Have you ever sat on your office chair, rested your back, ready to work, and found yourself sinking? You adjust the chair height using the piston lift, only to find the chair lower than intended?
Chances are that the gas lift on your chair needs fixing.
Based on the severity of the gas leak, there are a couple of ways in which you can fix it. You can either replace the old, worn-out cylinder with a new one or go the DIY route to fix the leaking gas lift on your office chair all by yourself.
Interested to know more about how to fix your chair’s leaking gas lift? Keep reading for some helpful methods you can use to fix your office chair.
Table of Contents
What Is Gas Lift And What Causes It To Leak?
A gas lift, gas cylinder, or pneumatic lift allows you to raise and lower the height of the office chair it is installed on.
The gas found inside the cylinder is nitrogen gas. A lever is generally located beneath the chair’s seat that can be maneuvered to push the gas out of the chamber, thus allowing you to adjust the chair’s height.
However, with continuous use of the chair and eventual wear and tear, the seal around the gas lift may start to wear out and cause the cylinder to leak. And when the cylinder starts to leak, it can inevitably result in your chair sinking.
Ways to Fix the Gas Lift on an Office Chair
1. Wrap A Hose Clamp
One of the major problems with a leaky gas cylinder is that your chair starts to sink as soon as you sit on it. However, if you prefer a fixed height when working from your chair, the following method will be useful for you.
Steps To Follow:
- Slide the plastic cylinder on the extendable part of the office chair till you can see the metal portion of the cylinder underneath the covering.
- Set the chair to your preferred height (Please note this tip will only apply if you use your chair at one specific height).
- Tilt and lay the chair on its side while it is at your preferred height.
- Wrap a hose clamp around the exposed metal part of the cylinder that you have uncovered in Step 1.
- Tighten the clamp as much as possible so that the chair stays in the position.
- Set the chair upright and sit on it multiple times to make sure that it is secure.
The following video tutorial also presents an easy guide that you can follow:
2. Use A PVC Pipe
This is another method that you can try out if you use your chair at a fixed height.
Using a PVC pipe will help keep the chair in a static position no matter how much pressure or load you put on the chair. Wear safety gear like gloves and a mask before you start with these steps.
Steps To Follow:
- First, slide the plastic tube away so you can see the metal extendable cylinder under the chair seat.
- Measure the diameter and length of this metal cylinder accurately. Use a ruler against the pipe for more accurate measurements.
- When measuring the length of this extendable metal pipe, make sure you adjust the chair to your preferred height.
- Buy a PVC pipe that is slightly bigger than the cylinder that you have measured.
- The pipe should be long enough to extend from the wheels to the chair’s seat.
- Use a hacksaw to make a slit in the pipe lengthwise, but make sure not to cut it into two halves. Secure the pipe in a vise to make this step easier.
- Finally, snap the PVC pipe onto the cylinder. Make sure it holds the chair and prevents it from sinking.
3. Replace The Gas Cylinder
When none of the above DIY fixes seem to work, the best recourse is to switch out the old, weary cylinder with a brand new one. You can take on the task of replacing the cylinder yourself, but remember to follow these steps carefully.
Steps To Follow:
1/ Removing the Base
- Start by covering the floor or the table where you will place the chair with paper towels or an old piece of cloth.
- Lift the plastic sleeves that cover the cylinder and hold it up using a pair of vise grips.
- Take a strong lubricant or penetrating oil, like WD-40. Lubricate the outer edges of the portion where the cylinder is attached to the chair’s base.
- Let the lubricant sit for a good 30 to 40 minutes. This will help the chair’s base come off easily without any damage.
- Lay the chair on its side.
- This step is not necessary, but before moving on to the next step, you can also remove the wheels or casters to avoid accidentally knocking them off. Simply pull them off or lubricate the joint and use a prying tool like a crowbar to loosen them and then pry them off.
- Next, using a rubber mallet, knock the base off the chair.
- You can now re-install the casters if you have removed them. You can pop them right in, or if you find them getting stuck, use a lubricant and a hammer to force them into the socket.
2/ Removing the Top Part of the Cylinder
- Next, remove the vise grips that were holding the plastic sleeves and pull the sleeves down.
- Now you will be removing the top end of the cylinder. So, make sure the plastic sleeves are firmly pulled down and replace the vise grips onto the upper part of the metal cylinder.
- Apply the penetrating oil to the top part of the cylinder where it is attached to the chair seat’s base and let it sit for half an hour.
- The oil will unclog the cylinder and remove any dust or debris that may have accumulated.
- Use a pipe wrench, tighten it on the cylinder, and turn it clockwise so the cylinder twists off.
3/ Installing the New Cylinder
- To install the new gas cylinder, simply slide it into the chair’s base.
- Put the sleeves on the cylinder.
- Set the seat portion of the chair back onto the base.
- To ensure that the cylinder is working perfectly, make sure to sit on the chair, pull the lever, and adjust the height multiple times.
This video presents an easy-to-follow tutorial on replacing an office chair’s gas cylinder:
A leaking gas lift is a common occurrence with old office chairs. And no matter how sturdy or expensive your chair is, the gas cylinders will almost always wear out at some point.
This is when you have to decide on replacing it or repairing it, following the tips mentioned above.
If the steps are hard for you to follow or you feel they are beyond your expertise, connect with the chair’s manufacturer or the authorized chair dealer for assistance.
My name is Vance, and I am the owner of To Ergonomics. Our mission is to improve your workflow by helping you create a supportive and welcoming environment. We hope that you’ll find what you’re looking for while you’re here.