, granted its more expensive but its nicer just not sure if its food safe.

-matt
Tubing kinks when flexed and tape will not really solve that problem. You could try reinforcing it by wrapping it with wire and then taping over that. The problem I have with tapes is the longevity of adhesives, especially when repeatedly exposed to water over a long time. A wrap that is held by cord, like how most of the covered washable hoses are now, avoids that problem. I would prefer using heat shrink to cover a hose but that would get expensive.

Delrin is FDA approved so there isn't much of a concern there. It's fine for conditions a typical hose would see and is more overkill than anything. It is a porous material however, so an acetal copolymer might be a better choice if you really want to use such a plastic. One important thing to keep in mind is that Delrin is a polymerized formaldehyde. When heated or exposed to any strong acid or base, it will release formaldehyde gas. You will probably notice this while machining it so make sure your work area is well ventilated, use compressed air, and don't work it too fast. While it's melting point is higher than anything a hose will see, coals burn hot enough to ignite Delrin, which burns invisible and releases toxic gas.

If you want to be cheap, just buy some acetone and use it to dissolve styrofoam to form polystyrene. The polystyrene will actually be a bit moldable until the acetone evaporates away.

Personally I'd just stick with acrylic.
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Old July 13th, 2009, 03:42 PM
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Default Re: Rant: Hookah hoses

Quote:
Originally Posted by foibled View Post
Tubing kinks when flexed and tape will not really solve that problem. You could try reinforcing it by wrapping it with wire and then taping over that. The problem I have with tapes is the longevity of adhesives, especially when repeatedly exposed to water over a long time. A wrap that is held by cord, like how most of the covered washable hoses are now, avoids that problem. I would prefer using heat shrink to cover a hose but that would get expensive.

Delrin is FDA approved so there isn't much of a concern there. It's fine for conditions a typical hose would see and is more overkill than anything. It is a porous material however, so an acetal copolymer might be a better choice if you really want to use such a plastic. One important thing to keep in mind is that Delrin is a polymerized formaldehyde. When heated or exposed to any strong acid or base, it will release formaldehyde gas. You will probably notice this while machining it so make sure your work area is well ventilated, use compressed air, and don't work it too fast. While it's melting point is higher than anything a hose will see, coals burn hot enough to ignite Delrin, which burns invisible and releases toxic gas.

If you want to be cheap, just buy some acetone and use it to dissolve styrofoam to form polystyrene. The polystyrene will actually be a bit moldable until the acetone evaporates away.

Personally I'd just stick with acrylic.
ooo chemistry, havent had this much explination of chem stuff since i talked to my friend about stuff when i was writing a paper in HS and he was working as a reverse engineer in a plastics lab.

depending on the type of tape i think you could really reenforce the tubing from kinking but maybe not. all of the washable hoses now use the corrugated tubing any way so that might be part of how it works the way it does, which would be an easy solution to start with.

i didnt realize the other properties of delrin, only ever had it as bolts in paintball guns and for some other pieces here and there, didnt realize what it let off and all. it honestly would probably be a bit heavy though to start with. i might just lampwork a glass tip when i take that class in spring sem but idk how much i would really like it (i.e. with my luck ill break it and have to make a new one)

as to the water exposure i never wash the out side of my hoses so i dont think it would be a huge deal but ehh we will see what i do when i get there

-matt
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