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How to Fix a Hydraulic Chair


Reclining office chairs are ideal for office workers to make their work as comfortable as possible.

However, these chairs can be finicky at times. When your office chair isn't working properly, there are some common problems you may encounter. Fortunately, there are some quick fixes that can get your hydraulic chair working again.

This guide will break down hydraulic and pneumatic office chairs to help you understand your problem and the best way to fix it. Before you ditch that pesky chair, try these tips and see if you can save your hydraulic chair.

How does a hydraulic chair work?

Hydraulic chairs combine fluids and gases to use pressure to raise and lower the chair. Hydraulics are often used in factories because they can be operated with very little energy.

We'll discuss how to repair hydraulic chairs, but pneumatic chairs are also common in offices. This guide is specific to hydraulic chairs, but most tips apply to any type of chair.


Hydraulic chairs use an imperceptible liquid to move the chair up and down as needed. This is how hydraulic systems work in larger machines.

A hydraulic chair consists of a base chamber, a seat, and two hollow chambers, one filled with compressible liquid and the other with pressurized gas. It also has a hollow tube and a lever to adjust the height of the chair.


Pneumatic chairs use compressible gas and are most commonly found in office and computer chairs. They are usually easier to install and consist of a base, a seat with support pads, a gas cylinder with compressed gas, and a height adjustment rod.

General Questions

The most common problems with hydraulic chairs are height adjustment issues, followed by chair noise. Keep reading for solutions to these problems and save yourself the hassle of buying a new office chair.

The chair continues to sink

You can try a few tricks to keep the chair from sinking.

Hose clips and tape

The combination of hose clips and tape acts as a spacer for the bottom of the chair. Raise the chair to the desired height and tape it so the clips have something to grab onto.

It's a cheap and easy fix, but it won't last forever. If you're just looking for a temporary solution, this is a great option to make your chair more comfortable.

PVC pipe

The PVC pipe also acts as a spacer to keep your chair at the desired height. But this method requires a lot of DIY, like measuring chairs and cutting PVC pipes to size. If you don't like doing this, then this is not the way for you.

The PVC pipe was measured to slip around the cylinder that was no longer working. The tube keeps the chair at the desired height, but it is also a temporary solution to the sinking problem.

Elevated stool

A chair lift is a series of knobs attached to the bottom of the chair that can be adjusted without the use of gas cylinders, which are often the source of sagging. Booster chairs are affordable and don't require disassembly, making them a super convenient option for frustrated office workers.

chair protection kit

Chair protection kits are an affordable and simple option. These kits come with a set of rings. These rings fit on the cylinder piston to hold it in place and keep the chair from sinking. You can find these at most office stores or order them online, and the best part is that they last for years.

change gas cylinder

This is the easiest and quickest way to repair a chair. Replacing the gas cylinder is relatively easy if you don't mind spending a little money. It requires easy removal of the chair, but you can insert a new cylinder by simply pulling off part of the base.

What if your chair won't close?

Sometimes hydraulic chairs refuse to sink, which creates a whole new problem. There are some reasons for this and some tips for solving them.

Not enough weight

Your chair may not lower because you are too light and not putting enough weight on the chair to lower the plunger. The best way to deal with this is to jump in your seat while using your liver. The force should push the chair down so you can adjust the correct height.

broken lever

If your lever breaks, all you have to do is replace it. But if the lever doesn't work, it may come loose and needs to be tightened. To do this, you need to remove the legs and star base from the chair. Then tighten the lever as far as possible.

change gas cylinder

Like chairs that sink, irregular chairs may require backup gas cylinders. It's easier than it sounds, but you'll need to buy a new gas cylinder for your specific hydraulic chair.

squeaky chair

If your chair squeaks, it's a good idea to lubricate the parts with some lubricant. Make sure all screws and bolts are tightened. These are the most common causes of squeaks and are easy to fix on their own.

bottom line

Hydraulic chairs are not as complicated as they seem. You can fix most problems yourself, so before buying a new chair, try these tips to save on your chair and restore your workplace comfort.

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