How To Fix A Recliner Footrest: Causes And 3 Different Solutions

by Andrew Smith| Last Updated: March 21, 2021

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A recliner is not just any furniture in your house. It’s your haven. The to-go-to place when you want to chill out. A jammed-up footrest can therefore be such an inconvenience…aaargh!

The jam will obstruct your comfort and cost you a few bucks to get it fixed. Not to mention it might take some time before you get time to invite a furniture guy over or take it to the workshop.

What then do you do? Dispose of the recliner?

Absolutely not! You fix it yourself.

But, I’m not a handy person, and neither I’m I big on DIY. (I can almost hear you protest).

Listen, you don’t have to be handy or big on DIY to fix your recliner footrest. Besides, I got you! I will give you a step-by-step on how to fix a footrest.

But before we get to how to fix the footrest, let’s first do some detective work. We’ll briefly discuss what may have led to your recliner’s footrest malfunction.

Major Causes of a Malfunctioning Footrest

Before you fix the footrest, it’s essential to know some of the causes of your current headache. Some of the causes include:

1. You Slam Down the Footrest Too Hard.

Slamming down your recliner’s footrest regularly puts too much pressure on the chair’s mechanisms, making it break with time. When this happens, the footrest remains in the position you leave it.

It’s therefore essential to avoid forceful closure of the footrest even when the recliner is new. You also should pull up the footrest slowly and carefully. Please read our guide on the best way to adjust your recliner here.

2. The Mechanism is Rusty.

During summer, the weather gets so muggy, and moisture settles on surfaces. When the humidity gets to the metallic part of the footrest mechanism, it may cause rust.

If you don’t have a dehumidifier, you cannot control the humidity and the excess moisture from settling on the surfaces. However, you can protect your recliner from rust by applying some lubricant to all the working parts.

3. Your Recliner is Old.

We all know that old age is bound to make people frail. But who knew it does the same to furniture?

Your recliner’s footrest may become weak and faulty with years of use when some screws and some parts loosen. You might have to get some new features or screws to repair lest the issues remain shortly after repair.

Keep this in mind!

Also Read: How to Make Your Old Recliner Look Good

Once you have established your footrest problem, you should first check if the warranty covers it. If it is, contact the manufacturer for free repair. This will not only save your time but your money.

Additionally, you check on the condition of your recliner’s screw from time to time. Tighten the loose ones and replace them where necessary.

Tools That You Require

Whatever your footrest problem is, you will require some tools to fix it. some of these tools are:

  • An old newspaper
  • A rag or a disposable cloth
  • A screwdriver
  • Screws
  • Lubricant oil
  • Spare parts

How To Fix Your Recliner’s Footrest Adjusting Mechanism

Your recliner’s footrest should not only take an upright position but also hang in different positions between up and down. If it doesn’t hang itself in between, its adjusting mechanism is probably faulty and needs repair.

So, how do you fix this problem?

  • Flip the recliner over to see the adjusting mechanism.
  • Locate the ratchet in the mechanism. The ratchet is responsible for the locking of the footrest in different positions.
  • Use a screwdriver to loosen the ratchets screws, pins, and springs to remove the ratchet.
  • Remove the bar that is attached to the ratchet.
  • After removing the ratchet, the footrest will now move up and down smoothly.
  • Replace the ratchet with a new one. (if you don’t want the footrest to lock in between, then a new ratchet is not necessary)

How To Fix A Recliner Footrest When It Gets Stuck In The Upright Position

Your recliner footrest movement should be smooth. However, if it keeps on locking up in the same position, say upright, you should fix it before it gets worse.

The leading cause of this malfunction is lack of oiling. So, let’s show you how to lubricate the footrest mechanism.

  • Protect the material underneath the footrest from oil stains with the old newspapers.
  • Remove the recliner cover and loosen all the screws that hold the metallic bar and the wooden chassis.
  • Apply oil on all joints using an upholstery cleaning brush. Alternatively, you can choose a spray lubricant.
  • Tighten the screws that you removed earlier.
  • Wipe off the excess oil with the disposable cloth.
  • Your footrest is now as good as new.

How To Fix A Footrest That Won’t Stay Up

The best part of a recliner is the adjustable footrest that allows you to put your legs up when relaxing. If the footrest won’t stay up, then the recliner is just an ordinary chair. And where is the fun in that?

If the above happens to your recliner footrest, then it might be broken. Or… the footrests spring lock mechanism is out of place due to vigorous operation.

Here’s how to fix it:

  • Flip over the recliner to allow you to inspect the footrest mechanism
  • Check whether the spring is broken, loose, or overstretched.
  • If the spring needs a replacement, carefully remove the damaged one and replace it with a new one. It is relatively easy.
  • Your footrest is ready. Flip back the recliner and lock the footrest.

Be cautious

If you want your recliner to last longer and not to jam up often, you should treat it with care, avoid slamming the footrest or making sudden jerking movements.

Parting Shot

You have already spent top dollar buying a recliner, and you need not pay more to repair your recliner footrest. You can fix it yourself by following our step-by-step guide on how to fix a recliner footrest. You will also find our guide on how to prolong the life of your recliner helpful.