Most office chairs are hydraulic or pneumatic. That is, they work on the hydraulic or pneumatic mechanism. These mechanisms allow the user to adjust the height to fit your body shape and the desk on which you work.
You can set the height of these chairs using the lever that comes with them. So, to adjust the height, all you need to do is pull the lever to a position and let the lift mechanism do its job.
When the seat is comfortable, you can let go of the lever and stop adjusting the height.
However, there could be some defects or problems in the hydraulic mechanism that could cause the chair to sink no matter how many times you try to adjust the height.
Similarly, you could also face other problems with hydraulic chairs, as outlined below.
Most Common Hydraulic Office Chair Defects
Hydraulic office chairs can be great to use. However, they can also get finicky at times, and you may need to fix them by finding out whatever is causing the problem.
Generally speaking, there could be two common issues with hydraulic office chairs.
Office chairs may keep sinking no matter how you raise the height. If you face such problems with your hydraulic chairs, you can try any of these fixes, including securing them with a hose and duct tape, using PVC pipes to adjust the height, or using a chair raiser or saver kit.
In addition to these, you can also try replacing the gas cylinder that comes with the chair.
A hose clamp and duct tape, when used in combination, can help offer that space required at the bottom to adjust the height. It is simple enough to do, and you need to lift the chair to a height of your choice, clamp it, and secure it with duct tape.
While this is the cheapest fix available, it won’t last for as long as other fixes.
If you want a better solution to this problem, you can use PVC pipes that act as a spacer. However, this method is complicated, and you may need to measure the chair’s dimensions and cut the PVC pipe accordingly.
Similarly, you can also use a chair raiser or chair saver kit. Chair raisers are a set of adjustable buttons that you can install at the bottom and adjust your chair without needing a gas cylinder.
They are affordable and convenient, and you don’t need to disassemble the chair. What’s more? They last for years together without needing replacement.
Chair Won’t Budge
While sinking is one of the most common problems in hydraulic office chairs, sometimes they refuse to budge when adjusting their height. For this, you can try any of the fixes below and see if they work.
The chair not going down when trying to adjust the height could mean that you aren’t putting enough weight on the lever. One of the best fixes for this problem is to bounce on the seat as you pull the lever.
The force that comes with this bouncing should help lower the height. Then, all you need to do is screw in the lever to sit tightly in place.
While this could be the problem for the chair not going down, at times, you may also have a broken lever. So, you will need to replace the lever by removing the legs and starbase. After fixing the lever, you can screw back the legs and starbase.
Sometimes, the problem could also be with the gas cylinder when the chair refuses to budge. In such cases, you may have no other choice but to replace it.
Likewise, if you have a squeaking chair, you may need to lubricate the pieces. However, when doing so, you must ensure that all the screws and bolts are secured tightly, as the chair may also be squeaking due to loosely fastened bolts and screws.
Fix Hydraulic Chairs: Tools, Equipment
You will need some tools to fix a broken hydraulic office chair. The tools that you will need include:
Needle-Nose Pliers: You will need needle-nose pliers to fix a swivel chair, especially the spindle lock clip.
Pipe Wrench: You will need to use pipe wrenches to remove the gas cylinder.
Pry Bar: You will need a pry bar to disassemble a hydraulic office chair.
Rubber Mallet: You can use a rubber mallet to remove the cylinder. You can do this by tapping near the center of the base and away from the chair.
Household Cleaner: You will need a household cleaner to clean up after finishing the job.
Replacement Cylinder: You will need to buy a new cylinder to replace the old, broken one.
Rust Penetrant: Once you are done fixing the chair, you must apply some rust penetrant to prevent rusting.
Different Ways To Fix Hydraulic Chairs
If you wonder how to fix a broken hydraulic office chair, there are several ways to do it. However, you rely on these five easy steps to get your chair up and running again.
Clamp the Chair
You can fix a hydraulic office chair would be to use a hose clamp or a PVC pipe, and it’s not only easy but also cheap.
However, note that most hydraulic office chairs come with a plastic skin over a metal tube around the seating area. You will need to rip off this plastic part to fix a broken seat.
Adjust the Height
The next step in fixing the chair is a crucial one where you will need to adjust the seat after having peeled off the plastic part. To change the height, you can use your knees as a reference.
The seat should be at level with your knees when you stand in front of the chair. However, if the chair is so broken that it won’t sit up on its own, you can lay it on one of its sides and carry on with the process.
Wrap the Hose Clamp Around the Cylinder
In this step, you must wrap the hose clamp around the cylinder. You can do this by loosening the screws, pulling on the end of the hose with the belt, and wrapping it around the metal cylinder.
However, it would be good to improve the clamp’s grip on the cylinder before tightening it. You can wrap duct tape or a rubber strip around it to do this.
Tighten the Clamp
Once you are done with improving the clamp’s grip on the cylinder with the help of duct tape or a rubber strip, it is time to tighten it. For this, you must hold on to the top of the cylinder, slide the clamp up, and lock it in place.
After tightening the clamp, if you find that the chair is at the wrong height, correct it by holding the clamp and moving it upwards or downwards, depending on your preference.
Moreover, if the clamp slides off, you can hold on to it and fasten it with a rubber strap to secure it tightly.
When Should You Get a New Chair?
You can use the above method to fix a broken hydraulic office chair. However, sometimes, it so happens that the chair is broken to the extent that you may not fix it. You should scrap the chair and buy a new one when that happens.
Also, if you feel that the one you have isn’t comfortable enough, you can buy a new office chair.
However, there are many advantages of fixing your old and broken chair. For instance, you don’t need to spend too much money to fix your broken chair, and the process is quick as well.
However, you may not be able to fix it all the time. So, you will need to buy a new one.
You may want to buy a new chair or fix your old one, but you should at least still consider your options. That is, check to see if you can fix and use your old chair for a couple more years before getting a new one.
If you can do that, you will save lots of money and the precious time you otherwise need to spend researching and looking for a new office chair.
Besides, it would help if you also considered the possibility that fixing a broken chair can sometimes be a lot easier than buying a new one.
Learning to fix a broken chair shouldn’t be hard as long as you can get the basics right. You may want to buy a new chair and dispose of your old one.
However, when you stop to think about it, you will realize that taking the time to fix your broken chair will go a long way in saving you money, not to mention time.
So, if you have a broken chair, don’t forget to consider the possibility of fixing it before buying a new one.
Anthony Laird is an interior designer and decorator with many years of experience. He is passionate about helping people make the most of their living space. Leveraging his many years of experience, Anthony Laird teaches people how to create the most inspiring interior spaces. With the increasing rate of home offices across the world, Anthony Laird now uses LichtenCraig to help more people design home offices that suit their personality and increase productivity.