How to Fix a Hydraulic Office Chair

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You can put some life back into your office chair with a new gas cylinder.
You can put some life back into your office chair with a new gas cylinder. (Image: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Many office task chairs have a pneumatic cylinder that allows the user to adjust the height of the work chair with the flick of a lever. Although these office chairs can withstand many years of adjustment, over time, the gas cylinder will need to be replaced. You can repair your own office swivel chair in less than an hour with just a few tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Replacement gas cylinder
  • Pipe wrench
  • Needle-nosed pliers
  • WD-40 spray lubricant

Place the chair on its side, ensuring that the pneumatic cylinder is fully extended.

Remove the bottom leg/caster assembly from the chair by removing the base retention clip, a small metal clip, from the center post of the underside of the caster base. Remove it by gripping it with a pair of needle-nosed pliers.

Attach a pipe wrench to the top post of the chair cylinder, just under the seat pan. Tighten the wrench around the post and rock the wrench back and forth, attempting to loosen the cylinder from the seat pan. These gas cylinders are only held in place by friction, and may be hard to break loose from the chair.

Spray WD-40 lubricant around the top of the cylinder post (where it meets the seat pan) if you're having trouble removing it from the office chair. Once the lubricant has been on the chair for a few minutes, attempt to remove the cylinder again, using the pipe wrench.

Replace the old chair cylinder with a new one by pressing it into the slot in the bottom of the seat pan and reattaching the caster base on the chair.

Stand the chair upright and sit down hard on the seat pan, using all of your weight. This will seat the pneumatic cylinder firmly into the seat pan, bringing new life into your old office chair.

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