How To Fix A Recliner That Won’t Close: Easy And Simple Guide

Recliners are one of the most priceless pieces of furniture given the level of relaxation and comfort they offer. However, one of the most commonly heard problems with recliners is that you keep trying to push it back but it doesn’t close. A lot of recliner owners get frustrated from this issue and end up buying a new recliner. But, this problem is extremely easy to solve and this blog will teach you how to fix a recliner that won’t close.

Possible Reasons Why Your Recliner Won’t Close

There could all sorts of reasons behind your recliner not closing, especially if it has been in use for many years now. Recliners that are more prone to wear and tear can also break down. However, we have to take a look at the internal mechanisms that are responsible for moving the footrest in and out.

Generally, a broken recliner could result due to the following conditions but, there might be variations based on the type of recliner mechanism installed in your chair. The different types of recliners available in the market include rocker recliners (recliners that can also perform a rocking motion), outdoor recliners (meant for outdoor use), recliners for back pain, etc.

So, let’s take a look at all the possible reasons why your recliner isn’t closing:

  • Broken cable release
  • Loose latch mechanism
  • Internal screws getting loose
  • Broken or worn-out screws
  • Loose recliner springs
  • Poor lubrication
  • Worn electric wiring
  • Burned Components

What happens internally during these situations is that some part of the mechanism becomes too worn out to stay in position and strongly hold the recliner. Hence, the recliner won’t close and stays in the reclining position.

But, there could be a couple of other reasons too. For example, there could be way too much padding around the footrest that doesn’t allow it to stay sealed in its place when the recliner is placed in an upright position. In this case, you need to remove some padding and fabric to allow the chair to close.

The recliner’s mechanism might also be fixed by applying some oil to the joints if the problem is due to a lack of lubrication. Let’s take a look at issues with broken cable release in detail to understand how it keeps the recliner from closing:

Cable Release Issue

Cable releases are one of the chief controlling components behind the reclining mechanism of your recliner chair. It also assists the footrest in extend out and retract. But, do not assume that the problem is with the cable release if your footrest doesn’t work. The cable release can still work even if the footrest does not retract. This suggests that the problem might be due to a loose latch mechanism or a screw.

Broken cable releases or fractured arms are very common issues with recliners. The rivets can also wear down and move out of their holes and connectors like screws and bolts. This is called the loosening of latches. Note that if the recliner does not feature a cable release mechanism, then it could also have spring issues. You can resolve the spring issues easily by tightening a nut or use a new hole to reduce some tension. Springs can also be replaced if the need arises.

Some More Tips To Identify The Problem

  • Check the weight capacity of the recliner and ensure that the weight you are putting on the recliner is not more than the capacity mentioned. A lot of users also put unnecessary stress and are harsh to the recliners.
  • Look around and see if there are any loose bolts and nuts that you could tighten. Recliners that have been in use for many years might be not working due to this issue.
  • Check the latch mechanism to know if there are any broken parts. If your recliner still has spring tension then that indicates that its receiver is still working. Now, look underneath the recliner to see if there is a bar inserted into the receiver. If the bar is out of alignment, then your recliner footrest won’t be able to close completely. So, you need to fix the bar’s alignment to get the footrest to close again.
  • If nothing works even after hours of trying, call in local service or the brand to gain more information about the situation.

Fix a Recliner That Won’t Close: Step by Step

There are two fixing mechanisms of a recliner chair. The first one is for basic and minor problems. Move on to the second method if the first one doesn’t work. Needless to say, you need a set of tools to fix your recliner regardless of whichever mechanism might be broken. Try garnering the following items before starting your repair work:

  • Small wrenches
  • Screwdriver
  • Old rags
  • Oil for lubricating
  • File

The above tools are enough for repairing a recliner chair at home. However, if your chair has some serious issues then you might need to go to an expert. With that being said, let’s move on to repair methods one by one:

1.Basic Repair To Fix A Recliner

You must already know about the various problems that your recliner might be facing. Now, we’ll go through a step-by-step procedure that resolves almost every issue with standard recliner chairs. This basic repair method can resolve a wide list of problems like general wear, tear, and lack of maintenance.

Step 1. Gently turn over the recliner to its side and then, check if the internal screws are fine or not. Tighten each of these screws to make sure that it holds properly and is not loose.

Step 2. Cover the upholstery of the chair with rags so that they are not exposed while you repair the chair. This is to protect it from grease or any lubricating oil that you might use.

Step 3. Take out your lubricating oil and spray all the mechanical and moving parts of the chair with the lubricant. If you don’t have a sprayable lubricating oil, then take some out on an old rag and then apply the same to the mechanisms.

Step 4. Apply the oil to the handle’s parts as well so that the recliner footrest can move smoothly. This also keeps the parts from getting rusty.

Step 5. Now, get a clean rag to clean off the excess oil that might have been spilled here and there.

The above steps are beneficial only if the issue is some rusting and lack of lubrication. In case tightening the screws of the machinery and lubricating the parts does not solve the problem then, you need to apply some advanced techniques to fix a recliner chair.

2.Advanced Method To Fix A Recliner

Step 1. This time, turn over your recliner to the side that doesn’t come with a handle.

Step 2. Now, extend your footrest a little more than natural using the handle. This movement will expose a small spring placed in the internal machinery.

Step 3. There would be an “L” rod held by the spring, you need to look for a small burr (if any) on the metal.

Step 4. Once found, use your file to take it out carefully. Keep smoothening the metal until it becomes even.

Step 5. The spring can now be snapped back into place and you will be able to pull the recliner’s footrest back.

Step 6. Lastly, apply a bit of lubricating oil to the mechanism to ensure smooth mobility. Clean the area with a rag to absorb the excess oil.

Note: Applying lubricating oil can ruin the upholstery of the recliner chair. So, make sure you cover and protect the upholstery with rags before applying the lubricant to the mechanisms.

3.How To Fix The Springs Of A Recliner Footrest

It is very common to witness rusty or broken recliner footrest springs in old recliner chairs. Here’s how you can replace this spring to get your recliner closing as it would normally do:

Step 1. Turn your recliner to the side or upside down to access the internal reclining mechanism

Step 2. Here, you’ll be able to find the spring connecting the footrest to the recliner.

Step 3. Remove the screws that attach the spring to the recliner using a screwdriver. Now, take out the old spring but make sure you remember how you took it out because you’ll have to put it back in the same way.

Step 4. Get a new spring and place it in position by repeating everything in the previous step in reverse. Don’t forget to make sure that the screws fixing the spring are nice and tight.

Tips to Avoid This Problem From Re-occurring in the Future

The trick to increasing the life of your recliner is by focussing on basic maintenance. This can stop all the basic internal machinery parts from getting rusty or stuck while moving. You should perform basic maintenance for your recliner chair every 3 to 4 months. Here are all the steps you need to follow:

  • Tighten all the screws in the machinery
  • Apply lubricating oil to the joints and mechanism parts
  • Check all the internal cables to ensure that they have tension
  • Don’t manhandle the chair. For instance, don’t slam the chair open and closed. Also, the weight put on the recliner should not exceed its capacity. These are the reasons why your chair could get damaged easily.

Final Thoughts

Today, recliner chairs have found a special place in almost every household. These are designed to offer you the utmost comfort, relaxation, and recline. Specialty recliner types like catnapper recliners, recliners for big and tall people, stressless recliner chairs, etc. have made our life further easier.

However, a broken recliner chair can turn to be a nightmare for most recliner owners as they don’t know how to fix a recliner. Fixing a reclining chair that won’t close is not that hard and our repair guide aims to enlighten you about the same. Hopefully, you have learned how to get your recliner chair to close again from this article and can fix it.

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