How to repair a swivel recliner

Updated November 21, 2016

Swivel recliners are the ultimate in comfort. They allow you to turn to talk to people while watching television or working on the computer. For those with back problems, they can be a life saver when sitting straight in a chair is too painful. There are many swivel recliners on the market that differ in size, upholstery and massaging features and they can cost anything from £130 to £650 for one with all the special features. Because they are so popular for home use, they sometimes need be repaired.

The majority of recliner problems stem from improper use that results in a broken swivel, which makes the chair difficult to turn. Call your recliner's manufacturer to order a new swivel to replace the broken or cracked swivel.

Lay the swivel recliner upside down to remove the chair's base from the swivel. Push down the lock system to unhook the base or, if it is attached with screws, unscrew the base from the swivel.

Check the clips of the swivel to see if they are broken. If the swivel doesn't move at all then they are most likely broken. Lift up the broken swivel with a pry bar and twist it off.

Pop out the clips by hammering a screwdriver into the base of the clips. Clear out any of the swivel clips that are still stuck in the wood. Take the new clips out of the replacement swivel chair parts package. Twist the new clips onto the base.

Tap the swivel clips in with a hammer or rubber mallet. Place the new swivel in the clips. Move the swivel around to ensure that it moves. Replace the base of the chair on the new swivel.


Check your warranty to ensure that your swivel chair is covered for new parts or repair. Avoid putting excessive weight on the back of the chair to prevent the swivel from breaking.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Swivel clips
  • Swivel
  • Rubber mallet
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