Can Power Recliners Be Operated Manually?

Electric recliners have carved their spot in the modern home and workplace. But like any electric appliance, your power recliner could malfunction. Maybe yours has done so already and now you are trying to figure out how to manually recline an electric recliner. 

Bad news! There are no levers to complement the electric components. Most power recliners only have a built-in motor and external power units that operate independently.

But don’t let the limited range of manual adjustments amplify your inner fear. There’s still a lot you can do to get your chair back to its usual state when it malfunctions.

It all starts with understanding what causes an electric recliner to stop working. Later on, I’ll show you how to go about operating one manually. 

Why Causes Electric Recliners To Break?

Before you flip your power recliner seat and start fiddling with its internal system, it’s wise to take a step back. Here’s a chance to learn about some of the causes that could damage your power recliner in the short and long run.

Frequent Power Surges

Power surges are an electric device’s worst nightmare, especially if you don’t have preventive measures. A power surge protector acts as a barrier that shields your electric recliner’s internal system and switches from the harmful effects of power surges. However, power surges still pose a severe threat to the longevity of your electric recliner.

Dirt And Debris

Why Causes Electric Recliners To Break?

Electric recliner seats are no strangers to the effects of dust particles and the accumulation of debris. As a precaution, store your power recliner in an open room that is free of clutter. 

Make sure the room is well-ventilated. Get rid of any fabric that attracts and traps dust particles.

Remember to check your recliner seat’s underside. Over time, dirt and debris will accumulate in the recliner’s electric parts and spell bad news in the long run. Dust and clean your setup as often as you can.

Exposure To Water And Moisture

Your power recliner should never come into contact with water, drinks, or moisture. Be careful not to fall asleep while holding a cup of coffee or glass of water!

Some spillages may be accidental and cause minimal damage. But the same cannot be said when your power recliner is exposed to wet surfaces for long periods of time, e.g., wet floors or open windows during rainy seasons.

Physical Damage

Your power recliner’s moveable parts can be easily damaged. Placing your electric recliner near objects is never a good idea. You’d be a lot safer in a spacious setting. This prevents you from making unnecessary movements or knocking things over. Also, ensure your kids’ movements are supervised when they want to sit on your electric recliner.

After you have identified what might have caused your recliner to stop operating as it should, take the action suitable for fixing the issue. I’ll talk more about that below.

Can Power Recliners Be Operated Manually?

There’s no simple straight answer to that. Instead, I’ll walk you through the steps you should take when your recliner grinds to a halt. It’s possible that the moveable parts have jammed, failing to open and close as they should. Don’t panic just yet, even if you have misplaced your instructor manual. 

All you need are a few troubleshooting tips and a checklist that cancels out any serious issues. This gives you a flexible learning curve, helping you better understand how your power recliner mechanisms work (both remote control and push-button), fix minor problems, and spot major ones.

Ready? Here are the steps. 

How To Manually Recline An Electric Recliner — Steps

Step 1: Start By Checking Your Power Units

How To Manually Recline An Electric Recliner — Steps

Are your power cords in good condition? Check your power outlet for any faults as well. You can try plugging in a different electrical appliance just to be sure it’s working. 

Power surges can also cause a circuit break, so check your circuit breakers and ensure power is being transmitted. 

Next, check your power surge connector and then plug in your power cords correctly.

Step 2: Check Your Power Transformer

If your power surge connector has no issue, the next step is finding out if you have a functioning transformer. Your power transformer’s LED indicator should emit a green or red light to show it’s on and receiving power. 

It’s always a good idea to stock up on spare power units. If your power transformer isn’t working, unplug it from your power surge protector. You can test your spare transformer and see if it transmits power. Replacing your power transformer may do the trick.

Step 3: Check Your Safety Buttons

Sometimes, solving your power recliner issues can be as easy as deactivating the safety button. Your safety button also has an LED indicator located between the reclining buttons. 

Once more, check your external power setup and ensure it’s plugged in correctly to your power outlet. The LED indicator emits a green or red light when your power recliner is plugged in.

Once you deactivate your safety button, the LED indicator goes off. You can now recline or retract your chair’s moveable parts. If you have deactivated your safety button, move on to the next step in your checklist.

Step 4: Check Your Power Recliner’s Internal Wires

Remember that your electric recliner’s internal wiring will depend on the manufacturer’s design. Major internal wiring issues need an expert’s assessment. However, this should not discourage you from weighing all possibilities in your checklist.

There are two common situations where an internal wiring issue could be the problem. First, your power recliner’s moveable parts stop and don’t move past a certain point. The parts continue reclining or retracting when you forcibly move them. 

Second, your power recliner’s moveable parts don’t move at all yet power is being transmitted.

In both situations, the cause could be loose wiring. A section of your internal wiring could also be cut or broken. You should only move your power recliner from its resting position when necessary.

Disconnect your power recliner from your power outlet. Carefully flip your power recliner over to easily access its internal wiring. Use a flashlight for clear visibility. The last thing you need is to cause more damage to your internal wiring.

Loose wiring should be an easy fix. If you spot a section that is cut or broken, see if you can make temporary repairs. It’s best not to tamper with your power recliner’s internal wiring though. 

To avoid further damage, contact your dealer for extra help on how to repair a recliner.

Step 5: Check Your Switches

Check your switches for faults. Broken switches are a common culprit. When positioning your power recliner, don’t leave your external power setup too close or in the open. Your power cords can easily get entangled. You could also break something important without knowing it.

If you’re dealing with a broken switch, you only need a replacement. Other parts in your external power units should be working fine. Check your power transformer and surge protector to ensure both components are active.

If not, unplug your power recliner from your power outlet. Disconnect the faulty switch and try a replacement. If the replacement switch works, you’re good to go.

Step 6: Check Your Motor

You’re finally at the end of your checklist. What if you’ve checked almost everything and your power recliner still won’t work? You need to examine your motor. Sometimes it’s easy to notice when your motor is faulty or completely broken. 

Does your power recliner make a weird sound (e.g., a grinding noise) when you recline or retract its moveable parts? You could have a broken motor issue.

Contact your dealer for a replacement order and tech repair assistance. Power recliners have built-in electric parts that leave it vulnerable to significant damage. I highly recommend purchasing from reputable furniture dealers.

You’re guaranteed a legitimate warranty offer with the installation of spare parts in case your electric recliner is damaged.

Do You Have Difficulty With Basic Recliner Operations?

If so, your electric recliner’s moveable parts could be the root of the problem. Here are some common instances:

  • When you recline or retract, your headrest or footrest leans at an irregular angle
  • Your headrest or footrest doesn’t recline or retract with ease
  • The metal frames that hold your recliner’s movable parts are bent
  • Your power recliner seems to sway and tilt at an irregular angle

In all cases, don’t attempt to resolve any mechanical issues. It would be best to contact your dealer for replacement parts and tech support.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does My Power Recliner Need A Surge Protector?

A power surge protector is a crucial addition to your external power unit. Remember that not all electric recliner models have the exact power requirements. Surge protectors can inhibit the amount of power being transmitted to your recliner.

Some dealers advise connecting your recliner set directly to your power outlet. Nonetheless, a surge protector shields your recliner’s electric parts from damage caused by power surges.

Do Electric Recliners Have Long Life Spans? 

How long your electric recliner will last comes down to the brand, handling, and how well you take care of it. When three conditions are met, the average life of a recliner tends to be around 10 years.

Always go for a reputable brand and trusted model and ensure you have followed the manufacturer’s recommendation on how to handle and take care of the recliner. This way, your chair will last longer.

Can A Power Recliner Be Used Manually? — Final Thoughts

While it is difficult (and sometimes impossible) to recline an electric recliner manually, you do not have to dispose of yours when it malfunctions. Understanding how to go about this is essential. Only then will you be able to troubleshoot and fix minor issues with minimal cost. You will also make the most of your purchase. Remember to do regular cleaning and maintenance so as to enjoy your power recliner’s limitless comfort for a long time.