Office chairs are expensive. Employers spend a lot of money on them to ensure they are comfortable for employees. Nevertheless, they seem to develop problems after a few years of usage. No matter how branded a chair is, it is bound to become faulty after continuous usage. A chair develops different kinds of problems. Sinking is one of them.
A sinking office chair is extremely disturbing. It causes discomfort and doesn’t allow a person to concentrate on work. Hence, it significantly affects a person’s productivity at the workplace. Even if you are sitting on a sinking gaming chair or computer chair, you will have a tough time concentrating.
Though a sinking chair is irritating, it’s not always possible to replace it. Sometimes, a person cannot afford a new chair while other times, a person may not be ready to part with the chair. Wondering what you can do about it? Don’t worry. We have you covered.
We understand how discomforting a sinking chair can be and therefore devoting your attention towards fixing it is important. The best part is that a sinking chair can be fixed! Yes, you heard it right. This guide provides you with every information on sinking chairs. But before we go over to the methods, let’s first know why a chair slowly sinks.
Why Does My Chair Keep Sinking?
Is your chair sinking? Why does the chair sinks when you sit? If you have been looking for an answer lately, you have come to the right place.
A sinking chair is a common problem that people face. It happens after a chair is used extensively for some years. A chair keeps sinking when the chair cylinder fails to work any longer.
In a properly working chair, the cylinder controls the height of the chair and allows people to adjust the height when required. Inside the cylinder, there’s nitrogen gas. Whenever one adjusts the height, the gas present inside the cylinder switches, thus enabling a change of height.
After being used regularly, this cylinder sometimes fails. Its seals become worn out due to pressurized air. What happens next is the valve seal starts to leak, ultimately causing a chair to go down slowly.
Now that you know the reason behind a sinking chair, you must be wondering if there’s any way to fix it. Of Course there are ways to fix a chair that won’t stay up. In this guide, we have discussed four methods in detail. Continue reading below to know more.
How to Fix a Sinking Office Chair?
Most office chairs comprise a pneumatic cylinder which is responsible for maintaining the height of the chair through pressurized air. Like we already mentioned, this cylinder becomes faulty after a few years of usage, sometimes because excessive air damages its seals. If your chair won’t stay up, it’s because of a failed cylinder.
Sitting on a sinking chair is uncomfortable. At the same time it’s not always possible to buy a new office chair. That’s why we have listed some DIY methods to fix a sinking chair. Let’s go through these methods in detail below.
Lubricate The Components
You must have noticed people with squeaky desk chairs, office chairs or gaming chairs lubricating the parts of the chair to stop the noise. Lubricating can be an effective solution for sinking chairs too! Lubricating a chair regularly promotes its longevity and maintains its shape and form.
Office chairs comprise several moving components. These parts tend to wear out due to daily usages. If your chair keeps going down, start by inspecting the lever of the chair that’s responsible for height adjustment. Does it stay put as the chair sinks down when you sit on it? If yes, it means there’s a need for lubrication.
Pour some lubricating oil on the nuts, screws, bolts and joints. These parts are prone to rust. If you don’t want to pour oil directly, pour some on a soft material and rub the lubrication on these parts. Make sure to repeat this step regularly to prevent squeaking and sinking.
Fasten The Cylinder Using A Jubilee Clamp
This is the first of the three methods discussed in this guide. To follow this method, you will need the following tools: duct tape, screwdriver, and jubilee clamp.
Have you ever seen a Jubilee clamp before? Do you know what they are used for? These are tools that are used to fit and secure hose pipes to taps. However, they can also prove useful when a chair keeps sliding down. Let’s see how a Jubilee clamp can be used to fix a sinking chair in simple DIY steps.
Turn the chair upside down to get access to the cylinder
When you flip your chair, it becomes easier to reach the cylinder. Remove any protective plastic or metallic cover wrapped around it.
Fit the Jubilee clamp around the metallic cylinder
Take a screwdriver, unscrew the tiny bolt and fit the Jubilee clamp around the cylinder. After it’s wrapped around the cylinder, adjust its position and bring it to the middle. Don’t replace the bolts right now.
Now, using duct tape, wrap the upper portion of the cylinder
The cylinder must be right above the clamp. It’s important because it ensures firm support to the newly fitted clamp. This arrangement will help your chair maintain its height and prevent it from sinking.
Fasten the Clamp Screw
Do you remember the bolt you unscrewed in the first step? Before you screw it, check the height of the chair and see if you are comfortable with it. If it’s okay, slide the clamp towards the top of the cylinder and tightly screw the bolt.
Test Your Chair
Yes, your sinking chair has been fixed! Now it’s time to test if this method has worked. Sit on the chair gently and do not throw yourself into it. However, if you aren’t okay with the height or want to readjust it, unbolt the cylinder and repeat step three.
Using PVC Pipe
To fix a sinking chair using PVC pipe, follow the below mentioned steps:
Take the cylinder’s measurements
The cylinder is expected to be covered by an extendable metal cover. Take that down. Measure the diameter of the cylinder horizontally using a ruler. Now measure the length. You do not require the exact measurements for this purpose.
Grab a new PVC pipe from the market
You have to fit this pipe over the cylinder of your chair. Make sure the length of the PVC pipe is the same as the diameter of the cylinder. The pipe can be a bit larger though.
The pipe need not be one continuous long pipe. It can be cut into smaller pieces, as per the user’s convenience.
Another alternative to consider in place of PVC pipe is plastic shower rings. They are cheaper as compared to PVC pipes and are even easier to install! The only drawback is that these rings aren’t strong enough to support the weight of the person occupying the chair.
Cut through the PVC pipe lengthwise using a saw
Either of the sides needs to be cut, so that the resultant pipe is one with a slit, not two separate pieces, cut into halves. Wear protective face masks or respiratory masks to prevent inhaling irritating particles, which are harmful for health.
Don’t worry if you don’t have cutting tools. You can leave the pipe in its original form. Now remove the chair’s wheels to slide the pipe onto the cylinder.
Slide the pipe onto the chair’s cylinder
We have already directed users to take off the metal or plastic cover wrapper around the cylinder. If you have cut the PVC pipe to get a slitted pipe, push the slit side against the cylinder and snap it around. Do it in a manner that the PVC pipe holds the seat in position, and prevents it from sinking.
If you couldn’t do it right in the first attempt, cut the PVC pipe into shorter pieces and try it again.
Now, if you want to adjust the chair’s height, add more pipe onto the cylinder and snap on the previous piece of pipe. Continue to do this until you get your desired height.
If you want to lower the chair’s height, you have to remove the pipes one by one. Only then you can reduce the height. This is tedious and quite laborious. Therefore, keep checking the height while you add layers of the pipe one by one.
Replace the Pneumatic Cylinder
If none of the above mentioned methods work for you, this is the last resort. The previous methods didn’t work probably because your chair’s cylinder is damaged. Also, the previous methods we talked about were temporary solutions to fix a sinking chair.
If you’re looking for a better and more permanent option, you must consider replacing the entire chair cylinder. This is also a long lasting solution.
Usually, replacing office chair cylinders isn’t expensive. If your chair is quite old and not expensive, you should get yourself a new chair instead of replacing its cylinder and investing in it again.
We suggest this because the cost of replacement of a chair cylinder is quite close to the price of a new chair.
Nevertheless, if you intend to retain your old chair and get your cylinder replaced, you must consult an expert to know what’s the best piston available in the market. Note the size of the piston while buying a new one.
Also, check the extra items that you get with the product. Most sellers provide items like a step by step installation manual, removal tool, gloves, etc. Most importantly, do not forget to check if the product comes with the manufacturer’s money back guarantee.
Now that you have bought a new hydraulic or pneumatic cylinder, refer to the instructions written in the manual to install it in your old chair correctly. Use the removal tool you get with the product to remove the old cylinder and fit the new one.
The Bottom Line
Office chairs are likely to develop issues at some point, especially considering how extensively they are used. Chair sinking is one of the common problems that people in a workplace face.
We understand how uncomfortable it must be to sit in a sinking chair all day long. That’s why we have listed the various effective ways to stop a chair from sinking. Each of the methods mentioned above are simple DIY methods and can be done at home, without requiring professional guidance.
Experts however, recommend users to replace the cylinder because the temporary methods do not render a professional look to your chair. If you are an employer and running a workplace, we would advise you to replace the cylinder or buy a new one instead of trying to fix the chair with these temporary methods.
From this guide, it’s clear that fixing a sinking chair isn’t rocket science. By using the appropriate tools and following the methods stepwise, you are sure to stop your chair from sinking any further.
Use the right technique and pull the chair to your desired height. And, if these methods do not work, replace the old cylinder with a new one or buy a brand new office chair, depending on your requirement.
To get the best results, follow the steps as directed and we are sure that users wouldn’t face much problem while trying to fix a sinking chair.
A lot of times people buy a new chair when they notice their chair won’t stay up, without even trying to fix the sinking chair. These DIY methods are your lifesaver! The tools required for these methods are usually available in all hardware stores and aren’t costly. So, what are you waiting for ! Fix your sinking chair and get rid of your discomfort!