How to Replace Your Recliner Spring

Aug 9, 2018 | Blog

A recliner is a good thing to have if you are prone to back pain and aching joints. The number of benefits outnumbers the disadvantages, depending on which kind you own. All the same, the dreaded sinking that comes with a broken or damaged spring is enough to break anyone’s spirit. There is some good news, though. You don’t have to throw the whole chair away. Replacing it is extremely easy, and all you have to do is be willing to learn how. You will be relaxing in your recliner again before you know it.

The Spring Types

There are two different kinds of springs in a recliner, and both have different methods of replacement. They are the zigzag spring and the recoil spring. You should be able to tell which of these two is problematic by either the reclining action or the slight sag.

With a recoil spring, the reclining action is likely to be much easier and not provide sufficient support.

However, when the zigzag tension spring is broken, it is more likely you will feel suddenly uncomfortable sinking sensation. Whatever the case is, here is a guide to help you replace them both.

Zigzag tension spring

You will need a screwdriver or a tack and staple remover

1. Turn over the chair and take off its back covering. You can remove the staples using either a staple remover or a screwdriver. However, you will need to be careful since you will have to reattach the upholstery later.

2. Carefully remove the upholstery padding and fabric then search for the broken spring. It should be easy to spot, as zigzag springs are large and lay flat against the back of the chair.

3. Gently tug at the top section which is broken until it comes off on its own. You will have to do this by touch, because the top part is usually hidden. Remove the bottom section of the broken spring from its clamp.

4. Buy a replacement spring that is compatible with your chair. You should be able to find it online or from the manufacturer.

5. Attach the top part first, since you are likely to see the bottom much clearer.

6. Re-clamp the bottom of the spring, and reattach the upholstery.

Recoil Spring

You will need a pair of pliers and eye goggles.

1. Flip the chair over. You should be able to see the frame from underneath the seat. If not, remove the panel or covering obstructing your view carefully.

2. Identify exactly where the recoil tension springs are, and where they are attached. If they are no longer present, you can skip to step 4.

3. Determine whether or not the coils are old or damaged. If they are, remove them with the pliers, at each point of attachment. Remember to be careful and wear your goggles, as they are still under high tension.

4. Buy replacement springs. They would best be heavy duty springs. However, if you cannot find springs specific to your chair, contact a recliner retailer to ask which ones would be compatible.

5. Stretch the springs prior to installment. Use two screwdrivers to pull it apart gently on either side and insert a coin. Do this for the middle as well. Allow it to rest like this for a few minutes.

6. Install the springs, by attaching them to the appropriate points. Take care as you do this. Lock the adjustable pliers in order to avoid a mishap.

7. Make sure that they are secure, and then remove all the coins you have used.

Barry White

Chief Editor and Furniture Expert for


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