Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Something Well Made Is Never Too Expensive

Long ago, when we lived in Sonoma County, a woman with whom we had gone to church in San Jose gave us an electric rest warmer. For those not familiar with it, an electric rest warmer is rather like an electric blanket, except that it goes on to the mattress, so that the electric heat is rising up from the bed. I suspect that it is more efficient than electric blanket.

It has dual controls so that you can set the left and right sides of the bed to different temperatures. One of the controls started to give me trouble a few days ago so that the off/on switch would sometimes not stay on. If you pressed it firmly it would temporarily go to on, but not stay on. Sometimes if you pressed it hard it would stay on, but not always.

I decided to figure out what the problem was, so I unplugged it, and then disassembled the control unit. I then noticed the manufacturing date on the control unit: August 15, 1990. This control unit and the rest warmer are more than 22 years old. This is the first problem that it has ever given us. The manufacturer is listed as Chatham Manufacturing Company, Elkin, North Carolina. It also says, "Made in USA."

Once I disassembled it, I discovered that a copper contact had flattened out and only needed to be bent a little bit to solve the problem. It is now working perfectly. Will I get another 22 years of service out of this rest warmer? I do not know, but I'm always so thrilled to see a product that is so durable and reliable. That it is made in the USA just adds to the pleasure.


  1. Something like this has been very beneficial for us. I am a cold sleeper, and Bitter is a warm sleeper. I like my bedroom like a meat locker during winter. I sleep best when it's cold. During summer I like to turn the AC down at night to under 70, and keep the fans going.

    Theoretically, each side is adjustable. I never use mine, at all. When I have the house temp drop to 63 at night, Bitter can keep her side energized, while I go with a simple blanket with no electrical help.

  2. Up until about 8 years ago my wife and I were big fans of The Electric Blanket. We had many of them over the years, but they wouldn't last long. Then, when we downsized, we found out about a "Bed Warmer", a fitted mattress cover that heats from below, same as your "electric rest warmer". It has duel-controls and has been working well for the past eight years. I too like to repair things when they fail rather than simply go out and buy another. I'll have to remember your tip about the controls' contacts. A nice safety feature of this particular warmer is that it automatically turns off if the temperature reaches a critical level.