There’s nothing worse than a leaning recliner, and unfortunately this is a pretty common problem. Even a well-made electric recliner can go out of skew for a number of reasons. Rather than replacing your costly recliner, why not try a home repair? It’s really easier than you might think. There are two types of recliner mechanisms, and both are pretty simple and straightforward.
In this article, we share easy, step-by-step instructions to help you set your leaning recliner straight! Read on to learn more.
Why is my recliner lop-sided?
There are a few reasons why this might happen. One is lack of recliner maintenance, which you probably had no idea you should be performing. Like anything else with moving parts, the nuts, bolts and screws in your recliner can come loose. It’s a good idea to check on them and tighten them up occasionally.
Another common cause of recliner lop-sidedness is rough use. If you tend to throw yourself into your recliner or if your grandkids have decided to use it as a ride, it’s bound to suffer.
To determine the precise cause of your problem, give your chair a good going over. Look for:
- Padding worn more on one side than the other. This is not a structural problem. Add pillows.
- Construction problems: If the frame of your chair is built out of square, your chair will be lop-sided, no matter what you
- Loose framework can cause your chair to lean. If you’ve had the chair a long time, the screws and other fasteners that hold the frame together may be loose or missing. In this case, tighten and/or replace them.
- Crooked floors can cause your chair to be crooked even if it is structurally straight and sound. If you can’t find anything wrong with your recliner, use a level to check your floors.
- Reclining mechanism out of skew. This is the most common cause of the problem. If the mechanism that allows the chair to recline is crooked or has loose or missing parts, you may need to do a little research and order some new parts online.
Once you’ve figured out what is wrong with your chair, you can get busy setting it right. You’ll need to have a few simple supplies on hand before you begin.
- Screwdrivers: Phillips and straight head of several sizes.
- Wood glue and/or plastic wood putty to take care of broken or worn wood.
- Pry bar to maneuver stubborn, bent hardware.
How to inspect your lop-sided recliner
Roll the chair over to sit on its front with the underside exposed. Look for worn or broken hardware. Very often, missing or worn springs cause leaning. They may need to be repositioned or replaced. Check to make sure all springs are present and that they show the same amount of wear and stretching.
Be sure all the springs are securely attached to the frame. If it’s a wooden frame, the holes where the screws that hold the spring attach may have become worn and expanded. If so, you need to fill the holes in with glue or a “plastic wood” product to provide a more secure attachment. For very damaged wood you may need to add a metal brace to hold the structure together.
If the frame is metal, make sure all nuts and bolts are tight and are not compromised by wear and tear. There may be a mounting plate that forms the base where screws, nuts and bolts are attached. If this is very worn or bent, you may need to remove it and order a new one to take its place.
Some recliners have a different kind of structure. The reclining mechanism mounts via a metal hook.
If you have this kind of recliner, you’ll see a couple of metal rods at opposite sides of the frame. These rods will be held in place with very tight springs. These strong, stiff springs can become bent or moved out of position with time and everyday wear and tear. If this happens, you may have to use a pry bar to force them back into the correct position.
It’s not rocket science!
You may feel a little nervous about trying to fix your leaning recliner, but once you have had a look at the mechanism and structure, you’re sure to see just how easy it is to figure out what’s wrong and set it right.
The construction of a recliner is simple and easy to understand. If you have a few basic tools and even a very small amount of skill, you should be able to save yourself a pretty penny and repair your recliner with ease.