How to Drain a Waterbed

Nice bed in a room with large windows
  • 1-4 hours
  • Beginner
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You must drain a waterbed before you can move it, whether across the room, to a new home, or to put up for sale. While the draining process involves many steps and parts, it is not difficult.

Step 1 - Heater

Switch off and disconnect the heater from the power source.

Step 2 - Use a Drain Pump

You can rent a suitable water pump or buy one. The easiest and cheapest to buy is a simple pump that will attach to your hand power drill. When you remove the temperature control unit the valve will pop up and you can insert the input pipe from the pump. Use a hose pipe to connect the outlet pipe of the pump to a convenient drain positioned at a lower level than the waterbed. Depending on the speed of the pump it can take up to an hour to drain the bed properly.

Step 3 - Use the Siphon Effect

Your waterbed may have come with a waterbed drain kit but if you can’t find it don’t worry, it is only a more mechanical method of creating a siphon effect.

To use the siphon effect you need to have a hose that will reach from the waterbed to the outside of the house. Before using the hose flush it through with clean water for about ten minutes. Drain the hose and carry one end up to the water bed. Ideally you want a route that will see the hose always travelling down hill from the bed to the outside. Remove the temperature control unit and the valve will pop up so you can insert the hose pipe. Make sure it is as far down inside the water bag as possible.

To start the siphon, try to hold the hose pipe and valve while gently pressing down on the water bag to force water into the hose. Once the water is flowing you can leave it to nature to do the work. If this method does not start the water flowing put a couple of heavy objects on the hose to hold it in place. Go to the other end of the hose and start to suck the air out. You will soon know when to stop as pressure will build in the hose as water travels down it.

The siphon effect will continue to drain the water from the waterbed as long as the end of the hose is under the water level. Although this is a slow process you must keep an eye on the situation. As the water bag empties the hose pipe will tend to assume a more horizontal position and you must be available to make sure it stays vertical and in the water. As you come to the end of the process you will have to lift an end of the water bag to drain the water to the hose pipe end. This is done easier by two people. As long as you keep the water over the end of the hose pipe the siphon effect will continue to drain it.

Either of these two methods will drain as much water from the bed as possible and enable you to move it.