How to Fix and Replace a Recliner Cable

If you find your recliner stop working suddenly, don’t be agitated! Sometimes, it could be a problem with the recliner cable. But how to fix a recliner cable? Instead of running immediately to call in the professionals, you could save a lot of money by following this guide.

The whole process is very straightforward, and you can get the job done even if you are not a handyman. 

Fix a recliner cable: a step-by-step guide

Step 1: Identify the problem

When you sit in the chair and pull the handle, the footrest doesn’t open, and you can’t full the tension that a handle always has. There is likely something wrong with your cable. If it is not the case you have, other recliner issues also include a recliner that won’t close, leans to one side, or the pull handle itself is broken.

Step 2: Gathering the right tools and materials

Fixing a recliner cable or replacing a recliner cable is easy without many tools involved. A screwdriver or an electric screwdriver and a plier are good enough. Another thing you need is the cable and pull handle replacement. Make sure the new one is compatible with your recliner.

Step 3: Loosen the pull handle

The recliner cable is tightly connected with the pull handle. Therefore, if you decide to replace a cable, most of us will choose to replace the pull handle together.

In general, there are two screws on the top and bottom of the handle on the side of the recliner. You need to use a screwdriver to loosen them and pull the recliner handle out. 

Step 4: Turn the chair upside down

I suggest you place a clean cloth on the ground to prevent your chair from any damage or getting stained. Then you could flip over your chair, allowing you to access the reclining mechanism and locate the cable.

Step 5: Remove the plastic clip

There is a plastic clip in the middle of the cable attached to the metal frame on the side. Use a plier to pinch the clip, and then you could push it out from the hole in the mechanism.

Step 6: Release the footrest

In order to access the cable end, you have to push the mechanism arm so that the footrest will extend and the cable end will lift. 

Step 7: Remove the cable end

The recliner cable end hooks to an internal lever through a hole. Take a picture to illustrate which hole is hooked and unhook the cable end. Then you can take the whole cable out from the chair.

Step 8: Install the new recliner cable

This is a reverse process of what you have done before. You should hook the end of the new recliner cable to the lever, push the clip into the hole of the mechanism, and then use the screwdriver to fasten the screws on the pull handle. 

Step 9: Flip over the chair and test it

Until now, you almost get the job done. Now you need to close the footrest and flip over the chair. Take a seat and pull the handle. Wow, it works again!

If you want to know more details, I find a great video that shows you the process clearly.

Where to buy recliner cable replacements

You may have noticed that instead of replacing a cable or a pull handle separately, we will replace them together. This is due to the fact that these two parts are easy to be incompatible, making each of them susceptible to damage.

The great news is these parts are tagged with low price tags. However, always check whether it is in the warranty period, and you may get professional help for free.

If you need to fix a cable yourself, you can get it in your local upholstery store and hardware store. Take the old one to the shop, or you could get the information from your manufacturer, seller, or on the manual.

Also, there are plenty of options available online, and you could find some good deals as long as you can get the correct model.

How to prevent your recliner cable from breaking again?

The cable will have tears and wear over time. So if you plan to keep the recliner for a few years, you may need to replace it at some point. 

However, the best way to extend its lifespan is by pulling the handle gently while sitting in the chair. This makes the cable not bear too much tension at once. It is also great for the chair overall.

On top of it, cleaning the mechanism regularly could reduce the happens of tear and wear.

Final thoughts

Fixing and replacing a recliner cable is a pretty easy task to do. Release the handle, remove the plastic clip, and then unhook the cable end. Then you could replace the old one with a new set of handle and cable.  The tools you need are a plier and a screwdriver. 

To extend the lifespan of a cable, don’t pull the handle hard and remember to clean the dust and danger that accumulate in the mechanism every few months. 

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Rachelle is the founder of Best Chair Finder. She is a fanatic of home improvement, and as an engineer, she knows well about each chair's mechanism. You can find her story on the About page.