A good quality office chair that offers excellent ergonomic support is not exactly cheap, and we do spend a significant amount of money on it. Especially when you have to work for long hours, a comfortable office chair is extremely essential. But what to do if your desk chair is sinking like an unfortunate ship in the ocean?
Wait, you might not need to purchase a new one immediately. If you are facing the problem of a sunken office chair, this article is just perfect for you. This guide will help you understand how to fix office chair that sinks. There are several methods and ways to fix that, but before moving on to that, let us understand the root cause.
- 1 Why do office chairs sink?
- 2 Methods to fix a sinking office chair.
- 3 Tips to prevent the chair from further sinkage.
- 4 FAQs.
Why do office chairs sink?
There are times when you might notice that your office chair looks almost brand new and it is also in good shape. However, it is sinking, and it just won’t stay up. But why does it happen?
Just because your office chair is sinking, it does not mean the entire product is defective. One of the reasons behind the sinkage depends a lot on the chair’s cylinder. The cylinder is the part that connects the base of the chair to the seat. It is also the part that lets you adjust your sitting position upward or downward depending on your preference.
Inside the cylinder, there is nitrogen gas which gives the office chair its lift. When you pull the chair lever, the nitrogen gas present inside the cylinder switches chambers, which allows your chair to move up and down.
With time and usage, the seal in the cylinder starts wearing out and leaking, resulting in a loss of the nitrogen gas present inside it. This can cause the office chair to sink.
So how to repair that? Let’s have a look.
Methods to fix a sinking office chair.
Method 1 – Using the hose clamp method.
A hose clamp is a device that helps in holding the chair and keeping it stabilized. Here are the steps to use it to fix a sinking chair-
1. At first, you will have to slide the plastic casing in such a way that you can see the metal cylinder underneath it. You can slide the plastic up and down to remove it, and once the cylinder is visible, you can now adjust the height.
2. Now, you need to adjust the height of the chair. Double check as this step cannot be repeated. The recommended way is to keep the height at the level of your knees while you are standing.
3. Now wrap a hose clamp now around the cylinder to tighten the sinking chair and give it a proper grip. Select a good quality hose clamp which is about 2 cm, to get the best results.
4. After the wrapping is done, it is time to grip the clamp, which should be proper and tight enough to lift up the chair. Leave some space in the clamp so that you can grip a rubber or tape properly. For better support to the cylinder, wrap with rubber or tape in two or three layers.
5. Next, tighten the clamp as much as possible and position the hose clamp to the top of the cylinder’s side for the best position. Increase the speed of rotation to tighten the clamp further.
6. Now it’s time to test, and the chair should not be sinking anymore. If you notice the wrong height adjustment, you might have to move the clamp to get a more accurate position.
Method 2 – Lubricating the components.
Lubrication is often the easiest solution for squeaky chairs and for sinking office chairs as well. It is a great way to increase the chair’s lifespan as it revitalizes the material, but only temporarily.
Here are the steps to lubricate the components of an office chair-
1. First, check if the lever that you use to adjust the height of the chair does its job well. If it fails to do so and the chair still sinks, it is a sign that the chair needs oiling.
2. Next lift the office chair to its maximum height and flip it upside down.
3. Spray the joints and bolts with some WD-40 and apply it liberally to loosen any tight joints. You can also spray the oil on a soft cloth or material and then rub the lubricant onto the cylinder and other bolts and screws.
4. Flip the chair again and move it up and down a couple of times so that the lubricant coats the joint evenly.
5. Your office chair is now ready to use. This method should be done regularly to avoid squeaky and sinking chairs.
Method 3- Using a PVC pipe/ plastic spacer.
Using the PVC pipe method or plastic spacer is another way to fix a sinking chair, and this method is pretty durable. You will find PVC pipes of various lengths in the market, and you can easily purchase them from any hardware store.
Most of these places will also cut the pipe down to your required size, and if they don’t, you can also do it yourself with the help of a regular hacksaw.
For this process, you will need a PVC pipe of link 1.5 inches approximately for cover the cylinder, a flat head screwdriver to remove the retaining clip, and a ruler to get the exact measurement of the length of the plastic tube. Here are the steps that you need to do-
1. Adjust your office chair at the desired height level.
2. Now measure the inner cylinder’s exposed length using a ruler.
3. After you have measured the length, it is time to get a PVC pipe that fits the cylinder accurately. Even if you do not get the exact size, it’s still okay if the PVC pipe is a bit larger than the measured circumference.
4. Now flip the chair upside down and use a flat head screwdriver to remove the retaining clip. This will separate the base of the cylinder from the five-star base of the inner cylinder.
5. Now, glide on the PVC pipe piece over the exposed inner cylinder.
6. Attach the cylinder base back with the 5-star base, and put the retaining clip back on.
7. You can now flip the chair back again and enjoy.
While going for this method, it is important that you do it carefully because it becomes a very tedious process to remove the pipe against the lower down the chair.
Method 4- Use a jubilee clamp to fasten the cylinder.
For this method, you will need a jubilee clamp, screwdriver, and duct tape. Jubilee clamps are used to attach hose pipes to taps. But that is not just its only purpose. Here are the steps using which you can use a jubilee clamp to fix the sinking office chair issue-
1. Flip over your chair to get easy access to the metallic cylinder. Get rid of the protective plastic casing and slip it down to expose the metal cylinder.
2. Get your jubilee clamp, and wrap it around the cylinder by unscrewing the bolt. Once wrapped, position the clamp in the middle, but do not replace the bolt.
3. Get the duct tape and wrap it around the top part of the cylinder generously. This should be just above the clamp and will help the clamp to get a better grip and prevent the chair from sinking further.
4. The height of a chair properly so that it’s satisfactory for you, and slide the clamp upwards towards the top of the cylinder and tighten the screw as much as possible.
5. Now, you can test your share to check if the syncing is gone by sitting on it gently. If the chair seems to be moving below the clamp, you can readjust the height by following step 4.
Method 5 – Replacing the cylinder.
If none of the methods work, a replacement cylinder is the ultimate permanent fix. However, it is a little expensive.
This method involves getting rid of the malfunctioning cylinder and replacing it with a new one. Most cylinders are universal, so you can get one from any store or even from Amazon. Here are the steps to go ahead with the process-
1. Flip your office chair upside down and remove the cylinder base from the five-star base of the chair. You can do this by using a rubber mallet and typing it gently on the bottom of the cylinder base.
2. There will be a pipe wrench near the top of the cylinder. You have to clamp and turn it a quarter until you notice some give.
3. Continue turning the pipe wrench counterclockwise until you are able to pull and detach the cylinder from the seat. You can add a lubricant if it’s too tight.
4. Remove the plastic cap from the top of the new cylinder and insert it into the five-star caster base of the chair. Press it down firmly.
5. Now, you can place the seat on the top of the inner cylinder and press it down. Enjoy the new seat of your office chair.
Method 6- Reach out to professionals.
If none of the above-mentioned methods work for you and your office chair is still sinking, it’s time to reach the professionals. If your chair is still within the warranty, you can get in touch with the manufacturer and get it fixed free of charge.
However, if your warranty is expired or you do not have one, you can contact your local furniture repairing store, and they will be able to help you with fixing the chair.
Tips to prevent the chair from further sinkage.
After you have got your ergonomic office chair fixed, you definitely do not want to go through the entire hassle one more time. So here are a few precautions you can take to delay or avoid sinkage-
- Your office chair is expensive and professional, and it is recommended that you treat it gently while sitting down and getting up.
- The gas cylinders in office chairs have different weight capacities, and they will last in a better condition if you stay under the weight limit.
- Try getting an affordable plastic skirt to cover your cylinder and prevent it from accumulating dust and debris.
- Regular cleaning of your office chair can keep it operating smoothly for a long time. Use lubricants once in a while too.
Why do most office chairs sink?
If your office chair is sinking, it is a sign that the hydraulic gas cylinder is not working properly. This can happen due to faulty construction, age, and frequent usage for a long time.
Is it possible to fix the hydraulics of a chair by yourself?
Usually, it’s not cost or time-efficient to repair a broken hydraulic gas cylinder by yourself. The better option is to get a replacement kit and replace the entire cylinder.
Can you fix a sinking office chair?
Yes, there are several methods to fix a sinking office chair. Some of them are wrapping a tape around the cylindrical pipe, using a hose clamp, using a jubilee clamp, or replacing the entire cylinder.