Flex-Steel Electric Recliner Doesn't Want to Recline


Old 11-08-19, 08:24 PM
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Flex-Steel Electric Recliner Doesn't Want to Recline

Hello everyone,

I bought a new-to-me Flex-steel electric leather recliner at Restore (the Habitat for Humanity store) a few weeks ago. The leather was in excellent condition and the electric controls worked perfectly, so I couldn't pass it up at a price of $170.

I've just been using it for about 2 weeks now and everything was fine until a few nights ago when I attempted to recline it. When I pressed the front button to recline, I got nothing for many attempts, then all of a sudden it reclined. I put it back in the unreclined position with no problem, but the next time I tried to recline, same problem, it took perhaps a dozen presses of the recline button to get it to recline.

I know what you are thinking, bad recline-unrecline switch, but I'm not so sure. After the second or 3rd problem with the recline not starting when the button was pushed, I did a little test when I did many, many partial reclines and un-reclines. Pressing the buttons never failed with the recliner was not down in the fully unreclined position.

So, I decided to not fully unrecline the chair for a day or two, and no problem at all, the buttons worked perfectly if I didn't allow the recliner to go to the full lowest position.

Unfortunately, today, I didn't pay close enough attention and put the recliner in the fully down position. And now I can't get it to recline at all- I would estimate that when the problem first appeared, It took that dozen or two presses of the recline button to get it to recline and I did this 3 or 4 times. Today, I would estimate that I've pressed the recline button at least 100 times with no response.

Earlier today, I disconnected and reconnected all of the electrical connections. The only thing that I did find that clearly wasn't right was that the tie down clamp for the wire from the recline switch didn't secure the wire, the wire easily moved back and forth though the clamp. With the chair basically sitting on it's head, I pressed the recline button while moving the wires hoping for a response - no luck.

I can't help but wonder if there isn't some kind of "home" switch for the fully down position that may have a problem. But all I'm seeing is the recline switch, the motor, the power supply and the wires and connectors .

The chair is in such great shape that I really would like to fix it. I can't easily get it in and out of the house, so I'd like to do what I can to fix it myself.

I don't have the model number, but might be able to find it.

Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated.


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Old 11-08-19, 08:50 PM
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Sorry to respond to my own post, but there must be a "home switch" to identify the fully down position so that the chair knows when it's in the fully down position to stop the motor. I'm thinking that that could be the area where the problem is.
Old 11-08-19, 09:17 PM
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If there was a "home" switch...... a brief push of the button would cause it to move until it reached the end. Most of those types of chairs you need to hold the button in for it to move and don't have any type of endstop.

When I first read your problem it sounded like the motor may be getting stuck due to a gearbox jam. The only way to know if you have a motor problem or switch problem or power supply problem is to use a voltmeter and watch what the voltages do.
Old 11-08-19, 09:49 PM
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Just a bit more info.

The chair is once again moving in both of the recline and decline directions (presumably as long as I don'a allow it to go to the fully declined position). I held the incline button on while pushing and fulling on the cable from it and after several "push-pull" cycles it started to recline.

And once again, it reclines and returns with a single press of each button perfectly, although I haven't returned it to the fully declined position, where I suspect it will hang up.

So, on the surface it looks like the problem is most likely in the "recline/decline" switch which I see has five wires that lead to the motor.

What signals the chair to stop the motor when fully inclined or declined? And is that fed through the recline-decline switch?

Thanks again for any insight on this.
Old 11-08-19, 10:03 PM
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Hi Pete,

Thanks for replying.

This chair does only move in the recline or reverse while you hold the button in and stops when you release the button to hold your preferred position. But what I don't understand is what turns the motor off at the end of the travel in either direction.

I was thinking that there might be switches that cut the motor in the fully inclined or declined (un-reclined) position. But I traced the cables fairly carefully in the last hour or so and see no switches. Perhaps they are using the load on the motor to determine the fully inclined and declined position?

Not sure and I'm running rather blind here - just trial and error at this point.

I'm quite certain that the motor isn't getting jammed. The chair only fails to move when it is fully in the down position.

I've seen no indication that the power supply is the problem.

The strongest clue I have is that the chair started working when I pushed and pulled the cable that goes to the recline control buttons.

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