Everything You Need to Know about Electric Recliner Repair

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Last updatedLast updated: April 11, 2021
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There is nothing more satisfying than to lay down in your cozy recliner after a busy day of work or using one for a comfortable sleep. There are countless recliner models available, but the best ones are, without a doubt, electric recliners. These chairs are not only super comfortable, but they will allow you to adjust your reclining and comfort level with just a push of a button.

The downside of having an electric recliner is that they are more likely to break down. Due to this, it’s important to know the issues and how to perform electric recliner repair.

Fortunately, the problems they have are often minor, and you can solve them very quickly if you know where to look for the cause. This means that you will need to learn how your recliner’s mechanism works. Here we look at the common issues you face and how you can fix them. Let’s get started!

Common issues with electric recliners

There are several common problems that most electric recliners suffer from at least once in their lifespan. Luckily, most of them take little time to fix. No matter how minor these problems may seem, you should fix them as soon as possible as they can end up turning into an even bigger issue. To ensure you always have a fully functional recliner, here we’ll look at some problems and solutions.

Undone power plugs or wires

Everything You Need to Know about Electric Recliner Repair

If you recently moved your recliner around, you might have disconnected or loosened the plug or the wires from the electrical motor. Even if the power plugs are not damaged or loose, they can cause your recliner to malfunction from time to time.

If one of the connections is completely disconnected or damaged, your recliner won’t function at all. Both are quite common problems, and the good news is that it can be the simplest fix of all. If there is no issue with the outlet, then check to see if there is any damage at the other end of the wire. If it is loose, partly pulled out, or frayed, then it’ll need to be repaired.

Damage due to power surges

Unfortunately, power surges are pretty common and can be very damaging to sensitive electric devices, such as your electric recliner’s motor. If you are lucky, it’s only the engine’s transformer that’s fried due to a power surge and not the whole motor.

You can check for this by simply looking at the motor of the recliner. If you don’t see a green light or any visible damage, then the transformation is dead, which means it won’t send the power to your motor, and you will need to replace it.

Visible damage on the recliner’s motor indicates that it’s dead and will need replacing, which can be quite costly. It may be better to simply get one of the best new recliners as a replacement. If you are looking for a new power model, consider the Irene House Power Chair Recliner, which gives the user greater versatility of movement.

Broken internal wires

Sometimes your recliner’s backseat or footrest just stops when you are trying to adjust them. This could be a sign of a damaged electrical wire somewhere inside your recliner. It probably got pinched inside the machine while you were opening or closing it.

If the sudden halting of your recliner’s mechanism is accompanied by any strange, spark-like sound, a broken wire is definitely a culprit. Partially damaged wiring can be mended with electrical tape, so the recliner will be functional again. Completely broken ones, on the other hand, may need a different solution.

If one or more wires are severed completely, your chair won’t have an electric flow. Securing the electric wires to the frame of the chair can help prevent any future wire damage.

Other electrical issues

If your recliner isn’t responding to any commands, the first thing you need to do is check the outlet it’s plugged into. To see if there is electricity inside of the outlet, plug in some other device that’s working. If that one has power, then the problem isn’t in your outlet.

Some electric devices are more sensitive to changes in electric flow, so they shut down to protect their internal mechanisms, wires, and motors. Any surge inconsistency could cause the recliner to stop working for a period of time. For this reason, you should always use your electric recliner with a power outlet that’s regulated by a surge and overload protector.

If the outlet is working fine and your unit has a battery backup, unplug your recliner and try testing the recliner for other electrical issues. If the battery and the wires are fine, there might be a problem with another electrical component. These include the internal power supply, hand control, lift motor, relay boxes, heating, and massage elements.

Make sure to check all the electrical parts for damage because any of them could have gotten fried due to a power surge or overload. It may also be the case that multiple parts have been damaged, which can be a very costly repair.

It may be the sign that you should upgrade to a power lift recliner that is able to give you a greater level of comfort. The Mcombo Electric Power Lift Recliner Chair is a high-end model that is perfect for anyone with mobility issues. 

Problems with motor and control parts

There are other electrical problems that may lead to more significant damages, such as the breakdown of the recliner motor, central battery, or the remote control. The problem is that any of these items may affect the working of other parts.

This means that you will have to replace more than one recliner component at the same time. For example, if the motor breaks down, you might need to get a battery too, or the recliner might not work at all.

If your recliner has some additional features such as massage or heating functions, the matter becomes even more complicated. If more than one vital part is broken down and needs replacement, it might be more cost-effective if you get a new recliner instead.

Fixing electric recliner problems

As with electric recliner sofas, there are many problems that can occur, but you should be able to prevent some of these from happening, and here we take a look at how to repair an electric recliner.

To avoid the need for electric sofa recliner repair, most problems can be prevented by handling your chair more carefully and use a proper surge protector.

Don’t worry if you weren’t able to avoid the problem from happening. There is still a good chance for you to repair an electric recliner chair without paying for a professional repair job.

Fixing a recliner that halts midway

Everything You Need to Know about Electric Recliner Repair

Usually, there are two main reasons for a recliner to stop functioning halfway through it being opening or closed. If your electric recliner tends to get stuck in a fully open position, and the mechanism won’t close, you probably just have a minor plug or wiring issue.

The movement of the recliner sometimes causes parts such as electrical wires to be pulled apart. Either the in-line plug or a wire may have come loose, and all you need to do is check, reconnect and secure the plug or wiring that caused the malfunction.

A recliner that stops in the middle of being closed might signify a much bigger electrical issue, and fixing it can be more difficult. This may mean that the wiring was pinched in or cut by the opening mechanism. To fix this, you’d need to find the damaged wire by lifting your chair, turning it to its side, and opening the back of it.

When you have located the pinched wire, pull it very carefully from beneath the mechanism. If the wires are cut, try putting them back together and wrap them with electrical tape. You can also use tape to secure the wiring to the frame, far from the opening device, to prevent this from happening again.

While taping the damaged ends of the wires together can be a great temporary solution, they might come loose again. Or it won’t even solve the problem if the damage in the wiring was too much. In that case, your only solution to fix your recliner issues is replacing the damaged wires.

If you are on a tight budget, you can use similar cables that you may have at home and connect them to their place using electrical tape. But for the best results, it’s recommended to use the same type of wires the manufacturer used.

Using the reset button

It may seem obvious, but if your recliner stops functioning, maybe the only thing you need to do is pushing the reset button. Perhaps you used the mechanism too many times recently, and it got overloaded. Or it shut down due to a power surge or overload.

First, try to unplug your recliner, wait for a little while and plug it back in to reset the motor that way. If that doesn’t help, then unplug the recliner again to find the reset button and activate it to see if that resolves your problem.

The reset button is often found on the remote control, in a hole between the open and close buttons. To activate the reset button, you will need to push a tiny sharp object, such as the end of the paperclip inside the hole. After you have pressed the reset button, wait a couple of minutes and plug your recliner back into the power outlet.

In other cases, the reset button will be either on the motor or very close to it. You will need to look closely with a flashlight to recognize it, as it will be, as described above, hidden inside a hole. Pushing it will reset the motor and can resolve your reclining issues.

Using a surge protector

A power surge can happen for many reasons and manifest in many forms, from smaller ones caused by a power grid switch to a dangerous one caused by a lightning bolt. If your recliner motor is sensitive, even the smallest of power surges can overload and damage the transformer.

The transformer is the one that keeps in check the motor. So if the power surge doesn’t fry the motor, it will fry the transformer but can damage both.

Repairs can be costly, and for this reason, it’s essential and often recommended by manufacturers to use a surge protector when connecting any electric device to a power outlet. With a surge protector, you will be able to prevent any damage from happening to your recliner’s motor and ensure its durability.

Contacting a professional

If after trying the reset button and other quick-fix methods you still weren’t successful in resolving your issues with your recliner, then it’s probably time to get help from a professional. The fastest and the most secure way to get professional help is by contacting the seller or the manufacturer.

If your recliner is still under a warranty period, you might get a free service or replacement from them. Even if it’s not, their experts can help you find the original parts for your recliner to ensure its durability and reliability.

You should also contact the manufacturer or seller if you don’t have time or inclination to fix your recliner by yourself. They will be able to direct you to the appropriate recliner repair service, which may be able to offer you further guarantees. If your recliner is out of warranty, then you can look for a highly-rated local expert to help you fix the problem.

Final thoughts

Although they are more sophisticated than manual ones, electric recliners still have a fairly simple working mechanism. Once you learn how it works, repairing your malfunctioning electric recliner can be pretty straightforward.

You can save a lot of money on professional repairs if you decide to do it by yourself at home. Even if you have to buy original parts the replace broken ones, it will still work out to be a lot cheaper, and they are often simple to replace.

Sometimes the problem has a more complicated nature. If you’ve done all the checks and tried all the quick fixes from above and your recliner still won’t work as it should, then it’s probably time to call a professional for your electric recliner repair.

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