How to Install a Waterbed Heater


Water conducts heat away from your body with amazing rapidity. Anyone who has ever tried sleeping on an unheated waterbed can tell you what a chilling experience it is. In order to be comfortable on a waterbed, you must either cover the top with several layers of blankets or install a heater. During cold winters, a heated waterbed will keep you from ever snuggling into a cold bed again. Installation is straightforward, but should be done correctly to achieve the best results and prevent damage to your mattress and bedding.

Things You'll Need

  • Fill and drain kit
  • Hose
  • Heater
  • Hook your fill and drain kit to a conveniently located faucet.

  • Connect a hose to the fill nozzle on your waterbed. Connect the other end to the fill and drain kit. Drain the water from your mattress.

  • Remove the mattress and safety liner from the frame.

  • Center the heating pad on the decking of the empty frame. Do not place the heating pad over a crack or open seam in the decking. If necessary, move the heating pad slightly to one side.

  • Place the thermostat probe on the decking at least 12 inches away from the heating pad.

  • Replace the safety liner in the frame. Smooth out any wrinkles or folds in the liner. It is important there are no air gaps between the heating pad and the mattress.

  • Replace the waterbed mattress. Remove any wrinkles in the bottom of the mattress. Attach the hose and fill it with water.

  • Remove the hose from the mattress and cap the fill nozzle.

  • Plug the heater in and adjust the thermostat to between 88 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow the heater to operate for seven days before adjusting the temperature.

Tips & Warnings

  • Waterbed heaters are low wattage. Adjustments do not take effect immediately, but over the course of several days. Use patience while making your initial settings.
  • Wait until your mattress is full before plugging your heater in.
  • Never operate your heater with less than four inches of water in the mattress.
  • Operating the heater with insufficient water in your mattress will damage both the liner and the mattress.
  • Unplug your heater before draining your waterbed.
  • Creases or folds in the mattress or liner directly above the heating pad can cause hot spots and reduce the efficiency of your heater. They may also shorten the life of your mattress.

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  • Photo Credit colorful bed linen on a wooden bed image by ann triling from
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