Office chairs are built with chair lift gas cylinders for easy height adjustment. For various reasons, these cylinders can malfunction or simply lose their full effectiveness. This can cause multiple problems, such as sinking, jamming, or squeaking noises.
You can fix minor issues with your chair gas lift cylinder, such as lubricating and sinking issues. If the chair gas lift cylinder is fully incapacitated, you can replace it with a new one at home.
By following preventative measures, you can lengthen the lifespan of your chair gas lift cylinder. If you need to change the chair gas lift cylinder or are thinking of re-gassing the cylinder, then read along.
The Cause Of Chair Gas Lift Cylinder Failure
While your first guess may be low-quality materials or issues with the manufacturing of the chair that is not the main reason for the chair gas lift cylinders to stop working. Most brands use standard-to-high quality cylinders in their chairs.
The reason is much simpler, and it’s on the user’s part. While many people use office chairs in their workplace, they do not adjust the height of the chair often.
This means that the chairs are kept at a constant height most of the time. For example, you might expand your chair fully to its maximum height and then leave it there for months or even years.
The problem with that is that when the chair is kept at a fixed height for so long, the use of the gas lift cylinder is nonexistent. Thus, with time, the gas lift cylinder stops working and becomes faulty.
At first, you may notice that it is harder to adjust the height of the chair, or perhaps not at all. This can happen when the cylinder gets jammed.
But that’s not where it stops. A certain amount of time later, the gas lift cylinder will now lose its pressure and be unable to support the weight of the chair fully. Thus, causing sinking issues with the chair.
Chairs do not suddenly sink one day. Rather, with time, the chair will slowly lose height until it hits the minimum height, which practically means that the gas lift cylinder is completely broken.
Another reason for gas lift cylinders to stop functioning is sudden weight shock. If you suddenly put too much pressure on the chair, such as jumping on one, you might end up damaging the chair’s gas lift cylinder.
Lastly, if you buy a second-hand chair, it means that the gas lift cylinder has already been in use for a long time. If that’s the case, then you will not get the same performance from the chair as compared to a new one.
Can You Replace The Gas Lift In An Office Chair?
You can change the gas lift cylinder of your office chair for all standard office chairs.
The gas lift cylinder is a replaceable part of the office chair. It is responsible for the height adjustment of the chair. If the old cylinder is faulty or not functioning at all, you can replace it with a new one.
How Do You Remove The Gas Cylinder From An Office Chair?
You can remove your faulty gas cylinder by opening up the base of the chair and then getting the cylinder out using a wrench.
Continue reading to get the whole procedure explained for how to replace a gas cylinder in an office chair. [Steps 1–5 of the procedure]
How Do You Replace A Gas Cylinder In An Office Chair?
Replacing a gas cylinder is pretty easy when you know what to do. Here is a step-by-step guide to replacing a gas cylinder in an office chair.
- Hammer or mallet
- Plumbers’ wrench
First, place the chair flat on its back, either on the floor or on an elevated surface such as a table.
With the chair placed steadily, you need to get the base separated from the structure. To do that, grab your hammer or rubber mallet if you have one.
Now hit the bottom part of the pillar of the chair while pulling the base outwards. This will allow you to slide the base right off.
If your chair is attached with a clip, then you need to get it off first. For that, use a flat screwdriver. Insert the screwdriver into the clip and push it slightly to remove it.
You will find a washer right underneath the clip. Persevere with both the clip and the washer.
After removing the base, pull the plastic wrap on the pillar to reveal the steel pipe underneath. The steel pipe contains the gas cylinder.
Now extend your chair fully. This allows you to remove the cylinder easily.
Grab your plumber’s wrench and fit it right at the top portion of the steel pipe. Now turn the wrench a quarter turn until the cylinder is free from the chair. The cylinder is never screwed to the chair. So you should be able to get it off with a few tries.
If you feel that it’s not moving, then first stabilize the chair with weight. For example, if it is on the floor, then push it down with one leg. Then turn the wrench with a bit more force and it will pop right out.
With the old cylinder out of the way, simply place the new gas lift cylinder and place it back in with the wrench. Make sure to properly place it and turn the wrench enough times so that it fits tightly.
Place the base of the chair back in place once the new cylinder has been fitted in.
If you are going to re-use the cylinder that you took out of the old chair, then you should protect it by using a rig.
How To Lubricate The Chair’s Gas Lift Cylinder?
If you have an old gas cylinder, chances are that the inside lubricants have gone dry. The problem with dried-out lubricants is that they make height adjustment of the chair difficult.
Also, it can cause your chair to make squeaky noises when you sit down on it or try to adjust the height. You should lubricate the gas lift cylinder once in a while to prevent this.
You can use any industrially available lubricant, such as WD-40, for lubricating your chair gas lift cylinder. To lubricate the inside, first take off the base of your chair. You will find a few washers inside.
Remove the washers as well, but remember what order they were in so that you can put them back just the way they were. Now take the WD-40 and spray directly on the exposed top of the cylinder.
Grab a paper towel to smudge off the excess lubricant on the cylinder. You should apply lubricant twice and smudge off the excess the same way.
Then put the washers and the base of the chair back in place. Your chair will now be much smoother when you adjust the height. And it helps you significantly reduce the squeaking noise of the chair.
Are All Chair Gas Cylinders The Same?
Office chair gas cylinders are typically the same. The main factor is the diameter of the chair gas cylinder, which is 2″ in most cases.
The main difference between office chair gas cylinders and pneumatic tires is how much they can lift the chair. On average, it is about 10″.
However, there are models of the gas cylinder that offer more height, such as 11″–12″, and also less than the normal height, such as 6″–8″. If you are going to buy one to fit your chair, I recommend a 6″–8″ standard chair gas lift cylinder.
If the cylinder height is higher than what you normally need, then you can simply decrease the height using the lever. You don’t have to use the maximum height of the cylinder in your chair, so customize it to your preference.
Can You Replace The Gas In A Cylinder?
Replacing the gas in a chair lift cylinder is possible, but it is not recommended at all. There are three main reasons why you should not try to replace the gas in your chair gas lift cylinder.
Firstly, chair gas lift cylinders do not use normal air inside them. They have industrially used nitrogen gas that gives the cylinders their proper functionality. Using other gases is not only inefficient but also very dangerous.
Replacing the nitrogen with other gases can lead to explosions or damage to the cylinder itself. Which also puts the user at risk, so it should not be tried.
Secondly, a new chair gas lift cylinder is affordable and downright cheap. You will find a standard chair gas lift cylinder for a few dollars. You can buy them from your local stores or simply online.
Lastly, the hassle of replacing the gas in the cylinder is not worth it. Rather, it may cost you more money if you do not have the necessary tools or machinery, to begin with.
You should not try to replace the gas in a chair gas lift cylinder. You can try modifying your cylinder to a fixed height, which is more functional and safe.
Many chair gas lift cylinders become faulty or stop working with time. For that reason, you should not throw out your chair. Now that you know what to do when that happens, you can choose whether you need to replace your chair’s gas lift cylinder or not.
If you follow the rules provided, then you should be able to solve your issues with relative ease. Remember to first carefully inspect what the problem is with your gas cylinder. This will make solving the issue easier.