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How Does an Office Chair Hydraulics Work?

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Not a lot of people know that a faulty hydraulic system is a direct cause of an office chair explosion. As much as it’s uncomfortable to digest, it’s extremely important to know why. 

A gas lift is one of the most important components of the hydraulic systems of a chair. Due to any reason, if it stops working correctly, the direct effect is on the hydraulic system. When left unfixed for a long time, it can be a potential cause of your chair’s explosion. This and many other such issues demand an in-depth understanding of the working of an office chair’s hydraulics so that the user can know if their chair is working fine or needs some adjustment or replacement. 

If you are going to buy an ergonomic office chair for your workspace, you should be completely aware of the office chair hydraulics, so that you can replace it on your own and you can have a safe and comfortable seating experience. 

What is the Hydraulic System?

A hydraulic system is a system in which liquid or gas (compressed air) is used to transmit mechanical power via an energy suit that acts as a force multiplier to increase the capacity of an operation considerably and reduce physical effort and energy demands on humans substantially.

How do pneumatic (hydraulic) chairs work?

An office chair hydraulics system provides the user with varying degrees of lumbar support, armrests, and backrest height, as well as adjustable seat height, tilt tension, and seat width. To make this possible, the hydraulic cylinders can adjust themselves according to the weight of the person sitting in them. 

Levers on these chairs allow the user to adjust the chairs according to their needs. The lever helps move the chair and is located below the seat. Some components help the chair to move up and down, such as:

  • Chair base with wheels ( some chairs have three, four, or five wheels)
  • Gas Cylinder 
  • Seat holding adjustable lever under the plate of the seat
  • Padded back support

How do office chairs go up and down?

Be it simple Hydraulic chairs use a hydraulic system to control the adjustment of seat height. It allows the user to adjust their seat height according to desk height. The lever below the seat helps the user with this adjustment. 

The chair will lift to its top height when the user pushes the lever. When the user is satisfied that the chair seat is at the right height, they can release the lever mechanism to stop it in that position. Hydraulic and pneumatic chairs are used for the same purpose, but the mechanism is different. 

The gas cylinders are filled with gas or liquid, which gets compressed. The compressed gas pushes up the piston, which raises the chair to your desired height.

When the chair comes down, the piston travels back. It releases air into a spring that opposes its compression and pushes down on the piston when fully extended to keep it from compressing until more force is applied (which is precisely what you do). This results in more comfortable seating for your body as it helps you be supported by low-pressure hydraulic equipment.

Can the Office Chair Hydraulics be Fixed?

Hydraulic chairs are both complicated and expensive to repair. This is because it only has one part that can wear out, the cylinder, which does not have any moving parts. Therefore, all you have to do is replace that cylinder instead of repairing it. So, it’s better to get a high-quality chair at the start so that its hydraulic system doesn’t wear out quickly. 

In this regard, task chairs are better compared to normal office chairs as they have stronger and more durable hydraulic systems, given their intensive use. If you go deeper into the task chair definition, you’ll find out that it’s designed with a special focus on ease of seat depth and height adjustability making it a perfect fit for desk workers. This is why task chairs have stronger hydraulic systems.

Office Chair Gas Cylinder Sizes

Office chair gas cylinders come in different sizes for the chair to raise and lower itself. It is crucial to determine what cylinder size you need based on the budget you have. Smaller chairs will require smaller cylinders, and more oversized chairs will also need larger ones.

The standard size of a cylinder for an office chair is 5″, but some can be 4″ or 10″ depending on the type of chair.

How to replace hydraulics in an office chair?

Replacing a hydraulic chair can be a daunting task. Here are some simple steps to replace old hydraulics with new ones:

  1. Before replacing your old cylinder, it is important to measure it so that you can easily find the exact match of the cylinder and quickly fix it.
  2. Also, measure the stroke of the gas cylinder, as you will need to know how far the gas cylinder will move when it extends.
  3. After measurements, purchase a gas cylinder repair kit, as these kits are readily available in the market. It is recommended to purchase the kit that matches your existing stroke measurements and check the weight capacity of the repair kit to avoid problems in the future.
  4. After acquiring the kit, put your chair on its side and tap the base near the center, away from the chair, to remove it. Rubber mallets can damage the casing of the base if you strike them too hard.
  5. Remove the old cylinder from your chair and replace it with the new one.
  6. The chair needs to be reconnected to its base and cylinder.
  7. Raise the chair and make sure that it is height adjustable. Push down on the lever to check if it raises your chair or not. If it does, then congratulations, you have successfully installed the new cylinder. If not, repeat the steps and follow the instructions for your type of chair.

Final Thoughts!

In every office, an office chair is an essential piece of equipment. In addition to preventing health risks, they provide a comfortable place to sit while working. Therefore, keep yourself healthy and comfortable by investing in hydraulic or pneumatic chairs that are easy to adjust according to comfort. 

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