Age and wear and tear can cause the pneumatic cylinder in your office chair to fail. When that happens, there’s no pressure to keep the seat at the desired height.
The moment you sit down, the chair sinks, potentially leaving you at much too low a height for comfort.
Buy, replace or DIY?
You have three options: replace the pneumatic cylinder, buy a new office chair or carry out emergency DIY repairs, using our tips and tricks as a guide.
If you have an expensive, high-end office chair, it may be worth buying just a new cylinder.
For a standard office chair or one that’s already seen a lot of wear and tear, the cost of replacing just the cylinder usually isn’t justified. That’s because a cylinder is expensive – it’s in a similar price range to buying a brand new highback, midback or operator’s chair.
If you’re not ready to buy a new office chair or simply need your existing chair to tide you over until the next one arrives, DIY is the way to go.
Here’s our simple three-step guide on how to fix a sinking office chair.
Step one: check the height adjustment lever
Before you go any further, check the height adjustment lever underneath the seat. If it is jammed, has become dislodged, or appears to be misaligned, that could be the root of the problem.
You can usually remedy the situation by pushing the lever back into place. If the lever is in good shape, and appears to be engaging properly, the pneumatic cylinder is the culprit. In that case, you can move on to step two.
Step two: measure the cylinder
Slide the plastic skirting around the cylinder down towards the wheel base. Measure the diameter of the exposed cylinder rod, and make a note of the measurements.
The idea is to retain the office chair at the optimal height with one of two items: a standard hose clamp or a length of PVC piping.
Although both work equally well, we recommend the hose clamp; it has an adjustable diameter and is easier to work with. You can buy a hose clamp at the nearest hardware store for around R40.
Step three: apply a hose clamp
Manually set the chair to a comfortable height. If the seat sinks, place the chair on its side. Wipe any oil or debris off the cylinder. Wind masking tape or duct tape tightly around the top of the cylinder to improve grip.
Open the hose clamp, and wrap it around the cylinder directly below the seat. Pull the clamp closed, and tighten the screw. Check the height of the seat one last time before tightening the screw properly with a screw driver.
Avoid that sinking feeling: service or replace your office chair
At K-Mark, we specialise in manufacturing a wide range of high-quality office chairs, for corporate and individual clients. Treat yourself to a new office chair and you’ll be all set.
Alternatively, avoid the inconvenience of a sinking office chair by sending it to us for professional repair. Our chair repair service includes servicing height and tilt adjustment features, checking and tightening assembly screws, realigning the shell, checking and servicing of twin wheel castors, re-securing of upholstery (or re-upholstery if required) and deep cleaning of the chair fabric.
We have branches in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. Contact us for more information or to discuss your needs.