How to Fix a Sinking Office Chair

by Julien Gandelin
caucasian man repairing office chair

Let’s face it. We pay top dollar for office chairs, ensuring they’re not only comfortable but also ergonomic for the long workdays. Nevertheless, after a couple of years or less of using the chairs, they seemingly cease to stop functioning as they should. Even though it looks good as new, it sinks and can’t stay up.

Regardless of whether you’ve spent $150 or $1,000 on an office chair, no one should have to deal with it if it keeps sinking. With that said, does it mean it’s time to throw away the chair and invest in a new one?

No! Before you shell out hundreds of dollars on a new chair, consider fixing the one you already have instead. In this guide, we walk you through how to fix a sinking office chair and save a ton of cash.

Why Does My Office Chair Keep Sinking?

Whether it’s your computer chair or office chair, there’s a simple reason as to why it happens. It has lost its lift. The pneumatic cylinder is the part of the chair attached to the seat base. It’s what provides flexibility, allowing you to adjust the chair up and down as you deem fit.

The cylinder is filled with nitrogen. Therefore, each time you pull the lever, the gas switches chambers in the cylinder, making it adjustable. After a while of excessively using your chair, you’ll notice that the seal in the cylinder begins wearing off and leaking.

How to Fix a Sinking Office Chair

Now that you know why office chairs sink, you might be wondering what to do about it. Let’s delve into the options below.

1. Use Duct Tape and a Hose Clamp

It’s one of the more popular DIY quick fixes. It’s non-adjustable and doesn’t repair your office chair permanently. Instead, it’s the solution to a temporarily sinking chair. For this technique to be effective, the hose clamp should be 16 inches to 20 inches in diameter.

The hose clamp is positioned around the cylinder piston at a specified height and serves as a stop. The duct tape comes in handy in preventing the clamp from sliding. Nonetheless, this might only work for a few days and will slide after a while. That means it’s only a matter of time before your chair drops again. Furthermore, it’s not a professional aesthetic in your work or home office.

To get started, you’ll require the following.

  • A jubilee clip
  • A hose clamp
  • Duct tape
  • A Screwdriver

Step 1: Slide the plastic skirt of the cylinder. If you’re uncertain as to what the cylinder looks like, it’s the metal pipe that links the seat to the wheelbase. Office chairs typically feature a plastic tube that houses the cylinder to protect it from premature wear, damage, dust, or dirt. Once you slide the tube, you’ll see the cylinder underneath.

Step 2: Adjust the height of the chair to your preferred height. The hose clamp technique will yield a permanent outcome if you check the desired height beforehand. Therefore, ensure you’re certain of the ideal height as you can’t adjust it later. As a rule of thumb, the seat should match the level of your knees when you stand.

That guarantees optimum comfort even after sitting on the chair for hours on end. You might be curious as to how to adjust the chair to your desired height. If the chair is unstable after sliding up, place the item on its side before you adjust it to your preferred height.

Another way of adjusting the height is via the cylinder. If the plastic skirt has sealed this chair component, remove it by flipping the chair upside down. Upon doing so, use a screwdriver to press the retaining clip at the wheelbase much like the previous method. Once the chair is adjusted to your preferred height, slide the wheels back on.

Step 3: The jubilee clip will come in handy in wrapping the 2cm hose clamp around the chair’s cylinder. When you apply the hose clamp, loosen the screw and slowly draw the end of the belt. Encompass it around the cylinder without tightening the clamp.

Step 4: Once you wrap the hose clamp around the metal cylinder, you’ll need to ensure that it’s a snug fit before you tighten it. It’s worth keeping in mind that you should only tighten the grip once you’re sure that the clamp is stable enough. Given that the hose clamp will hold your body weight, you’ll want to make sure it’s as tight as possible around the metal cylinder. For a professional aesthetic, wipe off any dirt, dust, or grease from the cylinder before you wrap it with duct tape.

2. Use a PVC Pipe or Plastic Spacer

It’s DIY to prevent the chair cylinder from sinking. If the plastic spacer is sliced right in the middle, it can be encircled in the cylinder piston. If you’re using a PVC or uncut spacer, extra elbow grease is required in separating the spacer from the cylinder.

Like the hose clamp, the spacer serves as a top and doesn’t permit any height adjustments. Furthermore, the plastic is susceptible to breaking or cracking as a result of the stress of sitting in your chair. Using a plastic spacer or PVC pipe might also be unsuitable for a professional work environment.

To get started, you’ll require the following.

  • A rubber mallet
  • Measuring tape
  • A screwdriver or wrench
  • A cutting tool
  • A PVC water pipe

Step 1: Start by removing the seat from the base using a wrench or screwdriver. Flip the chair upside down and loosen the screws. Next, use the rubber mallet to disassemble the chair by gently hitting the metal component connected to it.

Step 2: Wear protective gear such as gloves and shields before you cut the PVC water pipe. Measure the length and use the cutting tool to slice the pipe. Make sure the pipe is secured in position. After all, the last thing you need is uneven edges.

Step 3: Fit the PVC pipe by connecting it to the extendable chair cylinder. You’ll need to measure the cylinder’s circumference, width, and length for the most accurate pipe length. The diameter might be larger or match that of the cylinder.

Sytas Office Chair,Ergonomic Home Desk Chair,Comfortable Computer Mesh Task Chair with Flip-up Arms,Lumbar Support and Height Adjustable,Black

Source: Amazon

3. Cylinder Replacement

It’s the most recommended option of how to fix a sinking office chair. The previously discussed options are temporary as they only allow you to sit on a fixed height with no adjustments. Moreover, it lacks a professional aesthetic. For that reason, it’s advisable to replace the cylinder, particularly if you’ve invested in a top-grade option such as an office massage chair.  A cylinder replacement is simpler than you imagine and will have your chair feeling and looking good as new for at least 6 years.

Given that most desk chairs are built similarly, the swivel components (the caster wheels, base, and cylinder) are easy to replace. A generic industry-size cylinder will be a snug fit in most office chairs. Therefore, if your desk chair keeps sinking, replacing the cylinder is a viable solution.

4. Lubricate the Components

When it comes to the mechanical components of an office chair, you need to confirm whether you can notice any type of friction acting through when you’re using the lever. In an affirmative instance, you should be elated that your sinking office chair is a result of the lack of lubrication. When that happens, you can oil the joints of your chair and take note of whether or not they become smoother.


Although office chairs inevitably sink, that doesn’t mean you have to settle for uncomfortable seating positions that make your days seem longer and leave you with a backache. By following the methods discussed in this guide, you can sit comfortably throughout the day.


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