Electric recliners are no doubt an amazing addition to your living room until they stop working. They have grabbed a lot of attention in the market, also known as ‘power recliners’. Just a few buttons or a remote and you reach the required reclined position. This all looks fun and crazy until you come to a point where it’s not following your command.

Yes! It is a common case in power recliners that it stops operating. In that case, you might be looking for some manual levers to recline it physically. However, I don’t assure you that you will succeed in your quest because the mechanism varies from model to model. Let us first know how electric recliners operate and then we will move on to how to manually recline an electric recliner.

How to Manually Recline an Electric Recliner? Complete Guide

There’s no particular way to manually recline an electric recliner. But knowing how it works can help you find the error. Recliners often go out of order when the power is cut short, or the battery drains off. There can be several other reasons too such as, the motors getting out of order, or the gears breaking down. Mostly, the dysfunctioning has something to do with plugs and power. Let’s see how a power recliner works.

Functioning of an Electric Recliner

Some built-in motors and gears help in reclining, and all you have to do is just to push some buttons. There you go! You are perfectly reclined and comfortable. Instead of that nasty mechanism that worked with a lever, electric recliners have electric motors that recline the sofa with just a few commands.

Electric motors require power to operate. The power is supplied through the batteries and the batteries get charged when you plug in the recliner. Therefore, battery efficiency and its lifetime play a significant role in reclining power. There are chances of a power outage. For that reason, the advanced recliners have a separate battery for backup.

When either the battery or the electric motor gets out of order, the recliner stops working properly. This piece of information might seem obvious, but that is how we figure out the possible reason behind any fault. Hence, now you know what to check when your power recliner isn’t reclining anymore.

Troubleshooting the Electric Recliner

  1. Check the Plug

Sometimes, it’s the plug that is not working. so try lighting up a lamp to figure out whether there’s a problem with the plug or not.

  1. Check the Power Cord

Power cords also get broken. So it’s wise to check for the power cords as well. Try using multiple connectors and check if the power cord is working fine.

  1. Inspect the Switch

There are switches beneath electric recliners. Check switches on both sides. Try switching between the connection of both sides and find out which side is not working well. If the test passes, move on to the next step of inspection.

  1. Check the Cables

Sometimes, the furniture itself breaks or pulls the cable. Therefore, make sure you check for the cables as well. Try using the voltmeter to see if the power is coming or not. This is the most common reason for electric recliners not reclining anymore. The same was the case with mine as well.

  1. Check the Motor

The last thing to check is the motor. Sometimes, due to unstable voltages, the motors are burned. If you do not suspect any physical damage then check the motor with some external batteries. Replace with the same model if it gets out of order.

Let’s not waste a minute and find out how to manually operate an electric recliner.

Manually Operating the Electric Recliner

Sadly, it is not possible to manually recline an electric power. The power recliners consist of complex mechanisms where motors interface with gears and screws and make reclining possible. So to deal with the issue is more precisely a professional task. It is better to consult the specialist and not to mess up things on mere trials.

However, here are a few steps to manually reset the electric recliner.

  1. Power off the Recliner

To be safe from accidents, you must power off the recliner. So there is no danger of electricity. The best way of doing things is to follow the safety instructions first. Therefore, you must follow the instructions given in the guidebook of the recliner.

  1. Unscrew the Frame

The next step is to inspect the problem. For that, you may need to look inside the recliner. So look for the screws on the base frame and unscrew them with patience. Make sure you don’t hurt yourself.

  1. Pull the Motor Out

Unscrew the nuts and pull the motor out. Look for any burns on the motor. If that’s the case, you might need to replace the motor with a new one. The step is to ensure the proper working of motors. If you don’t find any apparent damage, then test the motors with separate batteries.

  1. Check for Loose Connections

Put the motor back in its place. But before that, make sure that you join all the connections perfectly. This is the crucial step and you must be aware of the wiring stuff. Try getting someone along to get help.

  1. Check the Switches

Put the wires back in their place and check for the working switches. Try switching the wires on the left and right sides so you can examine the fault. Fix the fault as found. And place the recliner back in its position.

  1. Screw it Back Again

The last step is screwing back the nuts and testing the proper working of the recliner. It must be set back to its original position. If you still find trouble then ask the manufacturers. They surely know the best to be done with your recliner.

Before summing up the discussion let’s see a few pros and cons of using electric and manual recliners.

Electric Recliners

  • The first and foremost benefit of using an electric recliner is that it is automated. You do not need to push the lever, it’s just a button or remote that does the task.
  • Power recliners are far easier to adjust in the right position than manual recliners. You can use the buttons to find your required position without pushing the levers.
  • Some models of power recliners also offer massage and heat adjustment. So it is the best investment for the living room.
  • They have a battery backup, so you don’t need to worry about a power outage.
  • Power recliners are of course more expensive than the usual manual recliners.
  • Require a power outlet. Therefore, you need to work on the placement of a recliner before buying it.

Manual Recliners

  • Manual recliners come in an affordable price range so anyone can buy them. Additionally, it pretty much serves the same purpose so there’s no need on spending too much just for automated buttons.
  • You don’t have to worry about the placement of the recliner close to the power outlet. There’s nothing like battery and power outage tension with manual recliners.
  • Manual recliners do not power so you can place them anywhere in the room.
  • You don’t enjoy the automated version of reclining yourself. The task has to be done by pulling levers.
  • The manual recliner doesn’t have those advanced features of heating and massaging. So you have to compromise on that.

People Also Asked

  • How to fix an electric recliner that won’t recline?

There can only be a few problems with your electric recliner and I can even count them on my fingers. First, check the plug, check the cords and connections. Don’t forget to check for switches and motors. If any of these is out of order, you can either fix it yourself or ask an expert.

  • Can you operate an electric recliner manually?

It depends on the model. Some allow the manual reclining of the recliner, while in others it is not possible. You must consult some expert or read the guidebook that came along with the recliner.

  • Can electric recliners be fixed?

Anything from an electric chair to a sofa can get fixed. Depending on the fault and issue, either you can fix it yourself or you may need an expert. Therefore, try troubleshooting it first and then move toward fixing it.


You see that there’s no definite way to manually recline a power recliner. So the answer for how to manually recline an electric recliner is pretty much clear to you. Not being able to fix it is completely fine because there are experts for this as well. However, I showed you how far you can go with the examination of fault. Additionally, you are now better equipped with the knowledge working principles of manual and electric recliners. Don’t let the excitement die. I hope this added to your knowledge and was helpful!

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