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Hardside or softside waterbeds both have a common supporting component which is water and without the water, well, it just isn’t a waterbed. Filling that water bed is simply part of the set up process but more importantly than putting water in a waterbed is where to stop putting water in the bed. Knowing when you should shut it off and if you have under it filled or overfilled. So what happens if my water bed does not have enough water in it?
Photo: Filling a Waterbed by The Lugash
First and foremost before filling single or dual water mattresses you need to be certain it has been installed correctly. Read installation instructions for your waterbed heater and put in accordingly. Most heating pads rest on the decking or floor of the bed, then the safety liner is installed, and finally the mattress if there is not a zippered mattress cover. Pull the mattresses corners firmly into the corners of the frame. This assures good smooth fit on the vinyl mattress bottom from corner to corner, end to end, and side to side. A smooth taught bottom is the key to a good mattress position.
After connecting hose and fill kit connections you can begin to fill the bed but never fill with straight hot water. Cold or lukewarm is fine. Throughout the beginning fill process continue to pull corners of mattress into the corners of the mattress bed cavity. Sides and ends must be checked for proper straight position. After about 1 inch of water not much can be done to correct an improperly positioned mattress.
Continue filling until the mattress is within about 1 inch or the top of the bed frame with not padded rail or no padded top in the case of a softside. Lay something across the bed width that is straight and can be used as a fill guide. When the water nears the bottom of the straight edge the fill will be complete. The mattress will need to be shut off for people of average weight and size about ½ inch below the guide. Touching the guide in the middle is too full. ¾ of an inch or so seems to be best for people who are in excess of 200 pounds.
You can burp or herd all air toward the fill valve of the mattress after the hose has been disconnected. The expelling of air will quiet mattress noise, make the mattress more comfortable, and reveal the actual fill level of the mattress. If level is correct add waterbed conditioner, plug, and cap to the mattress. A minor adjustment in water level may have to be made in a few weeks to tweak the mattress feel and to keep you comfy throughout the night. Another way to assure superior comfort is to keep air out of the mattress by regularly burping the water mattress.
Water touching the center of the fill guide or a fill that is about the bed side rails can not only cause a person to be uncomfortable but it can speed up mattress wear from excess stretching that leads to certain premature failure.