One of the main features of an office chair or computer chair is its ability to have its height adjusted. Without this, these chairs would be nowhere near as comfortable as they are due to their adjustable height being one of the reasons they are better than standard chairs. If your chair won’t stay up then this is certainly the article for you.
You can only imagine the frustration of buying a brand new chair only to have it fail to perform such a standard task. Or maybe you need not imagine, this could be your reality. With that said, let’s find a way to repaid a chair that won’t stay up.
Before rectifying such an issue, it is best to learn exactly how and why everything works or is meant to work. In the long run, understanding the issue is the best way to learn how to repair it. There are a lot of components of an office chair, or any swiveling chair of a similar size, more than you would expect. Some are found in most chairs whereas others are more specialized.
A chair stays up via a pneumatic cylinder that stores pressurized air and releases some to lower the chair or intakes some to raise the chair. Because of this complicated process, this seems to be a very common failure out of all the mechanisms in which an office chair would possess. The chair’s cylinder often fails as the seal breaks down which lets all of the air escape, which in turn makes your new chair a sinking chair instead. Office chairs and gaming chairs are prone to this as they have a lot of weight to carry from not only whoever sits in them but also from the rest of the chair.
For this repair method you shall require the following:
After you have all of these, you can begin with the process.
To prepare this method, first, you will need to expose the metal cylinder on the height mechanism of your desk chair. Once the chair’s cylinder has been located, you will need to raise the plastic skirt so that it is out of the way. With the plastic skirt raised, you will need to set your office chair to the preferred and proper height. For ergonomic reasons, I recommend having it so that your knees are at a 90-degree angle and your feet are flat on the floor. If set at the incorrect height, then your posture will be bad and will cause issues. The height cannot be easily changed after this process however it is better than having a sinking desk chair.
With the metal cylinder exposed, you will need to take your cleaning rags and remove any dirt or grease on the pneumatic cylinder. Ensure it is very clean so that when you touch it, your fingers are clean and free of grease.
Once this is achieved, take some sandpaper and rough up the metal so that it is less shiny. We are trying to get it so that an adhesive would attach. After the cylinder is roughed up, attach duct tape firmly around it from top to bottom.
With the gas lift cylinder wrapped in duct tape; it is now time to fit the hose clamp to your chair. For this, you will need to wrap it around the extendable cylinder and push it all the way to the top. After it is as high as you can push it without raising the chair seat, tighten it as much as possible.
Once the hose clamp is tightened around the office chair cylinder, it is time to test it. Simply sit on the chair and it should not be able to slide down past the clamp.
If the chair is at the wrong height then you need to loosen the clamp and move it to adjust the height of the seat. This is the only way to now adjust the height as the mechanism still doesn’t work. Despite not being a fix, this is a very good, cheap, and effective workaround which is better than having to replace the pneumatic cylinder or whole chair.
If you lack a hose clamp then this method is a tad more difficult but utilizes different materials. For this you will require:
Once all these have been gathered, we can begin.
The exact measurements will not be needed but a good estimate is fine. Expose the chair cylinder by raising or lowering the plastic skirt and measure the cylinder with your chosen method. This will calculate the diameter of your cylinder.
You want your PVC piping to fit around that cylinder so make sure you have the right size.
To complete the PVC pipe method you will need to cut your pipe so that it fits around the cylinder. Get your preferred PVC cutting tool, for many, this will be a simple saw.
Place your PVC pipe in a vice if necessary so that it is easier to cut. Once this has been done, cut it to the acceptable length and slice a slit down one side from the very top to the very bottom.
Using the slit side of the PVC pipe, open it up and attach it around the cylinder. If you struggle with this then try cutting the pipe into segments so that they are easier to attach around the office chair’s cylinder.
To adjust the height you will need to either add more pipe or remove some, however, this method provides a very stable base that will keep your chair in its proper place without you spending a fortune.
In the way of alternatives, there isn’t too much choice. The cost of replacing your pneumatic cylinder is almost worth buying an entirely new chair. However, if you want to spend money on a repair without spending lots then the ‘Chair Saver Kit’ is for you.
The chair saver kit, or ‘dropper stopper’, is effectively the same as the PVC pipe method but more adjustable and a lot quicker to attach. It only takes seconds to attach and offers the same stable base with added adjustability. It universally fits all chairs and requires no tools or screws.
Attach either a hose clamp, PVP pipe, or the chair saver kit to the cylinder under your chair seat.
When the pressurized air chamber, pneumatic cylinder, fails it will cause a chair to slide down and no longer be adjustable in height.
Using a Chair saver kit or a DIY method will help fix the hydraulics on your office chairs.
To stop a chair from sliding, you will need to place something under the seat, on the metal cylinder, to lock it in place. A hose clamp or PVC piping can be good for this.