And, an ext importantly, it allows you to change the elevation of her chair for much better ergonomics.

You are watching: How does a hydraulic chair work?

But have actually you ever wondered how these cylinders work?

Why does your chair lift as soon as you traction the lever?

Or why this cylinders prevent working after ~ a while?

Today, we’re going to answer every these concerns for you.

We’ll watch at:

The two species of office chair cylindersExactly exactly how pneumatic cylinders workExactly how hydraulic cylinders work

Plus, we’ll answer the most commonly asked questions about office chair cylinders.

Are friend ready? Let’s acquire to it!

Table that Contents

Frequently asked Questions around Office Chair Cylinders

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What Is an Ergonomic Chair

The 2 species of Office Chair Cylinders


There are two types of office chair cylinders: Pneumatic and also Hydraulic.

Most office chairs use pneumatic cylinders. Some world even contact all height-adjustable chairs “pneumatic” chairs.

Both of this cylinders could work the same way, however they have actually some key differences.

Let’s take it a closer look at at every one.

How the Pneumatic Cylinder Works

Have you ever before used a bike pump before?

As you push down on your pump, this compresses the air within the tube. The compressed wait is required out through the nozzle of her pump and into her bicycle’s tire.

Pneumatic cylinders occupational in a comparable way.

The difference is, there space high levels of press inside the pneumatic cylinder.

Instead of a basic air chamber, pneumatic cylinder chambers are filled with pressurized nitrogen.

To make points worse (or need to we say, better) these chambers are completely sealed. The high pressure of this cylinders is stuck in there.

There is a means to release several of this pressure, though.

This is v the gas spring – a moving part of the cylinder that’s locked in place.

When unlocked (which you have the right to do through pulling your chair’s lever), the high push will push the gas feather upwards. This raises the chair.


This is what go on behind-the-scenes whenever you raise your office chair.

So then exactly how does your office chair sink?

Well, if girlfriend unlock the spring and also sit top top the chair, it’ll it is in pushed earlier down.

The nitrogen gas is no match against your weight. It’ll have to accept the spring earlier into the chamber, lowering the chair’s seat.

You might be wondering, “but how have the right to an office chair lock its elevation midway?”


Whenever the activation button isn’t pressed down, the spring locks in place. No lot of push or weight deserve to budge it.

That’s exactly how a pneumatic cylinder works.

Smart, right?

How the Hydraulic Cylinder Works

Hydraulic cylinders work-related the exact same way.

However, these have actually two chambers rather of one. And they’re complete of fluids rather of nitrogen.

One room is complete of high-pressure incompressible oil. If the other has an expandable piston.

Both chambers are connected at the bottom. However there’s a valve that blocks the high-pressure oil from forcing its method into the piston chamber.

If girlfriend lift the mediate lever, the valve opens, permitting the fluid to go into the piston chamber.

The press of the entering liquid forces the piston upward.

Since it’s incompressible oil, it’s strong enough to lift the weight of the piston. And that elevator the chair seat as well.

Like pneumatic cylinders, hydraulic chairs don’t walk down instantly when you pull the lever. You require to include weight.

This is since these space single-acting cylinders.

To do them sink, you’ll need to pull the lever and sit on her chair.

When you execute this, you’ll pressure the piston downwards. This likewise forces the oil back across the valve and into its room (again, the oil is no match for your weight.)

Check the end this video to gain an idea of exactly how it works:


You can still have actually a few questions in your mind. Possibly it’s one of these three generally asked questions.

1. Can Office Chair Cylinders Explode?

You might be thinking, “since these cylinders work-related with intense pressure, what will take place if there’s a leak? will certainly the cylinder explode?”


Or at least you never need to worry about it.

It deserve to explode. But these room one in a million types of cases.

And, castle never occur in the office either. The just time cylinders explode is throughout factory testing.

When you gain an office chair, you have the right to rest assured it’s been tested already.

So there’s absolutely no should worry around explosions.

2. Why perform Office Chair Cylinders become Faulty?

One of the most typical office chair problems is that the cylinder can no longer host your weight.

Whenever friend sit in her office chair, it sinks.


“Why go this happen?”

First, it can be due to the fact that of a leak.

When yes sir a feet in the cylinder, all push – whether it’s from nitrogen or oil – will certainly escape.

The an ext likely reason, though, is the the mechanics that the cylinder space worn out.

When this happens, your cylinder becomes as well weak to host the gas feather (or piston) in place. This is why anytime you include weight, your chair will sink.

If you’re experiencing this problem, click here to learn exactly how to deal with it yourself.

3. Deserve to I replace a Pneumatic Cylinder through a Hydraulic Cylinder?


If your cylinder is faulty, you’ll should replace it.

Now, you could be wondering, “Is it possible to use a hydraulic cylinder in ar of a pneumatic cylinder (and angry versa)?”

No, it isn’t.

Office chairs are developed for just one cylinder type.

Sure, you have the right to replace her cylinder. However you’ll need the precise same specs best down to the size of the spring or piston.

If it no a decide match, the cylinder won’t work or even fit.

Don’t it is in tempted. Pneumatic replace instead replace are simpler to find, and hydraulics are longer lasting.

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But remember, you’re better off sticking to what your chair was utilizing originally.