How to Fix a Recliner Tips – Fix the Back + Springs + Footrest + Cable

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Recliners are the ultimate way to finding comfort after a long day at work!  You can fall asleep, put your feet up, watch tv or read a book all in extreme comfort!  After doing my research and finding a great piece, recliners have become my absolute favorite piece of furniture in my home!  

That being said, over the last few years of owning a recliner, I have put hundreds if not thousands of hours sitting it.  Because of this, I have occasionally run into instances where I needed to do some repairs.  That being said, if you are a DIY type of person you can actually do a lot of your own repairs.  

But if you aren’t, you can also hire a repairman to help fix your furniture!  That means if you own the best recliner for back pain you won’t have to worry about costly repairs!  Here are my 7 tips and tricks on how fix a recliner chair mechanism.  That being said, if you aren’t interested in fixing your old recliner, you can always get a new recliner online!

Tips and Tricks on How to Fix a Recliner:

Repairing your recliner can seem daunting, especially if you’re aren’t the most handy.  But following the tips and guides below you should be able to repair most issues you might have with your reclining chairs!

Broken recliner

Fixing a Recliner Chair Springs:

One of the main reasons recliners are so comfortable are because of the cushions, and the springs.  Springs in all sorts pieces of furniture help to provide you a comfortable and stable place to sit and relax.  These springs absorb your weight and take stress off of your body.  

That being said, eventually these springs are going to fail, and they will have to be replaced or repaired.  That being said, to fix springs, all you need is an adjustable wrench, a new set of recliner springs, and a few minutes of time:

  • To begin with, gently flip your recliner upside down so that you can access the springs. Generally, there will be four bolts that are holding the springs in place, use your adjustable wrench to remove the bolts.
  • From there detach the springs from your recliner, and remove the whole piece and place it on the floor with the springs facing upwards.
  • Then you will need to take the new set of recliner springs and make sure that the new springs are positioned with the springs making contact with the underside of the cushions frame.
  • From there screw in the four bolts to attach the new springs into place.
  • After this you can simply flip your recliner back right side up, and your recliner has been repaired! From there, you can dispose of the old springs as appropriate.

Refer to the video below to help get a visual on how to fix and replace your recliners springs.

Repairing a broken reclining chair.

Fixing a Recliner Chair Back:

If you have a recliner that has a back that is broken or needs replacement, it can seem like a daunting task since it is a pretty heavy furniture, but thankfully within an afternoon you can have it repaired yourself!  There are 3 main types of securing or fasteners that keep recliner backs attached to the bottom.  Each of these are slightly different in how to actually remove the back to begin working on it.

  1. If you have a recliner with looking levers, then you need to make sure the levers are flipped downwards and locked when in use, and flipped upwards when you are removing the back.
  2. Some recliners you will need to use a flathead screwdriver to remove the screws and bolts and ensuring that you can separate the chair back and the base.
  3. That being said, once you have removed the recliner back you can fully start to get in there and make sure everything is working properly.

Refer to the video below on how to remove the back and fix the recliner back.

How to Remove a La-z-boy Recliner Back

Correcting a Faulty Recliner Cable:

If you are unfamiliar with what a recliner cable does, it is the piece in a recliner that ensures that the back of the recliner reclines when you want it to, and it stays in position when you want it to stay in position.  If your seat has a faulty cable, then you will experience the seat back moving and falling backwards when you don’t want it to.  That being said, repairing and replacing the cable for your recliner is a pretty simple activity that you can easily do in an afternoon!  

That being said, it can be slightly more difficult for advanced massage type recliners, but definitely still do able!

  • To repair or correct this cable, you will need to flip your recliner upside down.
  • From there, remove the four bolts that are on the bottom of the footrest.
  • From there you can also remove the last two bolts that are holding the squab to the actual frame of the seat. From here you will see the cable.
  • If you notice that there is fraying or that the cable is broken then you will need to completely replace the cable, if you’ve found that the cable has simply fallen off track, then try putting the cable back on track and seeing if that fixes your issues.

Refer to the video below to see a visual example of fixing the cable.

Repairing a broken reclining chair.

Fixing a Recliner Pull Handle:

If you have a seat that has a broken or completely missing pull handle, then it renders your recliner nearly completely useless.  Thankfully replacing a pull handle is an activity that you can do yourself within an hour or two!  All you need is a new replacement handle for the correct model of recliner, a screwdriver, and a few little bit of time.

  1. First, make sure that the footrest is in the closed position, and turn your recliner upside down. From there, look for the secret screw that holds the pull handle in place.
  2. This is generally located in the grove under the pull tab. You can remove this using a screwdriver or a wrench.
  3. From there you can unscrew the bolt, and fully detach the old broken handle from the recliner.
  4. If there is a cover that goes over the pull handle, you should remove that as well.

After you have it removed, put the new pull handle into the slot, and screw this handle into the recliner, and ensure that it pulls in and out.  Flip the recliner back to its upright position and ensure that the pull handle works.

Fixing a Recliners Footrest:

Whether you have an electric or manual raised recliner, they eventually will come across issues.  Although it can seem daunting, if you spend some time poking around, you can fix nearly any issue you have with a footrest.

  • To begin fixing your recliners footrest, then you’ll need to flip your recliner upside down.
  • From there, there will be anywhere between 2 to 6 screws on the bottom of the recliner which once unscrewed will reveal the footrest mechanism system.
  • While you have this revealed, it’s advisable to take a look at all the screws that attach the footrest to the base and make sure they are fully screwed in.

If your footrest is stuck in a fixed position, then take a look at all the mechanisms and look for any that are struggling to move.  If you locate a section that isn’t easily moved, then apply some lubricant like WD-40 to ensure that it glides along smoothly.  You can apply this lubricant generously to any joints to ensure free movement.  

Take a look at the video below to visualize some other issues that could cause issues to the footrest.

Repairing a broken reclining chair II

Fixing a Recliner That Leans to One Side:

Do you have a recliner that seems to lean to one side? Well, this can happen for a wide range of reasons.  It could be because of worn out or faulty parts that should be replaced, or it could be because the alignment is off.  

One of the main reasons is that the tension could be lower on one side and tighter on the other, which causes one side to lean more than the other.  To fix this, you’ll just have to follow the steps below to fix the tilting on your recliner.  Either way, once you get in there and take a look, you should be able to identify what the issue is, and correct it.

  • Turn the recliner upside down and remove the four screws on the bottom.
  • Take a look at the springs of the recliner. If you notice that one side of springs is lower or higher than the other, then you will need to replace the springs completely.
  • Along with this, if you notice that one side of the mounting plate is higher than the other, this will always lead to a lean to one side or the other.
  • If this is your problem ensure that all the screws are fully tightened to ensure that the mounting plate is level.

The video below will help to sort out any other issues and help to fix your leaning recliner.

How to Fix Over-Leaning Recliner

Final Thoughts on Tips and Tricks on Fixing Your Recliner:

With any piece of furniture not matter the brand or the price, there are inevitably going to run into issues at some point.  Thankfully if you are willing to put some work in and experiment with fixing your recliner yourself, then you can save yourself huge amounts of money on repair costs!  That being said, this guide isn’t useless if your recliner isn’t broken.  

You should also get into the habit of inspecting and performing some routine maintenance on your recliner. You should routinely look for worn out parts and signs of weakening in the frame and mechanisms.   

Above you will find my most important tips and tricks on fixing and keeping your recliner into tip top shape! Many problems can seem difficult at first, but have no fear, most problems can be fixed with some good old fashioned hard work!

If somehow you are unable to fix your recliner anymore, don’t fret, there are so many great recliner types and models from various brands. Make sure to check out choice recliner pieces from Benchcraft, comfy picks from Prospera, and modern designs from Man Wah furniture.

Brett E.

Brett E. is the Owner of  Brett comes from a long line of craftsman and foreman, and has been involved with the construction and renovation world ever since he was a boy while working for his families construction and remodeling company.  After graduating with a a degree in Interior Design, Brett is the go to guy for any interior design or remodeling questions!