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Thread: Ever built a Hookah?

  1. #36
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    So, I'm waiting for my el cheapo ebay second stage regulator to arrive. In the meantime, I'm not sure whether it was in this thread or my internet wanderings, but somewhere there was a comment along the lines of "You don't expect him to just gaffer tape the air hose to a snorkel do you?" And of course that seems like a brilliant idea, at least for starters. Although Ive gone with electricians tape rather than gaffa tape-its a bit more flexible.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    I've tried breathing with it, not in the water. You have to breathe quite deliberately, and can feel the compressor pulsing away. Your mouth gets quite dry. You have to deliberately exhale too. Air delivery is sufficient-but not by much. Air stops exiting the snorkel as I breath in, and my breathing has to be reasonably slow. So I wonder if this compressor has enough oomph to deliver air at 2 metres. Or to push through a regulator.

    Planning to go down to the boat tomorrow to try it out. In the meantime Ive left the hose and snorkel at the bottom of our spa pool just to check that the compressor keeps running for an hour or two without drama.
    Last edited by Phil Y; 02-26-2017 at 11:17 PM.

  2. #37
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    As luck would have it though, Ive been mulling this over forever, and I bought a bigger oil free compressor a few years ago. Turns out its also made by Thomas, good American company, no Chinese crap here If the little red one is not enough, I'll give this big fella a go. Just need a hose fitting for it.

    [IMG][/IMG]

  3. #38
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Neither compressor has a pressure cut out switch. Which is fine using a snorkel, as the excess air just vents out the end of the snorkel. With a second stage regulator though I figure I may need a cut out. Cross that bridge when we come to it. The red compressor has been running for a while now. The unit gets quite hot to the touch, but the air at the snorkel is nice, cooled by the water I think.

  4. #39
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    So I tried the dry breathing test on the big compressor. Feels like too much air-although maybe that will be just right a couple of metres down? In the absence of hose fittings I just used a garden hose to test it-bigger bore than my nice yellow breathing hose. So then I tried the bigger bore on the small compressor, and that seemed to make breathing slightly freer. So I'm going to try the small compressor with the small hose under the boat tomorrow. If theres not enough air to work comfortably I will either get a larger bore breathing hose, and give that a shot, or maybe my second stage reg will have arrived by then and I can try the big compressor, small hose and regulator. And that may call for a pressure cutout switch. I'm sure that's obtainable.
    Last edited by Phil Y; 02-27-2017 at 01:02 AM.

  5. #40
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Too much air is what you want. If you're breathing your used air back into the hose you could end up breathing in tok much CO2 and blacking out. You can't feel it or taste it. The first time you spend substantial time underwater with this setup, you ought to have someone with you. If you have a hose that's definitely pushing air out and a good stage 2 regulator then that should be fine. Remember, if there's any contaminant coming through that compressor, it can kill you. The Americans are just as capable of producing crap as anyone else ....

    Rick

  6. #41
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Thanks Rick. There's no chance of rebreathing exhaled air. As soon as I stop breathing in there is positive pressure in the line, and my exhaled breath goes straight out the bottom of the snorkel. I might even take the top off the compressor to check its innards. It's just a handful of screws. I'm expecting to find a diagphram which completely seperates the air flow from anything mechanical.

  7. #42
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    I once had to rescue a bloke whose air was contaminated with petrol fumes. He was sick for a while.

  8. #43
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    240 volt compressor. On marina berth. Running off mains. Should be OK, but thanks.

  9. #44
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Would it run off your inverter ( if you have one ) should you need it away from the marina ?..... to clear a pot warp off a prop for instance .
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
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  10. #45
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    Thanks Rick. There's no chance of rebreathing exhaled air. As soon as I stop breathing in there is positive pressure in the line, and my exhaled breath goes straight out the bottom of the snorkel. I might even take the top off the compressor to check its innards. It's just a handful of screws. I'm expecting to find a diagphram which completely seperates the air flow from anything mechanical.
    That's good!

    Rick

  11. #46
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSibley View Post
    Would it run off your inverter ( if you have one ) should you need it away from the marina ?..... to clear a pot warp off a prop for instance .
    The small compressor, I think yes, the larger one probably not. I do carry a small petrol powered generator on board, which I think would run the larger compressor, with appropriate care not to suck exhaust fumes into the compressor intake.

  12. #47
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Re exhaled air: you'd have to try awfully hard to push much air back into the hose.
    You guys are really overthinking this thing.

  13. #48
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Robb View Post
    Re exhaled air: you'd have to try awfully hard to push much air back into the hose.
    You guys are really overthinking this thing.
    You really have no idea, do you? It all works fine at 2m then someone uses it to retrieve something at 5m or deeper and the little compressor without a proper stage 2 becomes lethal. If the compressor can maintain good pressure at that depth then, okay. But if it can't and it's feeding an unvalved snorkel .... Thinking is a good thing. Try.

    Rick

  14. #49
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    I agree with both of you! but I do want to get it right because life is pretty good. I took the tops off my compressors. The small one as expected has a diaphragm, much like a common manual bilge pump. The larger one as it turns out has pistons, with silicone or Teflon or something "rings". Both with no oil whatsoever, so that's all good. My second stage regulator turned up in the mail, I hooked it up to the small compressor, it works like a champion. I think if the small compressor doesn't pump enough air at depth I will notice I cant draw breath, and will surface. No real worries there. The snorkel does have a one way valve, so air comes down the hose and anything I don't draw in just bypasses the mouth piece and goes out the valve at the end. I think Tom is right that even if there is not enough air to keep breathing, I wont be pushing any air back up the hose. Ill have surfaced before that happens. And with the second stage regulator, even safer. Turns out I'm not going to test it under the boat today, because a couple of new pumps turned up for the spa I'm installing at home. So that's got priority.

  15. #50
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    The stage 2 regulator will prevent air from being blown back into the hose. A snorkel with a similar valve might too but I'd be wary of that. The problem is the much greater pressure at depth - 2 x atmospheres at 10m so your little conpressor is working a lot harder to get that air flow to you. It may seem fine on the surface but it's very different just a few metres down. I was surprised how noticeable it is when I tried the commercial hookah, with a stage 2.

    The inherent risk of these things kicks in when you become familiar with it and fluent in its use. You stay longer, you go deeper, you worry less, and get slack. I ran out of air once at 30m, completely. Not so deep but it could have killed me and certainly could have ended my diving career. I got too casual. Now I'm more careful and make a point of having a more foolproof setup.

    I like the idea of building a hookah for myself, a lot. But I also know it can be dangerous and the way I use it may become dangerous. So I'll be thinking it through pretty carefully.

    Rick

  16. #51
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    I certainly wouldn't like to run out of air at 30m. Or even 10. I think you are right about the risks of complacency and familiarity. I hope I can limit myself to bottom cleaning at a couple of metres, if anything the smaller compressor probably has an inbuilt safety feature in its likely inability to push enough air deeper than that. I hope to go down to the boat and give it a run tomorrow.

  17. #52
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    The small compressor, I think yes, the larger one probably not. I do carry a small petrol powered generator on board, which I think would run the larger compressor, with appropriate care not to suck exhaust fumes into the compressor intake.
    Worth testing Phil, sometimes the starting load can be surprisingly high.Should I ever have one I'll belt drive it off the main engine.
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  18. #53
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSibley View Post
    Worth testing Phil, sometimes the starting load can be surprisingly high.Should I ever have one I'll belt drive it off the main engine.
    That would work. In my case way too complex. remember this is just to make bottom scrubbing in the berth a bit easier. And I wouldn't really want to run a 110hp diesel just to drive an air compressor. But on a smaller boat, sure.

  19. #54
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Phil, how do you propose to use the regulator if the compressors don’t have a cut out? Could you put a tank in the middle so that your compressor is filling that rather than trying to blow the hose and fittings apart when the regulator isn’t demanding air?

    Or am I missing something?
    Larks

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  20. #55
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    110 hp ? True!

    I'd use one of those 12v electric clutches from a car aircon compressor.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
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  21. #56
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Quote Originally Posted by Larks View Post
    Phil, how do you propose to use the regulator if the compressors don’t have a cut out? Could you put a tank in the middle so that your compressor is filling that rather than trying to blow the hose and fittings apart when the regulator isn’t demanding air?

    Or am I missing something?
    Mine had a tank in the line Greg, it looked very similar to an air cylinder from a truck, same size. It had a petrol engine so the idea was if the engine stopped you would have a slow flow to breath to the surface.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
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  22. #57
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Quote Originally Posted by Larks View Post
    Phil, how do you propose to use the regulator if the compressors don’t have a cut out? Could you put a tank in the middle so that your compressor is filling that rather than trying to blow the hose and fittings apart when the regulator isn’t demanding air?

    Or am I missing something?
    Well I asked myself the same question. I'll probably get a cutout switch. But doing a quick dry test it seemed to work OK. There is some compressibility of the air in the line, enough to cope with the time between breaths. The need for a cutout only arises if over time I am not breathing all the delivered air. But I'm also thinking that there is enough flexibility in the little diaphragm that it will just flex up and down without actually moving any air once a certain pressure is reached. I guess I can test that, just let the thing run for a while and see if anything breaks, before I go diving. Interestingly there is none of the pulsing from the compressor when I use the regulator. With the snorkel it is quite noticeable.

  23. #58
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    A tank wouldn't solve the problem if there is a problem, just delay it. And as Peter says, provide some reserve air if the compressor fails. It can be in line, or off a T.

  24. #59
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Yes Rick, thinking is a good thing. So is reading and answering the question that was asked.
    Thank you for your kind advice.
    Tom

  25. #60
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    Well I asked myself the same question. I'll probably get a cutout switch. But doing a quick dry test it seemed to work OK. There is some compressibility of the air in the line, enough to cope with the time between breaths. The need for a cutout only arises if over time I am not breathing all the delivered air. But I'm also thinking that there is enough flexibility in the little diaphragm that it will just flex up and down without actually moving any air once a certain pressure is reached. I guess I can test that, just let the thing run for a while and see if anything breaks, before I go diving. Interestingly there is none of the pulsing from the compressor when I use the regulator. With the snorkel it is quite noticeable.
    IIRC, at 10m , one atmosphere you will use 2x the air you use at the surface.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
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  26. #61
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Indeed, and if I scrub hard I'll probably use 5 times as much!

  27. #62
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Failure on Hookah Mk I. Dry tests and spa tests were at 1000 feet above sea level. Down at sea level the small compressor with the small bore hose just didn't deliver enough air to breathe. I got in the water, put my face in the water, but there just wasn't enough air. I tried first with the stage 2 regulator, and then with the snorkel, but with both there was not enough air. So, onward, I'll get a pressure switch for the bigger compressor, and a larger bore hose and give that a go.

  28. #63
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    An interesting read Phil, picked a good time of year for testing it out too, water should be nice and warm this week.

    Have you had a chance to look at the setup that the dive shop at Noarlunga use? When we take the kids down to the beach there it's not unusual to see some people out with the hookah setup they run.


    Can the air from a normal piston driven air compressor be filtered for breathability with the right filters? I'd looked at it briefly to combat sanding dust and for spray painting, feeding the air into a mask like the ones 3m make.

    Keep us posted how the cutoff switch works too.

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  29. #64
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Another "safety first" whiner. As a master scuba diver for over 20 years, I can't stress enough how easy it is for things to go bad - even when 6 to 8 ft. down. Here in the states a course to get certified is about $300. Worth every penny.

    Now that I've gotten that off my chest, I have cleaned the bottom & changed props on a # of 50' boats - including my own. I did find that I used less air in the Bahamas than I do in Maine... I do it with a single 80 tank & have been able to do the whole boat easily with one tank. If your bottom is really bad, the first time might take 2. The idea of a hose getting tangled/caught in something (prop, rudder, whatever) is enough to make me prefer a tank.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  30. #65
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    There maybe something of help here Phil. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHKOfZsnBuA
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
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  31. #66
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Quote Originally Posted by simonmags View Post
    An interesting read Phil, picked a good time of year for testing it out too, water should be nice and warm this week.

    Have you had a chance to look at the setup that the dive shop at Noarlunga use? When we take the kids down to the beach there it's not unusual to see some people out with the hookah setup they run.


    Can the air from a normal piston driven air compressor be filtered for breathability with the right filters? I'd looked at it briefly to combat sanding dust and for spray painting, feeding the air into a mask like the ones 3m make.

    Keep us posted how the cutoff switch works too.

    Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
    Hi Simon, no I haven't seen the Noarlunga set up. Might have a look at that. And yes, I think you can use a normal hardware shop compressor, but you have to remove all the normal oil and replace it with some special oil that won't kill you, and put some good filters in line.

  32. #67
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Another "safety first" whiner. As a master scuba diver for over 20 years, I can't stress enough how easy it is for things to go bad - even when 6 to 8 ft. down. Here in the states a course to get certified is about $300. Worth every penny.

    Now that I've gotten that off my chest, I have cleaned the bottom & changed props on a # of 50' boats - including my own. I did find that I used less air in the Bahamas than I do in Maine... I do it with a single 80 tank & have been able to do the whole boat easily with one tank. If your bottom is really bad, the first time might take 2. The idea of a hose getting tangled/caught in something (prop, rudder, whatever) is enough to make me prefer a tank.
    Yes, but I can imagine getting my scuba hoses tangled just as easily. And trying not to spend a thousand bucks on a scuba setup. And OK yes, I just like tinkering sometimes

  33. #68
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSibley View Post
    There maybe something of help here Phil. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHKOfZsnBuA
    Yeah I saw that. Kind of a weird bitter guy isn't he? And no real indication as to what was wrong with the hookah. Amazing some of the stuff that goes on YouTube and gets lots of views!

  34. #69
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    I've ordered bigger bore hose. Haven't ordered the pressure switch yet. Thinking fittings between it and the compressor might be the next challenge, but I'm sure that's doable. But I've got distracted with some other things. My ride on lawn mower which I do some paid work with has eaten a bearing on the mower deck. My excavator which I do some work with and hire out keeps throwing tracks and one of the Porsches I hire out got wrapped around a tree by a customer. Not to worry, normal service will resume as soon as possible!

  35. #70
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    Yes, but I can imagine getting my scuba hoses tangled just as easily. And trying not to spend a thousand bucks on a scuba setup. And OK yes, I just like tinkering sometimes
    Hoses can (should) be kept neatly so this doesn't happen - but I do understand the tinkering part! Still wish you'd consider certification - you'll learn a lot,
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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