Repair a Recliner Chair Mechanism | DIY Guide

Recliner Chair Mechanism

If you are someone who has used a recliner chair for any amount of time, you know that there really is no way to go back to lounging on a regular couch after that. Reclining chairs are built for relaxation, no matter what other activity you are doing.

So it’s a real punch in the gut to realize that there’s something wrong with your beloved recliner. But before you go into panic mode, there is a way for you to fix your chair by yourself.

The following will be outlining the process of how to repair a recliner chair mechanism so that you can once again sit back and relax.

Before You Fix Your Recliner Chair Mechanism

There are some things you should examine and consider before you jump into the actual repairing process of your recliner’s mechanism.

Construction Issues

If your chair is leaning, and you can’t easily identify the issue, the fault might be on the manufacturer’s side and not on yours. So this is not something you can fix at home, and it might be the right time to check if your chair’s warranty is still valid or not.

Faulty Framework

Your recliner may also be leaning because of issues with its frame. When not regularly maintained, recliners tend to give way, and loose bolts and nuts occur. In that case, you either have to get your chair fixed professionally, or buy a new one altogether.

Insufficient Cushioning

This will eventually happen, but it is not a serious problem. It might be uncomfortable to use, but it is not an end-all issue. All you have to do is add more padding using pillows, cushions, etc.

Uneven Ground

The issue of your recliner chair being lopsided might be due to the simple reason of uneven flooring under it. If there is something that is caught between the chair and the floor, or if the floor itself is not even, then it will cause your chair to lean. So definitely check for that if you see your recliner leaning.

Steps to Repair a Recliner Chair Mechanism

Now that you know what might be wrong, here is how you can fix your recliner’s faulty mechanism at home, all by yourself.

Check the Tension

This step is to make sure your chair’s backrest is leaning as it normally would. If it feels too stiff on your back, you should try to see if decreasing the tension makes it better.

However, if your recliner chair leans back too quickly, you should increase the tension so that it is sturdier. Also, if you feel like you need more support for your back, definitely increase the chair’s tension as that can be more comfortable for you.

Examine the Underside of Your Chair

To do this, put the chair’s back in an upright position and tilt it forward gently and while keeping a firm grip on it. You can have someone assist you in holding the chair in place while you check the underside.

Check the Adjustment System

In order to see if the adjustment mechanism is working fine, you will need to make sure the wing nuts or thumb wheels on the sides of your recliner are fixed properly and that the bolt they are set on is not loose.

If you cannot find the adjustment system underneath your chair, then check at the back of it because the placement varies between different manufacturers.

The thumbwheels are what allow you to adjust your chair’s tension in the first place, so their being in order is very important.

Fixing the Tension

To either increase or decrease your chair’s tension, you can rotate the thumbwheels clockwise or counterclockwise, respectively.

If the thumbwheels are too stiff for you to turn them using your hands, then you should get a set of pliers or a wrench to help you out. Whatever you do, though, do not turn the wheels/nuts to either side fully.

Make Sure It’s Working Again

You might be done fixing your recliner, but you won’t know that unless you check it. Put your chair in an upright position and test out the changes by sitting on it.

Try to sit as you normally would and try out different positions to make sure the chair is always comfortable, no matter how your body is stretched. If something seems off, then you can adjust it accordingly.

Things to Keep in Mind

While you fix the adjustment system of your chair, there are some things you need to stay aware of or avoid doing.

Tuck in the Footrest

Make sure the footrest is not extended while you are fixing your recliner, as it can break off because of the impact with the floor and will also prevent the chair from tilting all the way forward.

Proper Adjustment Level

When turning the thumbwheels one way or the other, make sure not to turn them all the way to one side. Each time you turn the wheels, do so by a quarter of the way only.

Tightening the thumbwheels too much or keeping them too loose will damage the spring’s tension, so you should also avoid doing that.

Spring Tightness

If the spring is moving after you are done with your adjustments, then that means it is loose. To fix that, turn the wheels or nuts one half of a movement clockwise. And if the spring is too stiff, you can turn them counterclockwise one half.

Final Words

No matter how much help you get from the internet on repair a recliner chair mechanism, always make sure that you are also consulting your recliner’s user manual in order to avoid further issues.

Besides that, you should now be set to fix your recliner chair all by yourself!

Related Article: How to take apart a recliner chair

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