Most waterbed retailers will offer an installation service but if you are confident that you could manage this yourself we have written this guide to help. If you can contribute to the advice please feel free to add your comment at the end.
Preparation will save you wasting a lot of time and make sure you get maximum comfort.
Before filling a waterbed you must ensure the heat pad of the waterbed heater is correctly positioned. Check the safety liner has no creases in the bottom and especially over the heat pad. Check the corners fit to the corners of either the hardside waterbed frame or the inside foam corners of a softside waterbed.
Lay the mattress inside the waterbed surround.
Pull up the valve (work it from side to side as you pull it up) Unscrew the cap and remove the plug. (squeeze underneath the plug and it will come out easier)
You will hear the fiber drawing in air as it tries to open up. Leave the mattress for about fifteen minutes to allow creases to smooth out and the vinyl to soften. Just enough time for a cup of coffee.
Pull the bottom corner of each corner seam into the bottom corner of the surround making sure they all reach equally. This will ensure the waterbed mattress is centred in the bed which is crucial.
Connect a garden hose to a warm water supply if possible. If not a cold supply is better than hot to get started. Before you start filling, run clean water through the hose to remove bacteria that would grow if the hose has not been used for a while, unless it is new. Slip the hose into the water bed mattress and start filling.
When you have about two inches (five centimetres) of water in the mattress add the strong first fill conditioner or 8oz of normal waterbed conditioner.
Continue filling and adjust the water temperature going into the bed to be only very slightly warm. Connecting to a shower hose is always an easy way to balance the temperature although it is slow.
Filling a bath and using a dedicated pump will be quicker if you have access to a pump, most waterbed retailers hire pumps. We at High & Dry Waterbeds will lend a pump free of charge to customers buying a new mattress.
As you are filling expect large pockets of air to form at the surface, stop filling and remove the air so you can judge the water level more accurately.
Once the water is about an inch (2.5cm) below the top and the mattress still has slack in it. Replace the plug and cap. Fit either the zip on washable cover or the hardside mattress protector. Try it and adjust the water level by fine tuning to suit your own requirement.
If you have dual waterbed mattresses it may be an idea to discuss filling these with your waterbed retailer as there are a few little tricks which are too complex for me to put in writing without it being ambiguous.
We will shortly have a video to demonstrate how to get the ideal comfort.