Do Power Recliners Break Down?

Updated May 22nd, 2020

Power recliners are versatile, comfortable, and becoming more common. They are a remarkable benefit to someone with back problems, inadequate strength, a physical disability or limitations. A power recliner can provide individuals with independence. Offering more advantages such as settings, positions, and options, a power recliner will be more expensive than a manual recliner and heavier as well. These options, settings, and positions make a power recliner intriguing to many consumers. So, do power recliners break down? Although a power recliner can last numerous years longer than a manual recliner, their ability to work correctly diminishes. Many parts of a power recliner can break down. From the motor to the electrical plug to the transformers and pinched wires, many components of the chair can and will eventually break down.

Electrical Failures

The common issue with a power recliner is electrical failure. Power surges in the home can burn out transformers. The power surges happen from lightning, large appliances kicking off, or the electrical company shutting down different areas of electricity. The chair could be protected from electrical surges using a surge protector. Another source of failure is pinched wires. Power recliners have several moving parts, and wires can get pinched in these parts. If a wire is pinched, then parts of the recliner will not move properly.

Eventually, these pinched wires will become detached, not completing the circuit that allows the chair to move properly and causes the chair to break down. The motor and controls may cease to work as well creating a broken down power recliner. The motor can become overloaded or underloaded. Sometimes, just unplugging and replugging the chair will fix this. Other times, replacing the parts will fix the chair. However, fixing the chair can be costly. A power recliner can have several motors depending on the feature of the chair meaning there are several motors that will break down.

Mechanical Failures

Not only can a power recliner break down because of electrical failure, but it can break down because of mechanical failure. Oftentimes, parts of the recliner can get mechanically disconnected and misaligned causing the chair to not open correctly or even worse not close correctly. These components of even the best recliners that are misaligned or mechanically disconnected could also put holes in the recliner. Worn gears also contribute to a power recliner malfunctioning or breaking down. These gears can be replaced as well but until the replacement of the gears by a technician, the chair will not work properly.

Inevitable Break Down

Owning a power recliner has many benefits stemming around comfort and ease. Being able to have legs angled differently while being reclined or laying down completely in a chair are comforts that a power recliner offers. Using the power of an index finger versus multiple muscles to recline after a long day at work is appealing yet, eventually the power recliner will break down due to its many moveable, electric parts. A power recliner could last five to ten to twenty years depending on numerous factors, but they will fail to work at some point. Having a technician come repair the busted chair is an option but it may be costly. Nonetheless, the power recliner will inevitably break down and not last forever.


As you can now see, asking “do power recliners break down?” is not so much the accurate question. When the better question is, how can I best prolong the life of my power recliner? Either you pay upfront, with a quality product or you pay down the line for the repairs as the chair slowly breaks down. Let us know in the comments below the problems you’ve had with your chairs along the way.

4 Replies to “Do Power Recliners Break Down?”

  1. Is there any repair places near Bremerton Washington for powe recliners? I have a Pulaski power recliner that stopped working. Suspect problem with either hand controls or the motor relay. Transformer and motor appear to be OK. Thank you. Craig Henderson

  2. I have a new southern motion, so far little plug in dc converter thing has died twice within 1 month,,, its on a surge protector, cant figure if on floor longer than told, supposed to be new, one they used to replace was from floor model also. This sucks, unuseable do to back reconstructions, only comfortable when reclined or in bed. which chair will work longer than a week or 2

  3. My Catnapper recliner just quit working! The remote lights up so I know it is getting power! Please advise me what I need to do to regarding this matter,

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