How To Fix A Recliner Footrest Correctly

A good recliner can last for an extended period. However, it doesn’t mean you don’t need to maintain it. With time, something would go wrong, and it is not uncommon to see the footrest malfunctions.

Instead of hiring a repairer, you can save a lot by fixing the recliner footrest on your own in most cases. It is not rocket science, and you can learn how to repair it within a few minutes.

We cover different types of recliner footrest problems and teach you how to fix them step by step.

Why your recliner footrest doesn’t work?

Tear and wear is the main reason why your footrest doesn’t work anymore. The parts such as the springs and screws become loose, and the lubricant evaporates with heat. All of these lead to a faulty footrest, and it is a natural process, just like we will age as well.

Inappropriate usage also results in malfunction.  Have you ever slammed down the footrest? This will put too much pressure on the mechanism, and if you do it often, it will cause permanent damage to the footrest. Remember to close it gently, which is excellent for prolonging life expectancy

Dust and dirt can affect the function of the footrest. The blockage could make the motor overheat and let the footrest work wobbly.

The environment is another factor that is responsible for the performance of the recliner footrest. A recliner should be kept in a dry and warm place. If not, the parts will become rusty. 

How to repair a recliner footrest that won’t stay up

This is the most common issue that happens to a recliner footrest. Dealing with a sagging footrest is not a complicated task, and sometimes, all you have to do is tighten or replace some screws. 

Prepare some tools, and let’s start. Tools you need include a multi-purpose screwdriver and a set of screws or bolts.

  • Close the footrest and keep the recliner chair in an upright position.
  • For better access, flip the chair on its side. Now you can see the bottom and get close to the mechanism.
  • Locate the parts that connect the footrest with the primary mechanism and check the condition of the screws on them.  When it is done, examine other screws on the footrest.
  • If the screws are loose without any other problems, then things turn out to be easier. Just use the wrench or screwdriver to fasten them, and it’s done.
  • If you find the screws are not gripping anymore, replace them with the matched new screws. We advise you to get ones with a longer thread to offer more support and bear more weight.
  • Put the chair back to the upright position and test if the footrest can stay up firmly.

How to fix a recliner footrest spring

If fixing the screws can’t help with the sagging footrest, the recliner springs may be something wrong. You can either adjust it or replace it depending on the manner of malfunction.

Adjust the footrest spring

The footrest spring determines how much tension the footrest bear in a fully pulled out position. The footrest becomes sagging when the spring can’t provide enough tension, which is often adjustable.

  • At first, you should put the chair upside down to access the underside of the footrest.
  • Find the springs located on each side of the footrest rails. You will see the spring is hooked into a bearing with holes. 
  • Different holes correspond to different tension levels. For more tension, you need to move the spring backward. You can decide how many holes you need to move the spring back. 
  • Turn the chair into an upright position and sit in the chair to test if the footrest is back to normal. If the footrest is still sagging, you can repeat the process and change the holes again.

Note that you should be careful while pulling out the hook. Wearing a pair of gloves and do it slowly.

Replace the footrest spring

Not all recliners have the same reclining mechanism. The footrest springs of some models can’t be adjusted, and in some cases, some springs can’t work even hooked in the last hole. Therefore, you should replace them with new footrest springs.

Different recliner chairs may have different types of springs. You can contact the manufacturer to get the metrics or go to a local hardware store to ask for help. A spring that is too long or too short could cause problems.

  • Once you get the proper springs, you can start to replace them.
  • As with other repair processes, you should position the recliner on its side.
  • Find the old springs on each side and choose one to work with.
  • Pull out the hooks on each side of the spring and hook the new spring into the hole on each side.
  • Repeat the process on the other spring.
  • Put the chair into an upright position and sit in it to see if the problem is fixed.

How to fix a footrest that won’t close or won’t go down

When you find your chair stuck in the upright position, don’t get agitated. More often than not, repairing it is easy-peasy. It is mainly because the parts lack oil, so you need to apply a lubricant.

  • Again,  flip over the recliner to access the footrest mechanism.
  • Cover the upholstery with a piece of plastic to prevent it from getting stained.
  • Loose the screws that hold the footrest to the mainframe but don’t pull them out.
  • Apply the lubricant spray to the rail, joint, and screws thoroughly.
  • Waiting a few minutes to let the oil set and then tighten all the screws.

How to fix a lazy boy recliner footrest

La-z-boy has a reputation for being the top of the line in the world of quality recliners.  But a lazy boy recliner footrest can go faulty after a few years. You may think preparing a lazy boy recliner footrest would be costly, but luckily, you are likely to be able to fix it by yourself. 

The mechanism of a lazy boy recliner is usually different from other models in the market. So that’s why we want to explain it separately. The common problem with a lazy body recliner is that the footrest gets stuck in a position. Therefore we want to teach you how to fix it now.

  • Firstly, you should flip over the recliner to find where the rachet is. The rachet is responsible for keeping the footrest in different positions. 
  • Remove the pins and springs that are connected to the rachet.
  • Replace with the new springs and pins.

You should contact the dealer or manufacturer to know the specifications of these replacement parts. If they are not available, there is a trade-off that you can remove the rachet altogether. The downside of this solution is that the footrest is not able to keep in the middle position.

How to fix a power recliner footrest

The electric recliner uses motors to control the footrest. Some dual motor model has a motor to regulate the movement of the footrest individually.

The expected issues with a motorized recliner footrest often come to the wiring and power surges. Power surges cause the motor to become overheat and fail. If the motor doesn’t work, you may replace it, and a pro should do it.

The wiring can be loose, which will lead to the footrest malfunction, and it is fairly easy to solve. Use a clamp to tighten the wires to ensure every wire is securely connected.

How to fix an uneven recliner footrest 

The reason why the footrest leans to one side is due to the screws and scissor frame. Put the chair upside down and check the screws on both sides. It is expected that screws are more loosened on one side, and tightening them on both sides could fix the problem.

If you find the scissor frame is bent, unfortunately, you have to hire a professional to help you. The frame needs to be replaced. 

How to fix a bent recliner footrest

Occasionally, the recliner footrest can’t stay in place and lean forward. This could be the problem of the scissor mechanism. 

When the scissor mechanism is out of shape, the footrest is not able to work smoothly. The way to repair it is to replace all the mechanisms. 

If you are not a handyman or have never done this before, we suggest you ask for help from the manufacturer. 

Wrapping up

As a piece of furniture, a recliner is an excellent place for everyone to relax. Every part of it can go wrong, and the footrest is no exception. 

Fixing a recliner footrest seems annoying, but it may not be as complicated as you expect. We show you the exact ways to solve it no matter the recliner can’t stay in place or the recliner gets stuck. 

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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.