How to Fix the Pneumatic Adjustment on an Office Chair

Pneumatic office chairs can have the height adjusted by pulling on a small lever on the side.

Fixing the pneumatics on an office chair can take a bit of work.
However, sometimes the pneumatics will break and the chair will just sink down to the lowest level and stay there. When this happens you need to replace the pneumatic cylinder. Fortunately all you need are some basic hand tools, a little bit of grease and a replacement tube and you're ready to make your repairs. .

Flip the chair over onto its back. You should be able to see the bottom of the chair. Remove the clip and washer holding the tube in place by using a screwdriver for additional leverage. Set the clip and washer aside.

Remove the old pneumatic cylinder from the base of the chair (it will just slide out) and examine it. Make sure it is identical to the replacement cylinder you will be installing.

Put the new cylinder into the base of the chair, pushing it in so it's situated the same way the old one was. Put the washer and clip back in place to hold the cylinder in. Flip the chair back over and adjust it using the knob. A few adjustments and sitting in the chair once or twice will be enough to tighten up the new cylinder and settle it in.

Things You Will Need

  • Replacement pneumatic cylinder
  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench/Socket wrench and sockets
  • Grease
  • Eye protection


  • If you want to slide the cylinder in more easily, you can apply a light layer of grease to help it slide in more easily.
  • If you're having trouble with the bottom of the chair, you can take the chair apart completely and just work with the cylinder. You'll need to unbolt the chair piece by piece until you have just the center pipe, and then once the cylinder is changed out put the chair back together.


  • Always wear safety goggles. If something goes wrong with one of the cylinders you can have flying debris and liquids.

About the Author

Neal Litherland is an author, blogger and occasional ghostwriter. His experience includes comics, role playing games and a variety of other projects as well. He holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Indiana University, and resides in Northwest Indiana.