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| | |-+  Recliners - seem to be very problematic!
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: Recliners - seem to be very problematic!  ( 16731 )
baileyuph
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« : November 04, 2012, 08:45:57 AM »

Much has been said about recliners but to add, just the past week my business has experienced a significant increase in recliner problems.  One of the main issues is the foot rest will not stay latched.  Even if it gets latched it will kick up when the occupant gets out of the recliner.

These problems are not islolated or correlated with age and use.  The kick out problem is frequently noted on new units, very new anyway.

These are the type that close by the occupant's heel pressure, not the type operated by a handle on the side of the unit.

If one inspects a problem mechanism, it is not easy to see a problem, a bent piece or anything broken.  My experience anyway.

Any one with considerable experience with this type of problem?  What causes it and is there any adjustment anywhere to rectify the issue - foot rest problem I have described?

Doyle
sofadoc
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« #1 : November 04, 2012, 01:54:55 PM »

Many times, the kickout problem is just caused by a fatigued mech. There is no sign of obvious wear, or any type of damage evident to the naked eye. When I repair these for local furniture stores, I just have them send me a new mech. I don't waste any time trying to fix the old one.

Hammer may have a different theory.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
byhammerandhand
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« #2 : November 04, 2012, 06:46:57 PM »

95% or more of the mechs I see have cable releases.   The very few have levers or just lean back.  So I don't have a good answer for you.   

But I do see a lot of failures.   Most common are cable releases that break, rivets that break or wear out their holes, or arms that fracture, and mounting connectors (bolts, screws) that have loosened.   Probably in that order of frequency.   Cable releases are easy to R&R.  The other repairs I recommend a mech swap because if one part broke, another might not be far behind both because of overall wear and because if one part breaks, it puts more stress on the other parts.   Rare problems are springs that break or arms that bend.

For units that don't have a release by lever or cable, you should check the springs.  Often they are adjustable via a wing nut or moving to a new hole for more or less tension.

Keith

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas A. Edison
baileyuph
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« #3 : November 05, 2012, 08:35:47 AM »

Cable releases can and do break or give problems.  The cable release is just that, to release the reclining process --- where the foot rest extends out. 

That explained, if the cable release works but the footrest will not retract to the folded position, it is somewhere other than the cable release that causes the problem.

The problem is simply the foot rest will not stay retracted.  Why does this happen and happen on newer units installed at factory as well on brand new replacement units?

Has there been a change in manufacturer lately?  My replacement units lately have come from China.  The furniture was made By Franklin head quartered in Mississippi.  The recliners were primarily installed in sofa and love seats.

I have taken the foot rest off to see if the problem could be isolated but didn't conclude anything.  Maybe it was due to limited time to fiddle with it?  Don't know?

One point:  We did not experience these problems with the hand lever operated units.

Maybe people will stop buying the junk, get a stand alone recliner with a lever, or just go to bed if they want to lay down. 

Lot of questions on this issue.  Franklin, during some initial period after purchase is sending replacement mechanisms at no cost to the retailer but the labor of putting these units in is not trivial.  Replacing most stand alone units can be much easier.
sofadoc
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« #4 : November 05, 2012, 09:23:48 AM »

One thing that I've experimented with, is removing some of the excess padding around the perimeter where the footrest "seats" when it latches. Sometimes, it seems to help.

 I swear, some of those mechs have a hairpin trigger that holds the footrest in. A gentle breeze will cause it to come flying out.

And on some of them that require heel pressure to close, I don't see how a feeble person could possibly have the strength to get it latched. I've had to replace padding on footrests that have been flattened by people using all their might to get them closed.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
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« #5 : November 05, 2012, 10:35:38 AM »

When I was in maintenance at a local state hospital we had a geriatric unit that had "gerichairs" for the residents. They were just an institutional recliner with wheels on them for nursing to roll patients around and place them in the day room or other areas. I frequently repaired these where the reclining mech. wouldnt stay closed. After observation the problem was two fold, 1. Patients in a mental hospital often kicked and rocked uncontrollably putting stress on the chairs. 2. Nursing staff wouldn't attempt to close chairs properly, but rather placing their foot on the foot rest and kicking down hard to set the chair upright with a patient in it. I ordered several new mechanisms and kept in my shop to replace as needed, but we came across afew times where the state froze our budgets to make the government look good fiscally. Then I would repair the old mechanisms. most of the joint where the mechs folded are riveted together and have a nylon bushing in the joints thatr would wear out causing too much play in the joints not allowing the mechanisms to fold up over center and lock. Since we had more time than a budget I machined new bushings on a lathe with some bronze I had laying around then would put new rivets in the mechs and they all worked perfect. On mechs that didn't have too much wear I would lay them out on an anvil and give each rivet head a few smacks with a hammer to tighten them up, which worked also.

I know this is extreme and no one would pay for your time to do this and most wouldn't even have the machine equipment to make new parts, but the idea of hammering out the rivets a bit on an anvil is something anyone could do and would save for having new mecs shipped in even if they're avaliable.
Kyle
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« #6 : November 05, 2012, 11:15:47 AM »

Kyle's method of "hammering them out" is certainly a viable option when.......as he put it......."you have more time than budget".

When doing warranty work for a furniture store, I prefer to replace the mech. I can't guarantee how long a hammered mech will last. By replacing it with a new one, I consider myself "off the hook" as far as any warranty goes. If it fails again, they pay me to fix it again.

When doing repair for individuals, sometimes the new mech isn't readily available. I'll consent to doing a "hammer" job as long as the customer acknowledges that there will be no warranty.

I do guarantee my work for frame structure, and fabric repair. But mechs, whether new, or "hammered out"..........NOPE! There are just too many poor quality mechs on the market nowadays. Why should it be up to me to warranty my labor on installing an obviously defective product?

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
byhammerandhand
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« #7 : November 05, 2012, 05:54:32 PM »

Agree with that:

Kyle's method of "hammering them out" is certainly a viable option when.......as he put it......."you have more time than budget".

When doing warranty work for a furniture store, I prefer to replace the mech. I can't guarantee how long a hammered mech will last. By replacing it with a new one, I consider myself "off the hook" as far as any warranty goes. If it fails again, they pay me to fix it again.

When doing repair for individuals, sometimes the new mech isn't readily available. I'll consent to doing a "hammer" job as long as the customer acknowledges that there will be no warranty.

I do guarantee my work for frame structure, and fabric repair. But mechs, whether new, or "hammered out"..........NOPE! There are just too many poor quality mechs on the market nowadays. Why should it be up to me to warranty my labor on installing an obviously defective product?

Keith

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas A. Edison
sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #8 : November 06, 2012, 05:49:38 PM »

I got in 3 reclining sofas today. All with the same problem:



Sometimes, it's just the frame that has loose joints. And sometimes, the mech is also worn out. And sometimes, it's both.   

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
byhammerandhand
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« #9 : November 06, 2012, 10:48:45 PM »

... sometimes the bolts are just loose.

Keith

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas A. Edison
sofadoc
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« #10 : November 07, 2012, 09:46:21 AM »

... sometimes the bolts are just loose.
Yeah, they're loose all right:
Cheapest plywood I've seen.
« : November 07, 2012, 12:45:14 PM sofadoc »

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
byhammerandhand
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« #11 : November 07, 2012, 05:54:37 PM »

Wish I could say it's the cheapest I've seen.   Some seems to be little more than weeds and duck spit.   I think I posted a photo here or at Carr's Corner a year or two ago.   Nice plywood that was between 5 & 13 layers on the same piece.   Lots of voids and overlaps.  What wood that was there was very friable.

Keith

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas A. Edison
baileyuph
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« #12 : November 13, 2012, 08:57:59 AM »

Worn out recliners, loose bolts, and abuse, all of the above seem to be associated with these recliner critters.

But, add the the list, the brand new ones, right out of the box.  I got a call late yesterday to see what I can do with a couple of these.  Never sat in and problems.  These mechanisms are for the most part not adjustable, they are what they are, that alone sure can make one scratch his head.  Replace parts and hope for the best.

I am not picking on any foreign producer, but did we have all these problems with recliners years ago?  I never saw them with the older La-Z-Boy stuff.

Then, came along foreign make stuff, which was obviously cheaper, now we have the problems and lost the domestic La-Z-Boy little factories, almost all I understand. 

There was an auto news release that implied that the direction we are going there will not be any autos manufactured in this country.  We will relegated to an assembly line instead.  Pit that against what we had some years ago and it is understandable that we are about to go over the financial cliff. 

On the bright side of life or industry, I couldn't believe that I heard on the radio that we will become the oil richest country within 10 years.

Go figure, but if you figure out the best solution to recliner mechanisms, don't forget to share the wisdom.  LOL.

Doyle
D
sofadoc
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« #13 : November 13, 2012, 09:28:14 AM »

Back in the day, La-z-boy recliners had their share of mechanical breakdowns. But since the mechs weren't "one-piece", you could usually just replace one small defective part without tearing into the whole recliner. The local La-z-boy retailer kept me well stocked with replacement parts. Those days are gone now.

I wouldn't mind replacing the entire mech every time (in the off-brands), if they were more readily available, and they weren't as  inferrior in quality as the original mech that failed.

The new La-z-boys are still better quality than all the off-brands, but the gap has narrowed immensely in recent years.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
baileyuph
Guest


« #14 : November 22, 2012, 08:01:43 PM »

The gap between La-Z-Boy and foreign made recliners has closed.  Because LA-Z-Boy now sells the same foreign made recliners.  All I know is what I read, they still make recliners but had to start selling the cheaper chairs or go out of business.  They do no sell nearly as many of their brands anymore.  Obviously, that means more domestic workers are put out of a job.  It just seems consumers don't know the difference between furniture quality, I suppose they pretty well go by price.

Too bad, Huh?

Doyle
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