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Shire Waterbed Service

Fequently Asked Questions

We are pleased to provide answers to some of the most common questions asked in relation to waterbeds. If we haven't answered your specific question, please contact us (our information is at the bottom of this page) and we will do our best to answer your.


Will it be safe to install my waterbed on the 2nd floor of my home?
The cubic weight of a waterbed is approximately 30% of an average size man standing in the same room
Some example weights:
Queen Hybrid - 500 kilos / 14kg sq ft
King Timber - 1100 kilos / 24kg sq ft
Also keep in mind, the weight of the waterbed is evenly distributed over the floor. This is often less than 10% of the contact pressure of a conventional bed on legs or castors.


Where does the dust on the (vinyl) bladder come from?
Whether you sleep on a waterbed, innerspring, futon or in a swag, you perspire a cup of body oils each night. In an innerspring or futon there are millions of dust mites that feed on your oils, which can cause health problems in 11% of the population. Waterbeds don't have dust mites, so the body oils are absorbed by your mattress protector or woolen underlay, where it crystallises and appears as dust on the bladder.
What do I do about the dust on the bladder?
The dust is oil-based and will continue to soak into the vinyl of the bladder. The vinyl manufacturer recommends cleaning the vinyl every two months with warm soapy water or Blue Magic Vinyl Cleaner. This will prolong the life of the bladder.
Spend two (2) minutes every two (2) months and double (2) the life of your waterbed. Here's the Shire Waterbed Service 2-2-2 Waterbed Maintenance Fact Sheet*


Why do bladders leak?
There are three primary reasons for these leaks:
1. Your body oils have hardened the vinyl, which will then crack. (Please read the cleaning question above on how to avoid this.)
2. There isn't enough water in the bladder (This is the most common cause).
Water is 1/3 oxygen. Over time, the water becomes stagnant and starts to break down, releasing air. If you expel the air without topping up the water, creases will form, which can cause cracks leading to water leaks.
3. Some sort of mishap e.g. a lost earring or a visit from the cat.
Can I prevent bladders leaking?
Keeping the bladder clean and conditioned will help prevent leaks.
Over the course of 12 months, you should add 20 to 25 litres of water. This will keep the water level at an optimum level and maintain the same sleeping surface from year to year.
With every installation we provide a comprehensive information sheet to help you maintain your waterbed.

Temperature Setting:

What can you tell me about heating the water in my waterbed?
Today's waterbed heaters use up to date technology - time proportion solid state.
Early heaters, with the copper capillary used CO2. CO2 has been banned in Australia. The Bulb & Capillary heaters had a variation of 1.5 degrees from your setting. In practice this meant if you set the heater at 30oC, the heater would fluctuate between 28.5oC and 31.5oC.
Today, heaters have a range of 0.1o from your setting. This means if you set it 30oC, the heater would fluctuate between 29.9oC and 30.1oC keeping you and your waterbed at a constant temperature.

Running Costs:

How expensive is a waterbed to run?
Time proportion solid state heaters do a great job of maintaining the temperature you have set. It only uses the power it needs to do its job. A 350 watt heater may only require 50 watts or 200 watts to maintain your setting.
A Queen hybrid covered by a doona during the day may use approximately $1.00 per week. This means you can run a waterbed heater for the whole year for the same cost as running an electric blanket for just 4 months.


I'm moving house. Do I need a specialist to move my waterbed?
There are risks on a DIY waterbed relocation.
When you are relocating homes, there are many jobs that need to be done on the last day. These jobs take hours to complete. One of them is the waterbed. This will take hours to complete without the use of a pump and discharge hose. If you can find one to hire the cost might be $80.00 - 90.00. Without it you will have to rely on the gravity feed method. Depending on the location of the waterbed this could take 2-3 hours to drain.
Now comes the risky part. The hose keeps stopping but there is still 100 litres (100 kilograms) of water in the bladder. So you lift the head of the bladder so the water goes to the bottom where the valve is located. Sure enough the fibre slides to the foot and becomes a big pile. Now you have another task - to straighten the fibre.
It's too heavy to lift by yourself, so a mate helps you drag it out of the frame to the shower and risk tearing the bladder.
After 5 - 6 hours the waterbed has been moved to the new location but not much else has been done.
Whereas by phoning Shire Waterbed Service we can relocate the waterbed while you are shifting the rest of the house.
Please read "Relocation" on our Services page for more details.


I don't see waterbeds in retail stores anymore. Are they still available?
Yes they are, but many retailers are reluctant to carry them. Since the late 90's, the majority of bedding retail stores are franchised. Because of their overhead cost; franchise fees are 12 - 14%, 10% GST, franchise ownership loan cost at 15%. All of which totals 40%, or 40 cents of each dollar, before they pay rent, wages, goods. The retail stores would need to sell a $1600 waterbed at $4000.00 + to be profitable.


The information provided here is of a general nature and should not be relied upon as a substitute for the advice of a suitably qualified authority.

2-2-2 Waterbed Maintenance Fact Sheet*

Get Adobe Reader * You can download a copy of the Fact Sheet. First, right click above the link and then choose the "Save as" option. Depending on your browser the link may read "Save Target As", "Save Link As" or a similar phrase. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader software to view a PDF file. You are able to download this software for free from Adobe.

Contact Us

Shire Waterbed Service
Phone: (02) 9531 1311
Mobile: 0408 674 280
Email: Please use our contact page