How to Manually Recline an Electric Recliner

How to Manually Recline an Electric Recliner?

An electric or power recliner is a recliner chair that has an in-built electrical control system to adjust its back seat. The biggest plus point of electric recliners is that by simply pressing a button, users can easily modify the chair’s reclining features. 

Manual recliners, also called pushback recliners, operate by pushing the armrests to attain desired positions but electric recliners operate by an electrical system, so an electric supply is constantly needed for them.

Everyone wondering how to manually recline an electric recliner needs to know that it’s an easy process. You just have to press the reclining lever and apply appropriate pressure on the back and footrests. Once you get your desired reclining angle, release the lever slowly. In this way, you can easily recline an electrical recliner without a power supply by yourself.

How does an Electric Recliner work?

Before knowing the steps to manually recline an electric recliner, it is pertinent to understand the working and construction of such a recliner. An electric recliner works by adjusting the seat and backrest positions through three major parts:

  1. An electric motor: The most important part that makes an electrical recliner ‘electrical’ is the motor that is present inside the base or frame of the recliner. It converts the electrical energy into mechanical energy that moves the adjustable parts of the recliner.
  2. A control system: The control system interface between the user and the recliner. Buttons are incorporated into the frame of the recliner or a remote control is used to obtain desired function from the recliner. The user adjusts the particular positions and movements using the control system.
  3. Other associated components: All the wires, circuitry, backup batteries, sensors, gears and links connected to the motor and recliner are present for the smooth and efficient functioning of the recliner. When the user presses a button on the chair or remote, the electric motor and associated circuitry move the adjustable parts of the recliner accordingly.

How to Manually Recline an Electric Recliner?

You must be thinking that if an electric supply is always needed for an electric recliner to function, what happens when there is no power source available? Well, the answer is. you can still manually recline an electric recliner. Some recliners come with battery backups which perform the desired function while some of the electric power recliners have a manual override mechanism. This manual system lets a person use the chair even in the case of unavailability of electricity, a malfunctioning motor, or an unexpected fault in the control system. Below is a step-by-step guide to manually recline an electric recliner:

Read the instruction manual:

Every furniture manufacturer has a different way of designing their furniture, thus there is typically an instruction booklet given with the furniture to assist the user. Before taking any step, it is better to carefully review the directions to prevent any inconvenience that can cause a major issue.

Remove the electric power supply:

If you intend to manually recline your power recliner, by yourself or by some technician, make sure that before proceeding any further, the electric supply to the recliner is cut off. To avoid any balance issues, ensure that the recliner is in a stable position on a flat floor.

Locate the releasing knob on the chair:

The first main step is to find the lever on the reclining chair that will manually recline the electrical recliner. The switch when pressed will allow the chair to move its backrest forward and backward. There are different types of chairs and thus the knob can be at different points. Similarly, the knob may look like a lever, switch, or even a button. 

Actuate the manual release lever:

The next step is to activate the knob that you have found. To locate the lever, one should get help from the user manual that is provided by the company or the manufacturer of the reclining chair. Keep in mind that the lever, switch, button, or knob can be a little stiff to press or rotate.

Set the angle of the backrest by applying pressure:

Once you rotate the knob consciously, slowly start to push or pull the back of the chair. This applied pressure will move the backrest. The pressure must be applied while holding the releasing knob.

Select a comfortable reclining position:

The next step is to set the reclining angle of the chair. While holding the reclining knob in one hand, apply pressure on the backrest. It will gradually move through. Now slow down near the position you want to take and stop at the position of your choice and comfort.

Release the knob at the desired reclining angle:

When you feel that the backrest has reached a position that fits your posture, stop applying pressure and leave the lever.

Check the stability:

When the electric recliner has come in the desired position, make sure it feels safe and stable. Gently shake the recliner to make sure it doesn’t wobble or tip over.

Return reclining to upright position:

If you want to return the recliner to its upright position, just repeat the process used to recline it. Apply pressure to the manual recline lever or switch to gradually raise the backrest. As soon as the backrest is completely upright, release the lever or switch.

Tips for Keeping an Electric Recliner in Good Condition for Years

Electric recliners are often costly because of the value they provide. Therefore, a person may look out for ways to take good care of it so that it can last a good number of years. Following are some of the tips for maintaining an electrical recliner in good condition:

Avoid water while cleaning:

Because the electrical recliner has electrical components like buttons, wires, and sensors inside it, it is recommended not to use water while cleaning even at the surface of the chair. Steam or vacuum cleaning is a viable option as it removes the dirt and dust from the chair without damping any electrical equipment. Similarly, saddle soap can also be used. This soap maintains the shine of the recliner’s leather without damaging it. Even after cleaning, wait till the chair is properly dried, then plug in the power cord.

Regularly check the electrical connections:

Make sure that the power supply to the recliner is of the acceptable frequency and voltage range. The main connection needs to be earthed well to prevent any short circuit that may catch fire. For that purpose, you should use a three-prong plug. The motor should be frequently checked for any dirt or dust. The wires must not be damaged or chipped.

Avoid overloading the recliner:

Despite their durability, recliner sofas should not be subjected to too much weight. Otherwise, it can damage their spring coils and frames. It is advised to use the reclining sofa according to its design specifications to prevent any damage. Be careful not to abuse or overly recline the mechanics.

Carefully use the manual reclining lever:

If, due to a power outage or damaged connection, the electrical reclining system does not work, you can use the manual reclining knob. But do not rely solely on it because it is only for emergency purposes not common use. Get the electrical system fixed by a professional as soon as possible.

Avoid spilling liquids:

Spilling a liquid on an electrical recliner is far more dangerous than doing it on any other chair. The reason is the same. The liquid can penetrate the upper fabric into the upholstery and can cause an electrical shock leading to potential damage to the chair. Even aftercare, If there is any accidental spill, immediately unplug the chair’s power supply.

Changing the backup batteries:

Even if they were never utilized, electric recliner chairs have backup batteries, therefore you should change these batteries according to their specified time intervals. To check whether the batteries need to be replaced, test them. Usually, recliners employ 9 Volts batteries that are easily available in the market.

Regularly oil the mechanical parts:

A recliner chair has quite many moving parts. It is not a good idea to wait until the recliner starts to make noise. For the mechanism to function properly and smoothly, regular oiling is required. The recliner sofa can cease to recline as a result of the lack of lubrication.

Bottom Line!

It can be frustrating to handle an electrically out-of-order recliner but by following the above-mentioned steps you can easily do it. You may easily modify the position of the seat and backrest to your ideal level of comfort by carefully observing the parts of your power recliner and following the manual recline mechanism.

It is a useful skill to have to manually recline an electric recliner in case there is a mechanical problem or a power outage. Although the manual reclining process is easy it should be done with caution. It should be done only in case the electrical system is not working. For usual use, it is better to rely on the built-in electrical control system.


You can easily reset an electrical recliner with its manual reclining lever or knob. Find the knob. While pressing it, apply pressure on the recliner’s back. Release the lever at the position where you find the recline angle suitable.

Both the manual and electric recliners have their advantages as well as disadvantages. Manual recliners are independent of any power connection and thus have limited adjustable options while electric recliners constantly need a power connection but provide more functions.

Bypassing a power or electrical recliner means to convert it to a manual recliner. One can do this by using the mechanical overriding mechanism of the recliner. After cutting the power supply, use the reclining knob and pressure to adjust the angle of the recliner.

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