DIY Project: 4 Steps on How to Manually Restore a Power Recliner

So you’ve had a long day, and all you want to do is come home, sit in your recliner and relax. But when you try to use the power button on the side of the chair, nothing happens!

The recliner is stuck in its current position- how frustrating! In this article, I will show you how to manually restore a power recliner to an upright position so that it’s ready for another use.

How to Manually Restore a Power Recliner


Steps on How to Manually Restore a Power Recliner

Step 1. Before we begin restoring our chair though, some important safety precautions should be taken into account. Please note that these steps can only be used with a manual reclining seat (as opposed to one with motors).

Step 2. Now that we have covered our safety precautions, let’s get to work! First of all, you need the following tools: a flathead screwdriver and needle-nose pliers.

Depending on how your recliner is positioned, you may want to provide supports under the chair as well. If so, try placing an ottoman or a stool under the chair to provide needed support.

Step 3. Next, start by removing any loose nails or screws that you find on or near your chair’s reclining mechanism, and be sure not to over-tighten them when reattaching it in place. The last step will involve inserting the needle-nose pliers into the hole where one of the reclining arm’s springs is located.

Gently pull the spring to the side and slowly work it out of its slot. After removing both, reinsert them back into their corresponding slots on the chair headrest.

Step 4. Be sure not to over-tighten your screws or nails when attaching the mechanism back in place! When you are finished, insert the needle-nose pliers into one of the reclining arm spring slots and pull it out with care. Make sure to remove both springs before reattaching them back in place!

Finally, there are some simple steps you can take when attempting to manually restore your power recliner. Be careful not to tighten any screws or nails too much, and be sure to remove both of the springs when reattaching them back in place!


What is Power Recliner?

A power recliner is a chair that can be adjusted to an upright or nearly flat position. The mechanism of the seat and backrest are usually controlled by a foot pedal, joystick, lever arm, or remote control for ease in positioning.

These chairs were originally designed with people who had physical disabilities in mind but have since become popular as a way to adjust the position of a chair without having to use one’s own hands.

The first power recliner was invented by Hugh DeHaven in 1952 for his wife, who had polio and couldn’t get up out of her wheelchair on her own. His invention enabled people with limited mobility to relax into an easy-to-get out-of-chair.


How to Turn a Power Recliner into a Manual Recliner

To do this, you will need a screwdriver and pliers. Locate the power box on your chair; this is usually near where the head-rest attaches to the back of it. Unplug everything from the power source before unscrewing anything else. Remove any screws securing wires or cables that are plugged into outlets in the power box.

Once the cables are removed, unplug them from inside of the box and then unscrew any screws on either side of the outlet to detach them from your chair.

Once you have detached that wire or cable, remove all others by following the same steps as above until there is only one left-hand threaded bolt attaching the outlet to your chair. Get a pair of pliers and unscrew it by turning counter-clockwise, then remove the power box from the chair.


How to Care for Power Recliner

To keep your power recliner nice and clean, periodically vacuum the seat cushion.

Use a damp cloth to wipe down any surfaces that are hard to reach with a vacuum cleaner such as footrests or armrests. This will prevent dust and debris from building up over time which reduces the lifespan of your chair.

Don’t place any heavy or sharp objects on your power recliner.

If you’re a smoker, it’s best to refrain from smoking in the general area of your chair if possible as this could increase the risk of fire damage and decrease how long your chairs will last.

Oftentimes people accidentally turn their chair over, so to make it easy on yourself, try installing a power recliner handle. This is an attachment that allows you to easily pull up the chair and flip it back over if needed.

How to Install a Power Recliner Handle

What You’ll Need:

  • A Phillips head screwdriver
  • Powerbox for your recliner (optional)
  • A power recliner handle (optional)


What to Do:

Flip over your chair and remove the screws from the base. Replace these with longer ones if necessary, but do not reuse any of the original screws as they may be bent or stripped. A Phillips head screwdriver is needed for this step.

Attach a power recliner handle to the chair if you have not already done so. This should be mounted on the back of the base where it will pick up power from your box and allow for easy flipping over.

Attach a power cable in place of one that is broken or damaged. These cables are often located under the seat divide them with your fingers to find the one that is broken or in need of replacement.

Route your power cable from the base to a nearby box if possible, using zip ties and brackets as necessary for easier routing after installation. If this cannot be done, buy a longer power recliner handle with more wire than you think you will need.

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