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Photo: A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
Remember the movie Nightmare on Elm Street 4 when the character Joey saw someone inside his waterbed mattress. It turned out it wasn’t who he thought it was and he ended up getting killed by Freddy Krueger who was popped up from inside of it? This got me thinking about noisy waterbeds. OK that noise your hearing in the waterbed…hint it’s not Freddy, and it’s easier to get rid of than Freddy.
So when people ask if there are really things that go bump in the night you can tell them no, but if they ask what’s that noise in their waterbed mattress just tell them the water bed needs to be burped. How do you know when to burp a waterbed? It will tell you. Noise is a result of sloshing water within the mattress air pockets. Many people even complain that the bed becomes less comfortable to sleep on as well. Mattress ballooning another similar issue and is usually a result of an overfilled water mattress and it can make burping a bed harder. A side note: the mattress does not have to be transparent to tell if it needs to be burped. The vinyl should be resting flat with a few wrinkles in the top, irregular surface blisters, and air pockets should be expressed.
The process for removing this noisy nuisance isn’t scary, but it will keep you awake if you don’t remove it and the best part is you can do it. You wont’ have to hire a professional. We simply pull up the valve in the up position, remove the cap and plug that seal the mattress. We then lie across the bed at the headboard end and slowly roll toward the foot end of the bed where the valve is. If you have a helper have them lift the valve up a couple inches away from the water so that the water will not erupt out or spill out the opening as you herd the air bubbles towards it. A broom handle or something similar works as well, whichever method you choose the key is to herd the air pockets and bubbles toward the valve removing the air. Repeat the process till all the air is gone and be sure there are no sharp points on what ever you use. Replace the plug and cap and you are finished. If you have a tube bed lift the valve, take the cap off, and slide your hand the length of the tube herding the air out of the open valve and then recap it. You can repeat this process for each tube.
This depends on how much air is in the water you filled it with. If you flush the air from the garden hose, take the plug out prematurely or the water company has aerated your water it will require more burping. The reason we have to keep burping a waterbed mattress for years is because water is part oxygen and some of that oxygen will collect and form bubbles, which need to be expelled or expressed out of your bed, by burping the bed it will make it more comfortable.
There are products made to emulsify the air bubbles but we have found that they foam and can be messy when trying to drain the beds so we do not recommend them.