How to Fix an Office Chair That Won’t Stay Up

An office chair that won’t stay up is not only annoying, but also capable of hindering productivity. It might stay up when you are not in it, but sinks as soon as you settle down for work. When experiencing something like this, you may find yourself starting to plan how to get a replacement. But hold on a moment. You can actually attempt one or two things to stop your chair from sinking. We discuss here techniques on how to fix an office chair that won’t stay up.

Understanding the mechanism of an office chair

Office chairs make use of a pneumatic gas lift cylinder, which controls their height through pressurized air. In other words, they come with a pneumatic support system which functions as a suspension and enables adjustable height. An internal control valve is activated when you operate the height control, causing the chair to sink or rise to support your body weight.

However, the cylinder on many chairs fails with time as a result of damaged seal that is unable to retain pressure. The best solution would be to replace the pneumatic cylinder when this happens, but the cost of replacing one might make buying a new chair a better option. Let’s show you couple of methods that you could attempt to deal with an office chair that won’t stay up.

PVC pipe method

You will need a tape measure, PVC pipe (of similar size as your chair’s cylinder, vice, and saw or PVC-cutting tool for this method. Follow these steps:

  1. Pull down your chair’s plastic cover and use a tape measure to get the diameter of the extendable metal cylinder on your chair. Measure the length of the cylinder at an ideal height as well.
  2. Get a PVC pipe that is big enough to fit over the cylinder – it should be slightly bigger than the latter. This should be long enough to extend from seat level to your chair’s wheel base at the preferred height.
  3. Hold the PVC pipe with a vice and use a saw or cutting tool to cut it lengthwise on one side only. Then pull the plastic skirt on your chair down or up to reveal the cylinder and push the slit side of the pipe around it to snap on. This should prevent your chair from sinking.
  4. You can snap on more pieces of PVC pipe if desired height hasn’t been attained. Working with smaller pieces may be easier. If you lack a vice or a saw, you can remove the wheels of your office chair and slide the PVC pipe on.

Jubilee clip method

This technique involves the use of a Jubilee clip or hose clamp. This is a device that is commonly used for retaining hosepipes on taps. It can easily be obtained from hardware stores. You need a Jubilee clip long enough to wrap round the cylinder – around three-quarters of an inch (2cm). A duct tape and screwdriver will also be needed. Here’s how you work on your sinking chair:

  1. Slide the protective plastic skirt around the cylinder up or down. Then set the chair to your preferred height – ideally, the seat should be level with your knees when standing. You won’t able to adjust this when the process is completed.
  2. Undo the Jubilee clip or hose clamp by loosening the screw. You turn the screw anticlockwise. Then pull the belt end out of the clip.
  3. Before you fit the clamp into place, you want to make sure it has appropriate surface to grip onto firmly. This can be done by wrapping about two layers of duct tape around the topmost visible part of the metal cylinder.
  4. Now, wrap the Jubilee clip around the top of the cylinder to make a full ring. Once again verify that your office chair is at the ideal height. Then proceed to tighten the clamp very firmly by rotating the screw. Your chair is fixed! It’s that easy.
  5. Test the chair by sitting on it to see if it would sink. If the height is not satisfactory, undo and readjust the Jubilee clip.

As you can see, there are better options than throwing your sinking office chair out of the window. You can save the money for a new chair for now or use it for another more-pressing project.