How to Manually Recline an Electric Recliner with Ease

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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Your electric recliner can still provide unmatched comfort and convenience, even with a power outage or a little mechanical hiccup. But how does it do it? How do you ensure that your electric recliner is still working perfectly? This post will guide you on how to manually recline an electric recliner. It is a skill worth having, and who knows, it might even come in handy when you need a good power nap. Let’s get started!

What is an Electric Recliner?

An electric recliner, also referred to as a power recliner, is a type of furniture with an electric mechanism to adjust the seat and backrest position. It allows users to easily adjust their position by pushing a button to their desired comfort level.

Electric Recliner

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These power recliners often have multiple settings, allowing users to find their preferred reclining level whether they want to watch, read a book, or simply use the recliner for sleeping. Besides, some electric recliners come with additional features like adjustable headrests, heating elements, USB charging ports, and built-in massage functions.

How Does an Electric Recliner Work?

Electric power recliners usually use an electric motor, a control system, and electrical components to adjust the seat and backrest position.

How Does an Electric Recliner Work

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1. Electric Motor

The electric motor is usually located inside the base or frame of the recliner. It’s responsible for generating the necessary power to drive the movements of the recliner. It converts the electrical energy into rotational motion.

2. Control System

The control system acts as the interface between the user and the recliner. A handheld or attached remote control or buttons can be integrated into the recliner’s frame. The control system usually allows the user to initiate specific positions and movements.

3. Reclining Mechanism

The reclining mechanism is made up of a set of levers, gears, and linkages that ease the movement of the seat and backrest. When the control system is activated, it sends signals to the electric motor, directing it to perform specific actions.

Can You Manually Recline an Electric Recliner?

Yes, it’s possible to recline an electric recliner manually. Electric power recliners are usually designed with a manual override feature that allows you to operate the recliner even when there’s no power or a motor or control system malfunction.

This manual override involves finding a lever or release mechanism at the base of the recliner or underneath the seat. By engaging this manual override, you can manually change the position of the seat and backrest to recline or restore to an upright position without depending on the electric motor.

How to Manually Recline an Electric Recliner; Step-by-Step Guide

1. Unplug from the Power Source

Unplug from the Power Source

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If your electric power recliner is still plugged into an electrical outlet, unplug the power cord before reclining it manually. Also, before unplugging it, ensure it is in a secure place since if it’s not on level ground, it might tip over.

2. Look for the Manual Recline Lever or Switch

Look for the Manual Recline Lever or Switch

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Some power recliners usually come with a manual override lever or switch that allows you to recline the chair manually. Look on the side of the recliner, often towards the bottom or inside of the armrest, for a lever or switch. If you can’t find the manual recline mechanism, it is most likely that your electric recliner isn’t designed to be manually reclined.

3. Activate the Manual Recline Lever or Switch

Activate the Manual Recline Lever or Switch

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After locating the manual recline lever or switch, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to activate it. Depending on the design of your electric recliner, the manual recline switch may need to be turned or pressed, or the lever may need to be pulled or lifted.

4. Apply Steady Pressure

Apply Steady Pressure

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After activating the manual recline lever or switch, apply constant pressure while keeping control of the lever or switch. The reclining mechanism should start to engage, and the backrest will progressively recline.

5. Adjust to Your Desired Position

Adjust to Your Desired Position

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As you constantly apply pressure, the backrest will progressively recline further. Release the lever or switch when you achieve your desired reclining position. The backrest should remain in place.

6. Test the Stability

Test the Stability

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Once the power recliner has achieved your desired reclined position, ensure it feels stable and secure. Shake the recliner gently to ensure it does not tip or wobble.

7. Return to the Upright Position

Return to the Upright Position

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Simply reverse the steps taken to recline the recliner to bring it back to an upright position. Activate the manual recline lever or switch as you apply pressure to bring the backrest upright gradually. Release the lever or switch when the backrest is fully upright.

Note: Not all electric power recliners come with a manual recline option, and if you try to recline it manually without the proper instructions or mechanisms, you might end up damaging the chair or its electrical components.

Also, if your power recliner has a manual override lever or switch, the specific steps may vary depending on the manufacturer, design, and brand of your electric recliner. We recommend consulting the user manual provided by the manufacturer for detailed instructions on manually reclining your specific power recliner model.

How Long Can a Battery Pack Keep Your Power Recliner Running?

When it comes to power recliners, one of the frequently asked questions is how long a battery pack will last. To answer this, you must know how much power your recliner requires. The power needed typically depends on the type and brand and whether the recliner is motorized or manually operated.

For example, manual recliners usually require little juice and can be operated with a battery pack for some hours. In contrast, motorized recliners require more power and may not last long when running on batteries.

Moreover, some of the best power recliners come with USB ports allowing users to charge their electronic devices while seated on the chair, affecting how long the battery pack lasts. However, the battery pack should provide enough power for a few hours worth of use before needing to be replaced or recharged.


Learning how to manually recline an electric recliner is a valuable skill that can be handy during a mechanical issue or power shortage. By understanding the components of your power recliner and locating the manual recline mechanism, you can conveniently adjust the position of the seat and backrest to your preferred level of comfort.

Electric/ manual recliner

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Keep in mind to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and refer to the user manual for your specific recliner type. Furthermore, be aware of battery pack limitations and their duration of usage depending on your recliner’s power needs.

These tips allow you to maximize your electric recliner’s comfort and convenience, even in unforeseen situations. Therefore, learn how to recline your electric recliner manually, and you’ll never miss out on a good power nap again!

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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