Everything about hookah-diving


While I have used hookah units for some jobs over the years, you must realize the limitations of these units. Some are professionally built and work with a medium pressure. But many are constructed by DIY guys. There is nothing wrong with building one as long as you know what you are doing. A hookah unit consists of just a few basic parts.

  • 1/ Compressor
  • 2/ Prime mover (engine or motor)
  • 3/ Reserve tank
  • 4/ Filters
  • 5/ Non return valve, (check valve)Extremely important
  • 5/ Umbilical
  • 6/ Second stage (a scuba second stage has to be modified for low pressure use, this needs a professional to carry out the work)
  • 7/ Harness

Now this is a simple Hookah-Diving unit and must be treated as such. It will give years of service as long as looked after and maintained properly.

More often the engine will be petrol, requiring your own safety rules to be implemented.

The engine and compressor are sometimes on a floating platform. Well you can work out for yourself if this is a safe practice. Me, I wonder about it.


Hookah-Diving compressors are small, lightweight, and simple in design. They are commonly constructed of an aluminum alloy to keep them portable although I did have one year’s ago with a diesel engine, it was barely drag-able,

Everything about hookah diving

There are Two Types

The first type is based on a rubber diaphragm as the means of compression.

The second type use’s a normal “piston” arrangement to compress air. These types generally deliver more air at higher pressures than the diaphragm models.

Some Hookah-Diving compressor’s are lubricated with Teflon for the life of the unit, and need no additional lubrication;

The air that is delivered by this type of Hookah compressor is pure, oil free air. A 40 micron filter must be included in the supply line after the compressor to remove any solid particles that naturally occur.

This type of Hookah-Diving compressors contains sealed bearings rather than oil for lubrication that can contaminate the air supply. Most other compressors utilize an “oil bath lubrication system, which will contaminate the air supply. They therefore use a vegetable oil, to avoid harmful toxin in the air supply.

All compressors must have a pressure relief valve in the line, to prevent compressor damage when the air demand is low of zero whilst the compressor is running. This is often adjustable and if so should be adjusted to conform with the pressure the diver needs to breath.

Hookah-Diving compressors are low-pressure units. Even the higher capacity models the output is only about 125 pounds per square inch. The higher the operating pressure, the lower the air output (volume).

A diver is working at depths of 33 feet or less, will need only 30 to 40 pounds per square inch for optimum operation of his regulator. Relief valve set at about 50 psi.


Hookah-Diving systems require a reserve tank.

The reserve tank is your air “reservoir,” it makes sure that a constant supply of the volume of air you require is available at all times. A working diver under heavy exertion will demand a greater volume of air; this large volume of air is in the reserve tank and will supply the reserve air on the divers demand up to a point. Do not expect a hookah unit to be able to supply a constant supply of air at more than the maximum output. The reserve tank will slowly drain down and your air will tighten up unless you reduce your volume demand. i.e. slow down and rest a bit.

The reserve tank also functions as a cooling and condensation vessel. Compressed air is hot so if you breath it direct from a compressor it will be hot and wet. Not healthy at all. The tank lets the air expand, cool and condense. And although you can put driers in the line it is normally ok for the reserve tank to do this work. It also regulates the airflow when the compressor runs unevenly.