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If your top-rated office chair is not lifting or lowering, you may need to replace the gas lift on it. The hydraulic piston on a chair is easy to repair once you have the right tools. So, you don’t have to buy a new chair. However, if you don’t wish to deal with pistons, check out our CLATINA office guest chair review for a comfortable chair that has no adjustability.
Office chairs use a gas cylinder to power their hydraulics which allows you to adjust the height of the chair. Over time, this cylinder may fail or be less effective, but it can be replaced in a few simple steps. You can also opt for a chair without these moving parts that can fail over time, like with our Amazon Basics classic leather office desk guest chair review. However, if your problem is the movement of your seat then you may want to replace the wheels or trim office chair mats instead of having to fix the hydraulics of the chair. If the gas lift isn’t the only broken on your chair and you have a busted armrest, we have you covered there too. You can learn how to fix a broken office chair arm easily and your chair will be working as well as new. If you prefer to get a new chair instead of repairing, however, make sure to read about where to donate your office chair.
The process of replacing an office chair gas lift requires a shortlist of the following tools, which are easy to find at any hardware store. Additionally, to learn more about the parts of a gas cylinder, check out our article on an office chair repair kit.
The rubber mallet is used to remove the base of the chair.
Tap the base as needed until you can easily remove it from the seat with your hands.
A pipe wrench is needed to take out the old gas cylinder.
Make sure you order the correct replacement cylinder to replace the old one.
Place the chair on its side in a flat, clear area on the ground. Using the rubber mallet, tap the base of the chair so that it separates from the seat of the chair. **Tap the base as needed until you can easily remove it from the seat with your hands. **You may also be interested in how to fix a broken office chair base or how to take off the back of the office chair to help you with other DIY chair repairs.
After removing the base, the gas cylinder of the chair will be exposed. Take the pipe wrench and use it to clamp onto the top of the cylinder. Once you have a secure grip, twist and pull the cylinder with the grips until it comes out.
After the old cylinder is removed, it is easy to insert the new one in its place. Most replacement cylinders are universal, but you do need to make sure that the cylinder lifts to the height you need. When you’re ready to install it, simply align the bottom of the new hydraulic cylinder with the center of the chair base and push it into place.
Now that the new cylinder is in place at the base of the chair, you can place it into the chair mechanism on the underside of the seat. The cylinder and mechanism should automatically fasten into place. Place the chair upright and test out the new hydraulics to make sure everything is in working order and you don’t have any additional problems like a chair that leans forward.
How do you remove a gas lift from an office chair?
To remove a gas lift from an office chair, you’ll need to make sure you have the right tools and a clear, flat workspace. You will de-assemble the bottom of the chair in order to access and remove the old gas cylinder, which you can replace with a new one that functions properly.
What tools and items do I need?
The tools you need to remove and replace the gas cylinder from an office chair are generally a rubber mallet, a pair of vice grips, a replacement cylinder, and some lubricant.
Are office chair cylinders universal?
Most of the best office chair cylinders are universal. The only specific difference you have to look at is what height the cylinder makes your seat. Some cylinders will raise the seat height taller, but can often be adjusted to a lower height. Other cylinders may be shorter and not lift as high.
Can you replace the piston in an office chair?
If your office chair is sinking or unable to lift as it did before, you can replace the gas cylinder of the chair with a new one. All you need to do is disassemble the bottom of the chair, remove the old cylinder and replace it with a new one.
How do you replace hydraulics in an office chair?
The hydraulics of an office chair is powered by a gas lift. It is not uncommon for the gas lift of a chair to fail or not function properly after a long period of use. You can replace the old, ineffective gas lift with a new one fairly easily without needing to replace the chair entirely.
STAT: It’s best to keep chairs in an area with 40 to 50% humidity so that it is not saturated with moisture, which can affect the piston and other moving parts. (source)