Electric Recliner Stuck in Open Position? Try these Fixes

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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We all appreciate the relaxation and comfort a comfy electric recliner offers! However, it can be your worst nightmare as you are settled to enjoy a night of TV bingeing only to find that your recliner won’t close. An electric recliner stuck in an open position can be extremely frustrating, especially when you don’t understand what you’re doing.

Sometimes the user manual doesn’t help because you cannot figure out what’s causing the problem. But this is not reason enough to question your decision to buy power recliners. Luckily, there’re a few things you can do to make your recliner close again.

This guide will help you understand why your electric recliner won’t close and give you the solution you’re looking for. Delve in!

How to Repair Electric Recliners Stuck in Open Position

1. Check the Power

Before you start fixing your stuck recliner from within, it’s best to check if you can solve the problem from the outer parts. The first thing you should do is check your recliner’s power switch or power supply box. If the recliner has a power switch, check to see that it’s switched ON.

Next, ensure that the power cord is plugged in properly and that the power outlet has power and is not interrupted. You can plug in something else, like a lamp, to see if it turns on. If you’ve faced either of these issues, then you’ve found the cause of your recliner being stuck in the up position.

Electric recliner power switch

Image Source: ifixit.com

If the power supply is interrupted, you can resolve the issue by inspecting the socket to see if anything is stuck inside and ensuring the power cable is tightly plugged in. Also, you can check if the socket supplies enough electricity voltage to power your recliner. Sometimes the power supply units can trip, cutting down power to all sources in the house. If this is the issue, you have to reset the unit supplying your recliner with power.

Additionally, check the circuit breaker because there might be a chance a fuse was blown. Similarly, surge protectors can cause an electric power recliner to lose power. Therefore, ensure you have no more than one or two devices plugged into the same power outlet as the recliner.

However, suppose none of these problems has occurred, and the power supply seems to be working fine. In that case, the reason your electric recliner remains stuck has to do with another issue that might be solved using any of the methods below.

2. Switch Cables

Connecting the power cable to a faulty power outlet can result in your recliner getting stuck. Switching the sides at which you plug your power cable can help restore the functionality of the electric recliner. The recliner’s motor runs on a steady current, and switching the power cable sides may make your recliner start functioning normally and go back to its original position.

3. Bypass the Hand Control

You can bypass the hand control to lower the footrest. If this works, it could mean that hand control is the issue and should be replaced. Some hand control connectors come out at the side of the seat, and some can be accessed while the chair is flipped upside down.

Bypassing hand control

Image Source: homeoomph.com

To bypass the hand control, first, disconnect the hand control’s 5-pin connector. Then, cut a paperclip into a 1 ¾ inch “U” shape. Power on the recliner and insert the ends of the paperclip in the DIN female connector’s slots 1 and 2. This should lower the foot rest.

If this doesn’t work, closely search the hand control wire, feeling with your fingers for any defects or cuts. See the instructions below to repair faulty wiring

3. Loosen the Wingnut

The wingnut is located next to a reclining mechanism that allows the seat to change positions. It is better to flip the recliner upside down to get access to the bottom of the wingnut. When you find the wingnuts, loosen their parts and push the recliner to go down.

4. Inspect the Recliner’s Switch

The recliner’s switch controls the seat’s motion and reclining mechanism. Therefore if it becomes faulty, then your footrest may not function properly and cannot automatically fold as it should.

Wear and tear in the switch could result from prolonged use of the recliner, causing problems in its functionality. To inspect your seat’s switch, switch off your recliner’s power source and look for the electrical box. Open the electrical box and inspect the wires connecting to the switch to see if any are damaged or disconnected. If you have found any issues with the wiring, replace the damaged ones immediately or reconnect the disconnected wires.

5. Check and Repair Damaged Wires

Before touching any wires, turn off the recliner’s power supply, so no wire is pinched under the chair. Some recliners may have a Velcro or zipper covering access to the wires. Check that any wires connected to the junction box, motor, or power supply are not broken or disconnected. The smaller wires are more prone to breaking when moved or bumped.

Fixing a stuck electric recliner

Image Source: youtube.com

If you find a snag or cut in any of the wires, cut where there is a snag, then strip 1 inch of both new ends. You’ll see different smaller, color-coded wires. Twist match colors together, blue with blue or white with white, and put electrical caps on the end of each twist. Then cover each cap in electrical tape and power on the chair.

6. Reset The Recliner’s Motor

Another solution to electric recliners stuck in the open position is resetting the recliners’ motors. The motor is in charge of the proper functionality of the recliner and may cause problems if you don’t fix any related issues. In this solution, you will need to locate the motor and reset it.

First, turn off your recliner’s power source so you don’t cause any electrical hazards. Then look for the seat’s junction box and open it. Locate the recliner’s motor section and switch its power off. Once you’ve switched off the power, trace the wires connected to the motor, then disconnect them from your recliner’s junction box.

To reset the recliner’s motor assembly, you have to reconnect the wires. If this process doesn’t solve your issue, you’ll have to replace the motor because it might be faulty. Or, you can bypass the motor switch to convert your electric recliner to a manual recliner so you can manually close it.

7. Replace the Motor

If your electrical recliner doesn’t close after testing the above solutions, you might have a damaged motor that needs to be replaced. You have to switch off the power source of your recliner and locate the circuit box where the motor section is located.

Once you locate your faulty motor section, remove the connected wires and replace them with new ones. Then push the chair back into its upright position, switch on the recliner’s power supply, and test to check if your footrest can move back to the closed position.

Final Thoughts

Fixing electric chair stuck in open position

Image Source: reclineradvice.com

You may be frustrated if your electric recliner is stuck in an open position, but there’s a solution to every problem. Electric devices are prone to damage after prolonged use. However, with proper maintenance and care, there is no issue you can’t solve. And, even though different from manual recliners, you can also recline your electric chair manually.

Before spending money getting a repair technician for your stuck electric recliner, check the power supply. Also, check under the footrest for any interferences or obstacles. You can follow our guidelines to repair the faulty electric recliner parts, and if nothing works, you can call the recliner manufacturers or the store where you bought it to have your chair fixed.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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