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Here’s a short video showing how to diagnose the problem if your recliner just stops working. Check it out and learn how to repair a power recliner.
This video was produced by the US-based 3:23 Concept.
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How to Repair a Power Recliner
Hey, everybody, Boone Wyatt with the 3:23 Concept Furniture Restoration. Today we’re gonna be looking at this power recliner unit to see:
- How it operates.
- How to diagnose the problem if it just stops working out of the blue.
All right, everybody, so you may or may not recognise this mechanism, but this is inside your power recliner, your power sofa, your power love-seat, this is what makes the foot rest go up and your chair lean back and everything power-wise.
We’re looking at one of the most simple and basic set-ups that is in most modern furniture today. And I just want to show you what’s inside of it, how it operates, that way, if it stops working, you can tackle this project yourself.
So this is the main mechanism, obviously, this is what reclines forward and backwards just to sort of show you, if you notice, I’m pushing the button, it’s going forward, it goes back.
Here’s the main power parts to your recliner, let’s start from the wall, when you plug it into the wall, this is your power cord, and it, in one way or another, plugs into a power transformer box (power supply box).
This ends up running power to your entire unit, usually, there might be different variations of this, but in 90% of the units I see, this is what it plugs into.
So from here, it runs straight into the motor (actuator) of the unit, and then out of the motor is your switch (handset), and this is one of the most common switches or handsets that I see in most units. You obviously just wanna double check and make sure these are what your unit has before trying to diagnose it and replace it.
When I start to diagnose a unit, number one is I always make sure it’s plugged in then I check all connections to ensure they are secure. I also make sure it’s plugged into the wall and none of the wiring is damaged.
A lot of the times, I’ve seen the wiring get caught in the mechanism one way or the other, and it splices and cuts the wires in half. You want to check all that first, and then if all that looks good, you start here.
You want to look at your power supply box and on it somewhere, you are going to see a green indicator light. That means if it’s green, you’ve got power going to the box. If you unplug it, and sometimes it takes just a few seconds, that’ll dim out.
I’ll show you what it looks like if it maybe doesn’t have power going to it, in which case, that would mean you’ve got a bad power box or possibly the cord running to the box could be defective. That’s pretty rare.
The cord itself, unless it’s just damaged, would not go bad, but I have seen it, it’s just extremely rare. But anyways, if that stopped working, this indicator light would go out, so I always start there, make sure we’ve got power going to the unit here.
If that’s green, I proceed by checking the power handset or switch. I always carry one of these with me, even if it’s not the same switch that the unit has. I can use this to diagnose things. I think they’re around $10 to $15, so I always keep one of these handy with me on all job sites and I’ll unplug whatever switch is in there, and I’ll plug my brand new switch into the power unit. If it starts working, then great, you’ve discovered that it’s the switch that had gone bad, and then you proceed by replacing your switch.
To get this off the side of your sofa, if you twist and turn this, there’s going to be about four screws that hold this in place. Once you back those out, you just sort of trace this wire through your sofa, it’ll be held in place by a couple plastic wire clamps, you just unscrew those and run it.
When you do run it, you need to make sure that none of the wirings are in the way of your mechanism. If you run it the way they ran it originally, you should be good, but just be careful and pay attention.
So if you’ve tried your handset and that still doesn’t resolve the issue, then unfortunately, you’ve probably got a bad motor/actuator.
Be aware that not all motors/actuators are the same, there are a lot of different variations. You can check here for replacement recliner actuators If not available here or you are still in the warranty period, it’s best to call wherever you bought your recliner or sofa from.
Lastly, if it gets stuck in the upright position and you can’t repair it that day, you can take the bolts that connect your motor to the frame off of here and that will release the motor.
Let me show you real quick. So the bolts in this scenario are 7/16th inch, so you probably won’t be able to fit a drill in there, so you’ll just have to get a socket attached to your ratchet and you’ll just have to do it by hand.
It’s very important when you release these to be very careful! Sometimes these things can collapse real fast and you don’t want to get your hands caught in the mechanism, so be very careful about this.
Also, when you release these, make sure that you put something soft under them so they don’t damage your flooring. You can then manually operate the mechanism and push it back in, and that’s better than having it sitting out there until properly repaired.
Alright, everybody, that wraps up our video for today. This is a very basic set up. I realise that not all set-ups are gonna be like this, but this will give you a starting point on learning how to diagnose your recliner.
One thing I did leave out is you should always check if the power is actually coming to your power transformer box or not. Check the outlet on the wall, make sure that it’s functioning as well. If not, then call an electrician.
One thing I would add is always make sure that these power mechanisms are surge protected, because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a storm come through somebody’s town and just wipe out all their power functions because it wasn’t surge protected.
So on valuable items like your power recliner, you should surge protect it, and that’ll prevent a lot of those issues from happening.
Thanks to 3:23 Concept for their informative video.
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