Waterbed Woes

By
Home Inspector with Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area InterNACHI 10041206

Waterbeds were really popular back in the 80's... and even earlier! Some people still have them today. They are pretty cool, and with the water warm you will never slide into a cold bed! The older ones were just a bag of water, and if you or your mate moved, you would be wiggling for a few minutes till the waves settled down... but alas! They made baffles and fiberfill to keep the water calmed down. I used to have one, and I loved it, most Orthopedic Doctors and Chiropractors would tell you that's it's not enough support for your back.

I have a great example of the opposite theory of that. My cousin Tom, who lives in Florida has had his waterbed for over 30 years! It seems to help his back, proving that what's good for one person is not necessarily good for the other. He swears by his! He sent me these pics the other day of something that happened to his without him even knowing it!

Waterbed heaters are flat looking mats, kind of like a heating pad with a thermostat on it that keeps the water at an even temperature year round. Yes, they are electric and sometimes they go bad and they have to be replaced.

It's quite a chore to change one, but this one is unique! His actually developed a short, not going to speculate if it was due to over activity on the topside :-) When he pulled the mattress back (not an easy task) he found burnt wood! Yes, it 

was shorted out and acually started to burn the wood underneath!

First thing I thought about is what if there was a small leak in the mattress... shock therapy? This could have been a dangerous situation, or could have popped the circuit breaker of AFCI braker if the house was equipped with one.

 

Lesson: If you have one of these type of beds... inspect it periodically and don't wait for it to fail before you look at it! A fire under the bed... wow, I always thought the heat was formed on the other side :-)

 

Photos courtesy of Mr. Tom Hernden

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Posted by

 
 
Fred Hernden 

 

 Superior Home Inspections

 

  505-588-9559

 

 **************************************************************************************

 Albuquerque, Rio Rancho New Mexico and surrounding areas...

 

“My mission is to provide superior quality home inspections to my clients to ensure peace of mind so they can confidently make the largest investment they may ever make!"

                   

Please visit my website at: www.SuperiorHomeInsp.com for details!

                 

 

                                     

 

 

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Ambassador
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Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

Fred way back in college I used to sell waterbeds and the one thing we stressed is always check your heater and bed at least once a year.  And for goodness sakes - a 30 year old water bed?  That's a bit scary!

Oct 26, 2015 01:44 AM #1
Rainmaker
568,350
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

Anna Banana - Well, the wood frame is 30+ I think, but the mattress and heater and liner has been changed several times... to each his own! 

Oct 26, 2015 01:48 AM #2
Rainmaker
399,043
Marnie Matarese
DWELL REAL ESTATE - Sarasota, FL
Showing you the best of Sarasota!

I was one of the unlucky leaky bed owners and although it was comfortable, I will never go through that misery of a flood again.  LOL

Oct 26, 2015 01:59 AM #3
Rainmaker
568,350
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

Marnie - Oh man, well that's another thing that can happen. They usually don't burst though and a leak can be detected. Yours must be a great story!

Oct 26, 2015 02:14 AM #4
Rainmaker
1,846,640
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

It seems our heater was a little pad that was encased in rubber.  But I suppose it could have shorted and gotten too hot, burning its way through the rubber.

And in those days, and in my house even these days, there were no AFCI breakers!

Oct 26, 2015 08:48 AM #5
Rainmaker
568,350
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

Jay - Yes, that's what they look like... I would say it got a little too hot for sure! I hear you on the AFCI's!

Oct 26, 2015 09:43 AM #6
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Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

It has been many years since I have seen a water bed in a house. I didn't know they even existed anymore but I guess everything old is new again.

Oct 26, 2015 11:13 AM #7
Rainmaker
568,350
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

Joe - I guess if you like it... you stick with it! He told me that it works for his back, so who am I to argue?

Oct 27, 2015 01:26 AM #8
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Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

I could never understand sleeping on one of these. I once had a husband (yes, I did say that - one way back when) who owned one. He did not last long and I never missed that bed either.

Nov 05, 2015 08:39 PM #9
Rainmaker
5,380,298
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

This is good information to share with waterbed owners.

Thanks for sharing your experience.

Nov 30, 2015 10:49 PM #10
Rainmaker
568,350
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

Barbara-Jo - We all learn from our mistakes... hopefully! 

Roy - I bet there aren't too many of them around anymore!

 

Dec 01, 2015 11:50 PM #11
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Rainmaker
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Fred Hernden, CMI

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