How do I fix the hydraulic lift on my desk chair?
March 26, 2009 3:30 PM   Subscribe

I have this ordinary office chair with a lever on the side for adjusting the height. The lift seems to "leak" and about a dozen times a day my chair loses its lift and sinks to the bottom. It's a cheap Chinese import I bought in Bogotá, Colombia, so warranty/refunds/exchanges/help from the store or manufacturer are out of the question. Is there anything I can do to make it more likely to stay in position, or am I doomed to suffer that dreaded sinking feeling?
posted by nohat to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I had an office chair with a defunct piston.

1/ dismantle
2/ find a 2" copper pipe length at home depot -- my cost was, I think, $0.15
3/ insert, re-assemble.

Perhaps I got lucky? My copper pipe fit perfectly outside the piston and inside the housing .....
posted by devbrain at 3:44 PM on March 26, 2009

if there is an external tube into which the internal tube slides, how about drilling a few holes in both and inserting sheet metal screws. Or, one hole all the way through and a bolt/nut though the whole thing?
posted by HuronBob at 3:57 PM on March 26, 2009

If you can manage to take apart the chair to expose the pneumatic cylinder, you may find a screw on the end of it at the top. This screw adjusts the valve that allows air into and out of the cylinder. Try turning it either way and see what happens. Small adjustments of a quarter or half turn may be all that is necessary.
posted by JackFlash at 3:58 PM on March 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

Huron -- this will also stop the chair from rotating.
posted by devbrain at 4:10 PM on March 26, 2009

If you can extract the piston (and this may be a non-trivial task) you can probably find a replacement with out too much difficulty, though it may be pricey. I'd start looking at industrial surplus centers (or even e-bay) and go to McMaster Carr if that didn't work.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 6:20 AM on March 27, 2009

I replaced the pneumatic cylindar of my Aeron clone very easily - I looked in the Yellow Pages (I wanted to be able to just drive over and pick it up) for 'Office Furniture Repair' or similar. Just measure the length and the diameter, or better yet bring it along.

Probably $30-40 or so.
posted by DandyRandy at 8:01 AM on March 27, 2009

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