How to fix a sinking office chair

A lot of people often face the issue of their office chairs beginning to sink or lean back. It happens when the chair has been frequently used or gets old. The chair cylinder helps the chair seat move up and down. It helps to keep the chair stable with the controlled movement of the seat.

If the chair starts to sink or leans back, there is usually some problem with the chair cylinder. The chair cylinder is not a delicate part that damages after a few years. But lack of maintenance and oiling can lead the chair to lose its control and stability. There are various reasons that an office chair starts to sink. The reasons and methods to fix it back are given below in detail.

Reason for a sinking office chair

Following are the reasons for the sinking of the office chair:

Damage to the gas strut

How To Fix A Sinking Office Chair

One of the reasons for a sinking office chair is the damage to the gas strut. The gas strut is a gas spring that controls the movement and the stability of the chair. If it gets damaged, it becomes unable to handle the weight’s pressure, and the chair starts to get imbalanced.

Issue with the adjuster lever

How To Fix A Sinking Office Chair

Another reason for an office chair to fall is an issue with the adjuster lever. The lever controls the flow of the chair, and it can get jammed or goes worn out due to regular use. It can also get rusty or catch dirt, which can hinder the functionality of the chair. The maintenance of a lever is essential to keep it functioning for a long time.

Problem with the hydraulics

How To Fix A Sinking Office Chair

The office chair can tend to sink if there is any problem with the hydraulics of the chair. The hydraulics helps with the rotation and adjustment of the chair. If the spring of the chair loses or gets damaged, the chair can tend to get wobbly.

Solutions to fix a sinking chair

Sometimes a sinking chair is impossible to fix. The solution for sinking chairs is to get a new one. However, there are some methods to fix a sinking chair instead of replacing it with the new one. Before fixing a chair, it is crucial to find the problem and how the chair works. 

There are some DIYs and solution to fix the chair cylinder and a leaning chair, which are:

Hose Clamp

Hose Clamp

As the cylinder is the metal that holds the chair up, it needs to be maintained and fixed. The cylinder often gets damaged or loose, which leads to the sinking of the chair. You can use a hose clamp to fix the cylinder. However, the height of the chair needs to be adjusted beforehand as it becomes non-adjustable after the hose clamp as there is no room for movement afterward. 

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Fixing the chair cylinder with a hose clamp can be tricky. Many chairs have plastic tubes in them to protect the cylinder from dirt and damage. You can use this tube to fix the chair by sliding it to the metal beneath the cylinder. Then use the clamp to tighten and fix it.

To give the hose a better hold, use a part of rubber or duct tape to wrap the cylinder. It is a wise idea to tighten the hose as it can get loose easily. After the chair is fixed with the hose, it would not be able to slide down the clamp. It makes the chair re-usable again. 

PVC Pipe

PVC Pipe

PVC stands for Polyvinyl Chloride. It is a plastic pipe that has become a common replacement for metal piping. It is durable, easy to use, and is cost-effective as well. The PVC pipe is another great way to fix a sinking chair. The best way to use the PVC pipe is by taking a slightly bigger pipe in diameters than the metal cylinder. It allows the pipe to fit over the cylinder. 

The first step would be uncovering the plastic from the cylinder and measuring its diameter. Then measure the cylinder as per the required height. Then the PVC pipe should be of the perfect measurement to fit on the metal cylinder. The chair’s height needs to be right for the person before fixing it with the PVC pipe. Then the pipe needs to be cut according to the required length.

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The next step would be placing the pipe on the metal cylinder. At this point, the chair would be of the required height, and the sinking issue will be fixed. 

Jubilee Clips

Jubilee Clips

The Jubilee Clips are generally used to fix the hose pipes. But it is also used for the technique to fix a sinking chair. This step requires a large size jubilee clip, screwdriver, and duct tape. After this, you need to adjust the plastic protective base around the cylinder before tightening the clamp to the base.

After that, use the duct tape to wrap the visible part of the plastic cylinder to get a firm grip and tighten it properly. The last step includes using the screwdriver to bolt the screw according to the desired height and position of the chair. You can test the chair later to check if the fix worked.

Replacement of pneumatic cylinders

Replacement of pneumatic cylinders

Pneumatic cylinders are a device that is used to create a force for different motions through compressed gas. It is also known as air cylinders.

Another popular way to fix a sinking chair is to replace the pneumatic cylinder instead of getting rid of the whole chair. The pneumatic cylinder tends to weaken or get damaged over some time. This process is done professionally because getting it replaced is a tedious task.

It can be a permanent solution to getting your chair fixed and enjoying it again. 

Oil maintenance

Oil maintenance

Oil maintenance is an excellent method of maintaining your chairs. It helps make the chair movement smooth and get rid of the squeaky sound a chair generally makes due to regular use.

If you feel any friction in the chair movement, the chair has gotten either rusty or needs oiling so it can operate smoothly. The cylinder needs to be cleaned first before oiling the joints of the chair. It can help reduce any further damage to the chair and can expand its life and functionality. 

Shim kit

Shim kit

A shim kit is a tool kit for machine adjustment. The kits are readily available in the market to mend the chairs. You can use this kit to tighten the chair and adjust the height.

You can fix the chair through a shim kit by raising the cylinders to its maximum position and using the C-shaped spacers in the kit. The spacers can be put on the rod one by one until the required position occurs. It can help to level the chair and fixing the issue. 

Casters replacement

Casters replacement

The casters are the wheels on the chair. These casters wear and tear by rolling in the dust for a long time. It can result in creating friction in the movement of the chair, leading to that sinking feeling. An oil lubricant or a greaser spray can help in getting rid of the friction. The roller axles can be cleansed and oiled to fix it. If it doesn’t get fixed, you can replace the casters. 

You can renew the casters with a flat bar. The next step would be to take the correct measurement of the stem and the wheel. It is best to buy a caster with a larger wheel. The last step would be to install the caster.

You can do this by tilting it into the socket and compressing the grip ring. You need to oil the ring for a smoother installation. After this step, the chair would be good as new. 

Drill screws

Drill screws

Another way to fix a sinking chair is to drill screws on the shaft. You can do it by adjusting the chair to the height you want beforehand because after the screws are tightened, readjusting the height won’t be possible. 

The next step would be to use a drill to make a hole in the shaft of the same size as the screw. After this, tighten the screw with a screwdriver properly. The chair would be able to function again. 


How to fix an office chair that doesn’t go up?

Turn your chair upside down so that you can remove the base. Take off the gas cylinder and buy a new one. Fix it back in place, and your office chair will start to go up again.

Why an office chair don’t lean back?

When the reclining tension knob gets stuck, the chair becomes unable to lean back. To fix it, try to force it back; if you can’t do it with your hand, use a wrench. Fix the stuck knob so it can lean back as normal.

How long an office chair lasts?

An office chair can last for as long as 10 years if you use it on an average of 40 hours per week and do regular maintenance.

Why does an office chair lean towards a side?

If your office chair leans to a side instead of the back, most probably the reason is the caster. Or else, it can be due to a loose or bent seat plate.


To conclude, the sinking of office chairs is very common due to frequent use. There are a lot of fixes and DIYs present to mend the chair rather than replacing it. To protect the chair from sinking in the future, maintenance is required.

You can do regular oiling to the chair to get rid of friction. When fixing the chair, use good quality parts with proper technique to make the chair good as new. You can fix the office chair by using a hose clamp, replacing the pneumatic cylinder, using a PVC pipe, oiling the parts of the chair, and drilling screws in them to tighten the chair if it gets wobbly. 

Do any of it as per requirement, and enjoy working in your office again.