Your waterbed heater is an important part of your waterbed and you should pay attention to the way it is installed and maintained.
Positioning the heater pad
When you are first installing the heater pad there are several things that you should be aware of.
Check it is the correct heater type - Soft side water heaters work at a lower wattage than hard side heaters. Make sure you are not trying to install a hard side heater to a soft side bed.
Base board joins - Do not install the heater pad over a join in the baseboard. The movement between the two sides might be slight but could have a cumulative effect and damage the pad eventually.
Thermostat - Do not install the waterbed thermostat sensor near the heater. This could lead to false readings so that the heater turns off even if the water is not at the correct temperature.
Safety liner - Install your heater under the safety liner. The safety liner is there to collect the water from any leaks.
Wrinkles - Ensure that the heater is installed flat against the baseboard with no wrinkles or folds.
Nails and pins - Do not use nails or pins to hold the heater in place
Position - Install the heater pad towards the foot of the bed. By doing this you avoid the danger of the heater having insufficient water above if someone is lying above it.
Wire - Feed the wire from the heater through a hole in the baseboard close to where the nearest power point is. Make sure the wire is straight with no kinks in it.
Caring for heater damage
A properly installed heater should not suffer any damage in normal use. It is protected from above by the water mattress and the safety liner and from below by the base board. The heater has no moving parts.
The heater cannot make rapid changes in the water temperature so don’t try to turn the thermostat up high to get the bed warmer. Once the bed is at a satisfactory heating level the thermostat should not need to be changed.
Don’t leave the waterbed stripped of bedding for too long. The large surface area of the bed will cool the water down quickly and cause the heater to work harder.
Effects on your energy bill
Having the heater thermostat set too high or stripping the bed and leaving it will cause the heater to work harder and consume more electricity. Fortunately the heater does not consume much so any increase will be marginal unless the condition persists.
Whenever you are working on the bed, topping up the water level or adding conditioner for example, always switch off the heater.
The heater is like the heart of your waterbed so it pays to make sure it is installed correctly and treated sensibly.