How to Fix Office Chair Popping Sounds

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Updated November 29, 2022

If your favorite office chair is making popping sounds, there are several easy steps to follow to quiet the noise. The process is straightforward and will save you the irritation of listening to those noises every time you make a move in the chair.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Noises from office chairs are due to wear and tear
  • Most noise problems can be fixed by lubricating moving parts
  • You will need to remove the wheelbase of the chair

How to Quiet a Noisy Office Chair

One of the most common problems that occur with office chairs is that they start making noises when moving around, reclining, or adjusting the height of the chair. Of course, office chair peeling is another persistent problem but this does not make distracting noises when working. Depending on how severe the peeling is, you may have to replace the back and seat material. If that’s the case you should learn how to take off the back of an office chair as well.

What Causes the Popping Noise?

After a time, your office or gaming chair may start to produce an irritating popping or squeaky noises. Luckily, this does not mean that your chair is broken or that it necessarily has broken parts. In most cases, these noises occur because of wear on the washers that secure the ball bearings as well as the need to lubricate moving parts of the chair. It’s good to check that the hydraulics in your chair is in working order. If not, you’ll also want to invest in a repair kit for your hydraulics.

Fixing the Noise

Follow these steps in order to fix the noise problem on your chair. All you’ll need is a lubricant and possibly a tool to remove any nuts, screws, or bolts, depending on your chair. You may want a rag to wipe the lubricant off if needed.

STEP 1 Remove the Wheel Base

To access the washers and other moving parts of the chair that need attention, you will need to remove the wheelbase of the chair. Turn the chair over and prop it securely against a wall. Remove the clip and/or washer that holds the wheelbase in place and remove it carefully.

STEP 2 Inspect and Change the Washers

Once you remove the base, you’ll be able to access a pair of washers on each side of the chair’s ball bearing. Inspect the washers to see if they’re worn out. If they are, in most cases you can simply flip them over because the opposite side is not worn down. If the entire washer is worn out, you’ll need to replace it.

STEP 3Lubricate Moving Parts

After flipping or replacing the washers, you’ll want to lubricate them and the ball bearing. It is also recommended to lubricate other moving components of the chair so as to ensure that they move smoothly, without friction, and without producing any noise. You may also want to check how to fix the hydraulics in an office chair, which may affect your user experience.

STEP 4 Put Chair Back Together

Now that you have lubricated the necessary parts of the chair, you can reattach the wheelbase to the bottom. Do this in the opposite order of the process you used to remove the wheelbase in step one of the process. As you reinstall the wheelbase, you may need to tighten nuts and bolts to make sure it is securely attached. This is a good time to check any other screws and nuts on the underside of the chair to make sure that they aren’t loose. Once everything is tightened securely you can flip the chair back over and test it out. It should now be noise-free and move around smoothly. Now that you know how to take the wheelbase off the chair you are prepared to fix other problems that may come up there, like fixing a broken office chair base.

F.A.Q.S

Why does my office chair pop?

If your office chair has started to make a popping noise when you move in it, it is likely the cause of the chair’s washers and bearings being worn out. This produces noise and often makes it more difficult to spin or otherwise move around in the chair.


Why is my office chair so squeaky?

Loose joints or other loose parts are usually the root cause of squeaky noises coming from an office chair. Try to pinpoint where the sound is coming from and check to see if there are any bolts that need to be tightened. The sound may also be coming from the wheels of the office chair. It’s good to learn how to replace the wheels on your office chair if this is the case.


How do you fix an office chair popping noise?

Oftentimes, fixing an office chair that is emitting popping noises is simply a matter of cleaning and lubricating the moving parts on the underside of the chair. Turn your chair upside down and prop it securely against a wall. Clean the cylinder of the chair (if it lifts up and down), the wheels, and any other moving components. Lubricate each part with WD-40 or another effective lubricant. It’s also recommended to remove and lubricate weight-bearing bolts and washers. Making sure to keep your office chair clean is a great preventative measure as well.


How do you tighten a loose office chair?

If your chair feels loose in its motions — whether it’s spinning, moving around, adjusting the height, or when reclining — it’s likely that you’ll need to re-tighten that component of the chair. Check the bolts and screws in the area that’s experiencing looseness. Use the appropriate tool, such as a wrench or screwdriver, to tighten them as needed.


STAT: Research has found that productivity could be increased as much as 17.5% by simply providing workers with the right ergonomic office chair. (source)

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