How to Replace Recliner Tension Spring: Step by Step

Recliners are what you could call the epitome of relaxation. Not only are they super soft, but they also let you stay in a comfortable position. Side by side, they are also very good for your back because they help keep your spine aligned at the correct angle.

How to Replace Recliner Tension Spring

However, all this bliss comes at a price. Where recliners are concerned, the cost of your ease is usually the lifespan of the recliner’s tension spring.

This is where our article on how to replace recliner tension spring comes in. Here, we have broken down the whole process of fixing your lazy-boy chair into a step-by-step guide.

Without further ado, let’s get on with it!

Types of Recliner Springs

Types of Recliner Springs

Before we get to the main dish, we thought we would like to inform you about the two types of recliner springs. Both of them can be found on the same sofa since oftentimes they perform together to complete a single task.

1. Sinuous Spring

The first type is what we can also call the ‘zig-zag spring.’ Much like its alternate name suggests, this item has a jagged structure, making it look like the home to several small transverse wave-like projections.

Its main function is to prevent the sofa from slumping too much. In other words, the sinuous/zig-zag spring helps to keep the backrest of your recliner in an upright position.

An easy way to know that your zig-zag spring needs to be replaced is by determining whether you feel as though the sofa is slipping too low when you recline on it. If yes, then you know which coil needs your attention.

2. Recoiling Spring

Another type of spring that you will find inside your recliner is the recoiling one. This part looks like any other spring and has two hooks on either vertical end. At the center of its body, the spring’s metal is wound in tightly closed circles with no gaps between them.

When an additional force is applied on either end, the circles start to separate as the string stretches out.

Its job is to act under pressure and make sure that the chair is not reclining too much or too little. Judging by this, you will easily be able to tell when your recoil spring requires a replacement.

When you sit on your lazy-boy chair, if you feel as though it is reclining a bit too much or that there is not enough resistance while the leg rest is going outwards, chances are you probably have to get your recoil spring fixed.

Read Next: Tips on How to Fix Driver Seat Recliner

How to Replace Recliner Tension Spring?

fixing recliner tension springs

Although you know the types of springs available, how WILL you actually replace them so that your sofa is as good as new again? If you’re still confused about that, read on to find the answers to all your questions.

1. Fixing a Sinuous Spring:

To get the sinuous or zig-zag spring fixed, simply follow the two steps that we have mentioned down below –

Step 1: Uncover the inside

The very first thing you have to do to get to the root of the problem is to uncover the inside of your sofa. This can be done by flipping your chair around so that the backside is facing upwards.

With the help of a good staple remover or a reliable screwdriver, carefully get rid of the staples on the back of the furniture. Do make sure you do not handle the pieces too roughly since you will need them after you are done to cover the sofa again.

Once you have carried out this part, you can move on to the next step.

Step 2: Locate the Spring

The next thing you should do is cautiously get the sofa’s fabric and padding out of your way. Afterward, locating the exact spot in which the sinuous spring lies should be a piece of cake.

Check out the backside of the backrest of the chair. You will immediately see a rather large zigzag-shaped coil. That’s your guy. When you have your hands on it, this is what you should do:

A. Remove the Coil:

Start off by slowly pulling at the top part of the spring. In most cases, this is also the broken area and will therefore come loose after a few tries.

However, do make sure that you use your hands for this since it might take a bit of prodding on your part to find the upper section of the spring at first glance. Once victorious, you can then proceed to take the lower half out of the clamp holding the spring.

B. Bring in the Substitute:

By now, you should have a substitute coil by your side. Do make sure that you bought one which will correctly support your recliner so that nothing goes haywire afterward.

If you are not sure where you might be able to get your hands on a similar product, try contacting the store or the manufacturer of your recliner. Once the new spring is in the ring, it’s just a matter of going over your previous steps but in reverse.

Introduce the new spring into the chair by fastening its top half first. Once that is out of the way, you can then move on to re-attaching the lower part of the spring and then securing the clamp over it.

The majority of your work ends here; you have successfully fixed the problem with your recliner!

C. Finish Things off:

To end things, drape the covers over your lazy-boy chair and secure it in place by stapling. Flip the recliner over once again to put it back in its initial position.

2. Fixing a Recoiling Spring:

A quick disclaimer before we get started: prepare a pair of pliers (make sure they work properly), and put on some eye goggles. It is because a recoiling spring can jump around a lot, so you don’t want to injure your vision.

Step 1: Flip it over

Similar to what you did when you fixed the zig-zag spring, turn your chair upside down so that you can see the framework inside it clearly. There’s a likelihood that there might be a board or a sheet under the chair as well. In which case, you will have to remove that first before proceeding.

Step 2: Find the Spring in Question

Look over the framing of the chair to spot the recoil spring. If the springs are either old or damaged, they will still be there. However, if you cannot find them, the chances are that they came loose and fell off by themselves. In which case, you can skip this step and the next.

Step 3: Remove the Coil

If you find the old/ damaged spring, take a pair of pliers and pry them off. It would be best if you were careful because the coil is under a lot of pressure, so it might suddenly pop out.

Make sure you also wear goggles when working. Place the pliers at the area where the spring is attached to the chair and then twist it until it breaks free.

Step 4: Bring in the Substitute

Before you remove the old spring, make sure you have your hands on a durable, heavy-duty recoil spring. Again, if you do not know where you might find them, try contacting your local retailer as they might have an idea.

Once you have your hands on a set of suitable springs, stretch them from end to end with the help of a pair of screwdrivers. After having done this, place a coin between them and leave it be for a while.

Repeat the same process for the mid-section of the spring as well.

Step 5: Installation

By locking the pliers, fixate the springs so that each end is at its proper position on the frame. It would be best if you secured the pliers to reduce any risks of an accident occurring.

Make sure to be very careful while doing this. You don’t want to lose the springs while adjusting them to place.

Finally, all you have to do is remove the coin(s) you might have used to stretch the strings. Once you are done with the installation process, simply put the separated components back in place, along with the panel.

Read Next: Tips on how to fix a recliner footrest

A Video on Replacing A Recliner Spring

Final Words:

As you can see, learning how to replace recliner spring is not too hard of a task. First, all you need to do is distinguish the tension spring you are dealing with and then follow the necessary steps that we mentioned above.

To summarize, the sinuous spring will come with a zig-zag pattern, while the recoiling spring will look like a traditional one, however, with two hooks on either end.

For the latter type of spring, remember to use a few coins to stretch the coil until flexible.

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