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How to Fix a Recliner Footrest – 3 Common Problems

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Recliner chairs have been among indispensable equipment in a modern-day house. From time to time, some parts of the recliner wear down or just break despite the right maintenance. And the footrest is among those components.

If that’s the case, it’s time you learned the method to fix your recliner footrest. You first need to check for any loose or rusty bolts, joints, and screws to fix. The next step is to apply lubricant, or oiling, to the mechanism. For broken release springs, you have to replace them with the new, suitable ones.

Today, we’ll guide you through troubleshooting common issues occurring to the recliner footrest, including stiffness, the sagging condition, and faulty springs.

Let’s explore together!

1. How to Fix a Recliner Footrest That Won’t Stay Up or Is Sagging

When your recliner footrest stays hard in the downright position and can’t stay up, it can be one of these two problems: loose screws (sagging) or brackets getting stuck.

recliner footrest diagram

Troubleshoot a Sagging Footrest

A sagging recliner footrest not only works inadequately but also leads to poor weight support of your legs. If your footrest doesn’t stay upright, the problem may be the adjusting mechanism. Here’s an easy fix to follow at home.

  • The first step is to flip the chair over, turning the entire chair so that the headrest and armrests touch the floor. Now, the underside is accessible, and you can troubleshoot the mechanism with ease.
  • Next, you need to look for the screws securing your footrest to the recliner’s central mechanism. You’ll usually find them on either side of the metal rails that extend from the central frame.
  • Should the screws still be fresh but get slightly loose, you can use a wrench or a screwdriver to tighten them. This way, you’ll restore the recliner’s previous firmness. If the screws no longer work, it’s better to swap rusty screws with new ones. You should use longer screws this time than the old ones as they give greater structural support and attach the footrest hard to the frame.
  • Then, you need to replace the old screws on the footrest brackets as well. In so doing, the whole contraption will last longer.
  • After properly tightening new screws, you can push at your footrest to check if there is any sagging or wobble. If the condition is all better, turn your recliner back to the upright position.

Troubleshoot a Downright Stuck Footrest

recliner footrest wont stay up

What if it isn’t loose or old screws that make the footrest sagging? Then, the reason may be that the brackets and bearings get stuck in an unsatisfactory position.

You can name some possible causes for this issue, such as rust, mechanical slippage, or other substances falling into the interior structure. To cope with a stuck mechanism, applying a lubricant to the problematic areas is a good idea.

  • Again, the first step is to flip the recliner over, exposing the bottom for easy repair.
  • Cover the cushions with a decent-sized piece of plastic or other soil-repellent materials to deter the lubricant from staining the upholstery.
  • Look for the screws holding the entire footrest to the framework in the pullout mechanism. As said, you may find them on either side of the metal rails at the footrest’s base.
  • Loosen the screws without pulling them out of the framework.
  • Apply some lubricant to every supporting and moving part. You may find using lubricant spray a good idea as it’s easier to supply to the support mechanism of your recliner. You need to treat all screw points, joints, and bearing rails with intricate, generous spray coating.
  • Let the mechanism soak up the lubricant and turn the recliner back to its previous position. The gravity then would help you spread the oil wide and deep within the frame.

2. Recliner Footrest Won’t Stay Down or Hard to Close

recliner footrest hard to close

If your recliner footrest won’t stay down as well as is hard to close, it may be due to the lack of lubricant. As the prior lubricant fades and you don’t apply new oiling, the ‘upright stuck’ problem would happen many times. Similarly, you have to provide the mechanism with a new lubricant.

Please note, this process may get messy. Therefore, you’d better protect the recliner to prevent the oil from staining your recliner.

  • Turn your recliner upside down so that you can get into the mechanism and see what’s happening inside.
  • Check if there is any rusty or loose screw, pin, or bolts and pin. Once you find out something wrong, proceed to tighten as well as replace the problematic pieces. This way, you will probably fix the recliner’s stiffness once and for all.
  • After tightening everything up, the next step is to apply some lubricant to the footrest’s bushings. You have to spray the lubricant on every joint, bushing, or screw. This oil layer would remove any rust, dust and make the parts work properly. To know precisely where the problem is, you can move the component or arm up and down to check if it malfunctions now.
  • After spraying the lubricant and checking if the components are moving smoothly, you put all the screws together and check their condition.
  • End the process by using a large towel cloth to clean excessive oil or grease. Now, the recliner should be good enough to serve you the best experience.

In case the stiffness is due to some broken parts inside, it’s always advisable to call your service provider or bring the recliner to a producer’s repair shop. You don’t want to fix it yourself and take the risk of damaging the unit forever.

If the recliner footrest continues to malfunction even when you have adopted all the methods above, the problem might be the faulty release spring.  In this case, you do need to replace it with a new one.

3. Recliner Footrest Spring Replacement

recliner footrest spring replacement

Whenever you sit and use your recliner, you’re enjoying the benefits and comfort coming from the cushions and mechanisms. Like any other product with a working mechanism, this recliner footrest includes springs.

The springs would eventually wear out over time or with excessive use. Once the key part controlling the tension of your footrest mechanism can no longer tackle its job, it could lead to the sagging or wonky condition.

All you need to do is replace the faulty springs. And remember, even if only one spring malfunctions, it’s advisable to replace a matching set to make sure of equal support on both sides of your footrest.

Obviously, new springs are the first thing you need to proceed with the replacement process. They’re available in every dedicated hardware shop. The springs should be the same type so that they’ll match perfectly for the recliner’s mechanism.

In case you have no idea what type of spring you need, you can seek help at the hardware shop. The shop assistants there will help you as long as you show them the old springs or your recliner model.

Once you have the new springs and a pulling hook right there, turn your recliner over to access the underside of your footrest. Next, you pull a spring from the upper to the lower holes to where it’s connected using the hook.

Then, you unhook the two springs. Please remember to do it very carefully to avoid hurting your fingers. You’d better replace all the old springs respectively as the framework does need an amount of remaining tension to stay workable.

Once you remove one spring, grab the new spring and make sure it to the same hole. One after the other, a spring hook goes into the upper and lower hole.

After properly attaching the new springs, turn your recliner back to the original position and check if the pullout mechanism works correctly. If your footrest stays up or down nicely, you then prop your feet up to test its tension.

Once you make sure everything goes smoothly, it’s time to take a rest!

Watch the video below to see how to fix a lazy boy recliner footrest in action when it can’t stay up or stay down.


When a stiff recliner footrest ruins your leisure time, you will feel tired. In fact, with consistent use or over the long haul, you’ll have to incur this problem sooner or later.

There are several common types of issues that can happen to a footrest. However, you can fix your malfunctioning recliner footrest quickly at home without complicated tools or processes. Therefore, knowing the way to fix this recliner footrest is vital as it saves you tons of time and money.

We promise you’ll be glad to know how to DIY it right with our guidelines. Hopefully, you’ll have a piece of furniture that can go with you for years after.

Thank you for reading!

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