How to fix an office chair that keeps sinking?
Most office chairs have a pneumatic cylinder that helps in adjusting the height of the chair according to your need.
Even the best office chair have similar issues because the chair’s pneumatic cylinder gets damaged over a period of time.
Sometimes after couple of years and sometimes just after few months of usage.
For these reasons, it is always better to understand at first hand – how we can fix the office chair that keeps sinking.
Why some chairs keeps Sinking and doesn’t stay up?
This is going to be a bit technical but I will try my best to explain in the easiest and best possible way.
This pneumatic cylinder of the chair works through pressurized air. This control becomes dysfunctional within a few years and sometimes within few months.
Sometimes, it happens because the seals of the cylinder become damaged. The air pressure is a lot to maintain, and the seals could not function well for a long time.
Now, replacement of the cylinder is quite simple but you would need to buy a new cylinder for the chair. This is the easiest and the most least time consuming process that you can follow to fix your chair.
The cylinder would cost you around $15 but that would definitely save you a couple of hundred dollars if you were to buy a new chair.
Changing the gas cylinder is quite easy and straight forward process.
You can just follow the steps in the below video and fix the chair yourself.
Now if you don’t want to order a new cylinder then there are alternate ways to fix your chair that doesn’t stay up. But, let me tell you that the other two options will require more time and energy then just getting a new cylinder and fixing it.
You also need to have some tools to fix the chair in case you are going to follow the other two options that I am about to tell you below.
Three EASY ways to fix your office chair that keeps sinking
Option 1 – Change the Pneumatic Cylinder (already described above)
Option 2 – Fix a sinking office chair using a Hose Clamp
- Hose Clamp (long and wide enough)
- Sandpaper or duct tape
- Degreaser or cleaning product. (Optional)
Step 1 – Slide the covering plastic
Office chairs have a plastic covering over the cylinder. The cylinders can be extended, and so are the coverings.
Try to slide the plastic either all the way up or down. After that, you will surely be able to see the metal cylinder, which is underneath that covering.
Step 2 – Set the desired height
Now, try to adjust the height of the chair. After bringing it to your desired height, it cannot be undone.
So, make sure the height is perfect. If you see that the seat is on the same level as your knees while standing, consider this height to be absolute and most preferable.
Few things to keep in mind:
- If you see that the chair is not staying up even when you are not sitting on it, lay the chair on a side.
- If you find the plastic is still covering the metal cylinder, you need to remove the plastic.
- To do this, you need to flip over the chair upside down. You will find a retaining clip which is placed at the base.
- Use a screwdriver to push that clip. At first, the wheels will be pulled off. Then pull away the plastic covering and attach the wheels back on its place.
Step 3 – Enhance the Clamp Grip
After covering the cylinder entirely, you need to tighten the clamp. This process is extremely important because it will fail to hold the chair at that convenient height if the clamp is not tight enough.
For a better grip, use some duct tape. But you need to use a duct tape where the cylinder has its highest visible point.
- An alternative way of this would be scuffing up the most visible point of the cylinder using sandpaper.
- If you discover that the cylinder is appearing greasy, use a degreaser or a cleaning product first.
Step 4 – Tighten the Clamp
While double checking on the height of the chair, slide the clamp and bring it to the top of that cylinder.
You must pull the clamp very tight and rotate the screw to fasten it.
Step 5- Examine the Chair
You will see that your chair is not going down because of the hose clamp’s obstacle. Sit on it and try to detect if it is still sinking.
- What if you see that your chair is not at the perfect height? Throw all your worries away and slide the clamps up and down on the cylinder.
- There is a high chance of the clamp sliding off. You can enhance the grip by using rubber to fasten it.
If this process doesn’t work and the chair still keeps sinking, try the other method mentioned below.
Option 3 – Fix a sinking office chair using a PVC Pipe
Using a PVC pipe is actually a more convenient method to fix sinking chair. The process and tools are mentioned below.
Tools required :
- PVC pipe
- A tape measure or ruler
- PVC cutting tool
Step 1 – Measure the Cylinder
The first step is to measure the cylinder of the chair. Pull down the plastic covering and get yourself a ruler or measuring tape.
If you are using a ruler, hold it horizontally to know the diameter of the cylinder. You should measure the height of the cylinder too when it is placed at the perfect height.
You can calculate the diameter of the cylinder from its circumference. But that is not very necessary.
Step 2 – Use a PVC pipe (same size as the diameter)
Get a PVC pipe which is of the exact size of the diameter of the cylinder. If you cannot find the exact size, go for a slightly larger one.
Usually, PVC pipes with 3.8 cm diameter suit most of the office chairs. You must get a straight pipe that will be extending from the chair’s seat to its wheelbase.
- Small pieces of pipes are much easier to work with. You can cut them at home also
Step 3 – Saw the pipe lengthwise
Use a vise to secure the pipe. You can use a backsaw or even a hacksaw to cut the pipe. Only cut at one side of the pipe, from tip to tip.
Because you do not need two half-pipes, you must have a pipe that has a small slit after cutting through.
- PVC contains some irritating and harmful particles. So, consider wearing a mask while performing the cut.
- What if you do not have any cutting tool or vise? You can use the pipe as it is.
- Remove the wheels of the chair and slide the pipe over the cylinder. To detach the wheel, you need to press the retaining clip with the help of a screwdriver.
Step 4 – Snap it onto the cylinder
After pulling the plastic covering down, if you haven’t already, push the PVC pipe where it has a slit against the pneumatic cylinder.
When it is snapped around the cylinder, it will hold the chair in place and prevent it from sinking.
- If it is hard for you to do this step, cut the pipe into smaller pieces, and try once again.
Step 5 – Keep on Adding Pipe if required
What if you see that your chair is still much lower than your expected height? Don’t worry. You can raise the chair up at your suitable height and add another pipe.
[su_box title=”Warning” style=”soft”]The world of DIY methods welcomes some dangers, along with convenience. So, you need to be very careful while performing them. Do not drill into the pneumatic cylinder while trying to install a bolt. As mentioned before, these cylinders have pressurized air within them, which can be released violently and may explode if it is drilled.[/su_box]
Few General Tips to fix an office chair that keeps sinking
The above-mentioned methods are a great DIY technique for adjusting an office chair that won’t stay up. We now present you with some tips that will make your work more effective and convenient.
- Replacing the pneumatic cylinder of your chair is an excellent way of stretching the durability of your chair. But they are quite tough to install and very expensive.
- If you are not running on a budget, you can invest in buying a Chair Saver Kit from Amazon. These kits have all the necessary tools, work very well and make the entire job easier to fix the chair.
- Sometimes the office chair might keep leaning forward and if that’s the case then you can refer to this article.
Having an office chair that won’t stay up is quite a common problem. But no matter how common it is, you need to fix this.
Some serious damage can be caused by sitting on an broken or unfitted office chair. It will hamper your posture’s alignment and contribute to severe injuries on your spine and neck.
On top of everything it is actually really frustrating when you’re working and the chair you’re using keeps sinking.
So, eradicate all the possible ailments. Fix your sinking chair quickly by following our DIY methods.