If your waterbed heater doesn’t heat do you know what to do? Short of calling an electrician this is what we would recommend.
First and foremost as dumb as it sounds make sure you have power to it. Over half of our problems concerning heaters are the simple but embarrassing things like the unit not being plugged in. Cats, dogs, kids and vacuum cleaners are the common culprits and regularly knock the power cords loose. Other common problems are related to new home owners moving into their new residence where they are unfamiliar with the new house hold receptacles, again embarrassing moments can be eliminated by simply knowing that the receptacle works or that a wall switch controls the power to it.
If the waterbed heater doesn’t work and you have drained the waterbed mattress only to find a burn mark or serious brown or black discoloration in the heating pad this is a very serious problem, remove it immediately and throw it away and buy a new one. Although this is a very rare occurrence this is the most serious of waterbed heater failures and should not be taken lightly. For your safety all waterbed heaters are sealed units and are not designed to be worked on and are called throw away items for a reason. All waterbed heaters are required to have a built in safety limit switch that is designed to act like a circuit breaker and shut the units off in case of emergency and typically do not reset. Water bed heaters built today have lower wattage outputs, which make them a lot safer than units made 10-15 years ago which operated at higher temperatures due to more wattage output. One last thing about lower output heaters, they can take up to a week to reach operating temperature, especially if you have filled the bed with cold water and or live in a colder climate.
If your heater overheats immediately unplug it, remove and throw it away. You either have a bad temperature control unit or a pad that is stuck in the “on” mode. Do not try to replace just a control unit or the heating pad by itself due to the risk of fire or electrical shock. Controls and pads should not be mismatched. As a rule of thumb STLBeds will not sell heater controls or heater pads separately for our customers safety.
Your waterbed heater exists for a number of reasons; however most people believe it is designed simply to keep you warm at night. It is true that a heater can make a waterbed warm and comfy which means no hypothermia, but it also keeps mold and mildew from forming as a result of condensation. At STLBeds we take seriously when our customers have problems with their waterbed heaters. One preventable problem is premature vinyl failure which is more often than not a result of waterbed mattresses where the heaters were either not being used or were never turned on. We have found a warm bed on average lasts longer because warm vinyl is softer and more pliable than cold vinyl.
Finally one last waterbed heater occurrence is static electricity, this happens when one person is standing on the floor while the other is in bed and they touch or kiss. We have seen this especially when the beds are on concrete floors. Sometimes it is a wiring issue in the home and may require an electrician. The other reason is a grounding or completed circuit issue. You should contact a waterbed dealer or the waterbed heater manufacturer to resolve this issue. If it is more than a simple static discharge we suggest taking the heater out of the bed checking it for a burned heater pad or a bad power cord. If you have any doubts or it’s older than your married children we suggest replacing it!