Introduction: Office Chair Sinking Height Easy Cheap Fix!


Do you have an office chair that is LETTING YOU DOWN? Do you ever get DEPRESSED when you sit on your office chair? Does it leave you with a SINKING feeling? Now that you are full of puns, here is a quick and cheap way to get use back out of your office chair, with parts that you may even have at home! Or simply go to a local hardware store and pick them up for less than $3!

Basic Theory

After several years of use, your chair will no longer hold the position it is set at. The lever that normally lets you adjust the height activates a valve in the pneumatic piston on the stem of the chair which lets air move in and out. Eventually this valve will leak and your chair will just sink to the lowest position as soon as there is any weight on it. Changing pistons can be difficult and sometimes not possible if they are welded or riveted to your chair. Also, they are hard to find and expensive. They are also not serviceable because of the dangerous spring inside, and not easy to open. So instead of trying to fix the piston, you can simply create your own adjustable "height stop" which will keep the chair at a certain height.

What you need

  1. Adjustable pipe clamp (99 cents)
  2. Straight pipe fitting (99 cents)
  3. Pipe insulation (79 cents)
  4. Screwdriver

Measure the size of your chair piston so you can get the right sized pipe clamp, pipe fitting and pipe insulation. I am using the pipe insulation under the clamp and fitting to stabilize them and also make them harder to slip up and down. My chair piston was 1 1/8" wide, and so I bought a clamp that was able to adjust from 5/8" up to about 1.5". The pipe fitting was also about 1 1/4" wide to slip over. The reason for the pipe fitting is so that you have another piece of plastic rubbing against the part where the piston meets the legs of the chair. I didn't want the metal clamp rubbing directly on the plastic when you turn the chair.

What to do (See Video)

Depending on the type of chair, you will have to remove the legs. This will expose the piston. Slide on the pipe clamp first, then the pipe fitting. You can cut two short pieces of pipe insulation foam and slide one under the clamp and one under the fitting. This will keep them from slipping so easily on the piston. Pick the height you want for the chair and tighten the pipe clamp until it is firmly secured on the piston. Now when you sit down it won't be able to go any lower!


This easy and cheap fix should have taken only a few minutes. Congratulate yourself, give yourself a pat on the back! You've saved the environment by continuing to make use of your fabulous office chair. When you need to adjust the height in the future, simply loosen the pipe clamp, slide it to the desired position and tighten it again. You will notice that this is rarely needed, because usually people use their chairs at the same desk and the same way most of the time. Share this with your friends, and if you like the video (and instructable) please don't forget to give it a thumbs up!