My Recliner Won’t Stay Reclined – What To Do

What happens when my recliner won’t stay reclined? I got to work fixing it! If you too love to get your hands dirty, here are a few handy tips on fixing your recliner.

Recliners are fun! They are the most comfortable furniture to have in your living room or bedroom. You can just relax, put your feet up, head back and enjoy a quiet nap or watch a movie without a worry in the world. That’s why they are selling hotcakes out there – global sales are expected to go up by 7% (about USD 9 Bn, if you are into numbers) over the next 3-4 years.

But what happens if someday you suddenly take a bathroom break, and when you come back, the recliner won’t stay reclined in the position you left it in? That’s what happened to me one day, and it got me thinking: is there a way that I can fix this instead of shelling out the big bucks on a new one?.

My Recliner Won't Stay Reclined - What To Do

As I started researching, I was aghast! There were pages and pages of complaints from recliner users who all have this one common issue: “My recliner won’t stay reclined – What to do?”. That’s when I decided to write this guide for my comfort-loving brethren out there.

Why Does My Recliner Not Recline?

If your recliner is an automatic one, it is a different story because those are operated with electrical motors, which will require an expert to solve.

However, if you have a manual recliner, you can easily troubleshoot with no extra help. There is no complicated science behind keeping the reclining position fixed. It is all about adjusting the tension or the cam knobs at the bottom.

Method1: Use The Adjustment Knob

Stretch It Out

Lie on the Recliner and push it to a full reclined position. Stretching your legs flat on the leg rest expands it to its maximum reclined angle. The footrest should expand outwards when the main seat is reclined. 

Find The Adjustment Knob

While you are in a semi-reclined state, look for the adjustment knob or switch. You can extend your hand on the outer aspect of the Recliner’s right or left lower side. The adjustment knob generally is placed somewhere close to the reachable distance of an average length arm.

My Recliner Won't Stay Reclined - What To Do

Rotate The Knob For Tension Bearing

Rotate the knob or wing nut to the desired extent until the chair position is of maximum comfort to your body. The main purpose of the knob is to adjust the tension bearing of the Recliner (tension here refers to how smoothly the recliner can switch back and forward). 

Stand Back Up

Once the position is fixed, you can move away from the chair, and it will remain at its exact angle until you decide to manually push it into an upright position. Pushing the footrest gently downwards also changes the Recliner’s position back to its original angle. 

Method 2: Check the Springs

Recliners are always fitted with a spring load mechanism to allow smooth movement of the recliner seat. Sometimes when recliners fail to change position smoothly, it is best to check the condition of the tension springs. If they look frail or weak, you should buy new ones to replace them.

Installing Recliner Mechanism Springs

Method 3: Adjusting the Cam Bolt

In case of no solution to the problem, you can tilt the Recliner forward to expose its underbelly and lightly release the cam bolts. You can find these adjustable bolts at the center of the reclining mechanism of the chair. Loosen or Tighten the bolt to get the perfect recline.

How to Adjust a La Z Boy Recliners Tension

A Note On Double Checking

Rechecking is one of the most underappreciated instructions. In a rush to enjoy the fruit of our labor, we tend to miss a key point. It is very important to check and recheck whether all the bolts are in place before putting the recliner back into its original position. After all, you do not want to break your back when the recliner falls apart because of a tiny missing or loosened bolt.

Troubleshooting Common Problems of a Recliner

Recliner Chair Spring is not working.

Excessive recliner movements can cause the springs to malfunction after some time. Turn the recliner upside down with help from someone and remove the frame bolts using a wrench.

Once the bolts are out, separate the footrest and check the condition of the spring. Occasional loosening or tightening of the spring resolves the issue most often.

However, if the spring is broken, it is best to replace it. Ensure that the spring is placed correctly and the bolts are tightened well before closing up the footrest and the panel.

Turn the recliner upside down. Use your flashlight to locate the four bolts that hold the spring in place.

Unstable Backrest

Generally, the backrest angle can be adjusted using levers, tabs, or bolts. All these mechanisms have a similar locking mechanism to keep the backrest in place. Adjusting the nuts and bolts in place using a screwdriver and a wrench can easily resolve the problem.

Uncomfortable to seat

Does your Recliner feel uncomfortable? Do you miss its plush cushion effect? Over time the cushion padding of the recliners can lose its bounce and plush feel. It is just a case of prolonged compression and wearing of the cushion padding. 

Replacing only the cushions is possible without needing to change the entire Recliner. Contact the makers and get a replacement padding of a few dollars worth, and it is good to go once again for a few more years.

Recliner cable Malfunction

Another reason for a faulty recliner position is cable damage. The cables help in the upward and downward movement of the backrest without letting it dislocate from the joint.

When this function does not occur automatically, it is best to check if the cable connecting the frame to the backrest is loosened or broken. It is generally attached to a piston bracket and can loosen up over time. 

If tightening is not enough, replace it with a new one, and your Recliner is back to being as new as ever!

My Recliner Won't Stay Reclined - What To Do

Malfunctioning Pull Handle

The footrest is as essential as the backrest to enjoy a recliner’s full benefit. If the Pull handle malfunctions, the footrest can either stay down or stay up at all times without smoothly transitioning.

Replacing the Pull handle is very easy and does not require any skilled help. A wrench, screwdriver, and a brand new handle are enough to remove the bolts and replace the damaged handle.

Recliner tilting at an angle

Missing or damaged, or broken segments can cause the Recliner to tilt or lean on one side. While it is a very uncomfortable and unstable scenario, sometimes repairing it is easy.

Turn the Recliner over and check for the broken or damaged section. A few home tools are enough if it is a matter of springs, bolts, and small minor parts. If the fault is due to damage to the frame, that is a different story that an expert might best resolve.

The Recliner is too high.

Sometimes when you sit on your Recliner, your feet seem to be way higher than the ground level. You may blame it on your short legs, but did you know that you could lower the Recliner?

Look for the pitch and adjust the bolt on the underside of the recliner to a lower height, and the next time you sit upright on your recliner, your feet will be well rested on the ground.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my recliner not recline? 

The most common cause of recliners not reclining is that the adjustment knob is not tilted to the proper angle. Other reasons could be weak springs or a poorly adjusted cam bolt at the bottom.

My Recliner Won't Stay Reclined - What To Do

How do you fix reclining mechanisms in a recliner? 

You can fix the reclining mechanism in a recliner by any of the three methods I explained earlier. These methods are: adjusting the tension knob, adjusting the cam bolts, or replacing the springs.

Why do recliners lean to one side? 

When there is damage to the framework of the recliner, it can tilt to one side.

Wrap Up

The next time your Recliner won’t stay reclined, you don’t need to panic and think about how much it will cost you in repair. 

Look for the problem and let us help you resolve it by yourself. 9 out of 10 times, it is an easy job that practically costs you just a few dollars for a few nuts and bolts.