Repairing Office Chairs Instead Of Replacing Them

Discussion in Office Supplies started by ohiotom76 • Feb 4, 2015.

  1. ohiotom76

    ohiotom76Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Threads:
    154
    Messages:
    2,561
    Likes Received:
    232
    I have a task chair that I bought about 3 years ago - for around $200. It's the kind with the black mesh back on it, and a bunch of knobs and levers underneath so you can really adjust it in all sorts of ways that you normally cannot do with a typical office chair. I specifically got this chair because of that, since most of the other office chairs I bought were always uncomfortable in some way - either leaning too much forward, or too much backward, or the arm rests weren't the right height, etc...

    The chair has definitely served me well, but in the past year, the wheels started to break on it - causing the chair to lean to one side or another. Also, the piston in it which raises and lowers the chair started leaking, so the chair kept dropping.

    Not wanting to junk the chair and have to fork out yet another $200 I decided to repair it instead. The piston was a relatively easy, if not very pretty, fix with a piece of PVC piping and some radiator clamps. Essentially you just cut a piece of PVC pipe to the height of the piston bar underneath your chair. Then cut through the pipe on one side length-wise, so you can pry the pipe open a bit and place it around the piston. Then you merely take some metal radiator clamps and tighten them around the PVC pipe. Granted the chair loses it's ability to go up and down now, but at least it won't keep dropping to the floor. If you're really concerned about it's appearance, you could also spray paint the pipe and clips black, so it's really not even that noticeable.

    For the wheels, it never dawned on me until recently, that you can find replacements online rather cheap. I had been duct taping them back together but that was only a temporary fix as the tape would stretch and break over time. Some stores like Office Max do sell a 5 piece wheel kit, but it's expensive at $35. Instead, I would suggest looking online, as I was able to pick up a set for only $4 plus shipping!

    Now my chair is back in working order, and it cost me under $10 to fix everything.
     
  2. steph7h

    steph7hActive Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Threads:
    36
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    34
    What a great idea with the PVC pipe! We got a second hand desk chair when a relative's office moved locations, and it gradually lowers on its own as you sit in it, which gets annoying. I never want it lower than the max height anyway, so your PVC trick might be a good solution to fix the problem! I would have never thought of something like that.
     
  3. ohiotom76

    ohiotom76Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Threads:
    154
    Messages:
    2,561
    Likes Received:
    232
    Thanks, I had heard about it on some "how to" site many years ago, but had initially scoffed at the idea since I thought it would look a bit silly. However these days, my "office" area is not immediately visible to guests when I have people visiting, so I don't care as much about it. Honestly, I wish office chairs would come in with something like this "built in" so you could have the option of an adjustable or permanent height. Those piston's always seem to go bad rather quickly, no matter how much you weigh. I may not be as much of a lightweight as I was 20 years ago, but this was happening to me back when I was 150lbs too.

    Incidentally, since I wrote this, I also realized Amazon sells the pistons too - and even better, they're apparently a one-size-fits all apparatus too. The ones I saw at a glance ran about $20 plus shipping - still cheaper than buying a whole new chair. If I didn't happen to have some spare radiator clips and PVC piping, I might be tempted to go that route, personally.
     
  4. pafjlh

    pafjlhActive Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    Threads:
    85
    Messages:
    673
    Likes Received:
    59
    Well, I have to hand it to you for being able to repair this chair. It sounds like you did a good job in doing so. To be honest though I would be kind of apprehensive about repairing an office chair. I guess because I once had one that did break on me, while I was sitting in it. I fell backwards and hit my head. Looking back on that now I was lucky that I wasn't badly hurt or killed because this was a bad fall. Since then I haven't been able to bring myself to replace that chair I now sit on my bed when I am on the computer in my bedroom.
     
  5. beccagreen

    beccagreenActive Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2014
    Threads:
    15
    Messages:
    375
    Likes Received:
    7
    Wow I salute you for investing that much effort on a chair. The chair that I use is actually repaired also. The back rest was busted so I had to painstakingly find some metal prongs to go in the back and replace the supports which is easier said than done because I had to call on my brother just to weld the thing in place. But good thing is the chair is stronger that ever be it a bit trashy looking.
     
  6. TommyVercetti

    TommyVercettiActive Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Threads:
    6
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    26
    Great job on the chair. Although I could be persuaded to fix an office chair that I really like, I wouldn't even attempt it if the parts overall are made of plastic. The legs are especially vulnerable when they're made of plastic, and I don't think it's worth it to fix them. I weigh 165 pounds and I barely even move, let alone roll around when I'm sitting. Mostly I'm just working in a stationary position; but it seems like these plastic-made office chairs have an 'expiration date' to them. Plus you'd never guess that they're harder to clean than the leather ones.
     
  7. james123456789

    james123456789New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2016
    Threads:
    0
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Perhaps better way that is cheap to fix chairs that sink. Dont take chair apart at all. Buy these rings at lowes. (link below). Screw them around the shiny pole under the chair. Add more than 1 to add height to chair. Very easy. They are cheap to.

    Please Log In to view this link!

     
  8. Pat

    PatWell-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2012
    Threads:
    66
    Messages:
    2,725
    Likes Received:
    328
    There are lots of sites that will show you how to fix something. I have used these sites to fix the washing machine in the past. I need help right now finding a hole in my air mattress, the sites make it look so easy. Those small holes are hard to find.
     
  9. DrRipley

    DrRipleyExpert

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2012
    Threads:
    740
    Messages:
    4,313
    Likes Received:
    315
    Wen my office chair broke down it lost one of its wheels and I had a hard time finding a replica that would fit. I'm glad I put off throwing it out though since I did eventually find replacement wheels and I ended up saving my chair for next to nothing in expenses. Now it works just as new and the chair itself was never really broken or worn out anyway so it would have been such a waste to throw it out just because of a missing wheel.
     
  10. DreekLass

    DreekLassWell-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2014
    Threads:
    16
    Messages:
    3,091
    Likes Received:
    551
    We have had a total of four office chairs throughout the course of our history, and each one has broken - except for the one that we are able to use now. We currently have two in our house altogether. The other two broke, and we tried to fix the wheels, but could not salvage them enough to keep using them. Of the two in our home, the wheel broke but we managed to salvage it for no cost. I think we used blu tac to stick the wheel in place.
     
  11. remnant

    remnantActive Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    Threads:
    237
    Messages:
    929
    Likes Received:
    204
    As for me the best aspect of a chair to be really concerned about is ergonomics. I don't use expensive chairs since its easy to source a metallic one from local fabricators and these take ages to break or malfunction. The only aspect requiring modification is the comfort which one can fashion according to their taste or contacting an upholstery practitioner to soup it up. The motto is buy cheap and durable and then style it up.
     
  12. Corzhens

    CorzhensWell-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2015
    Threads:
    151
    Messages:
    1,855
    Likes Received:
    458
    This reminds me of my previous employer when they hired someone to repair the broken chairs that were languishing in the storage for a long time. The repair took more than a week for the 2 workers. Fine. The chairs were re-issued for use as visitor's chair fronting the office tables of executives and supervisors. Nice. However, there was this incident when a guest who was obviously heavy had cracked a leg of the chair that caused the downfall. Can you imagine a bank client sitting on the floor due to a broken chair? It was a big embarrassment both for the bank manager and the client.

    I'm not saying it's not good to repair chairs. It just needs quality checking or testing to be sure that the repaired chairs are durable.
     
  13. explorerx7

    explorerx7Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2016
    Threads:
    59
    Messages:
    768
    Likes Received:
    116
    There should be an examination of the chair to ascertain if it would be feasible to repair it as opposed to purchasing a new one.It would be foolhardy to just repair a chair and the someone sits in it and it gives way and cause harm to the person.
     
  14. remnant

    remnantActive Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    Threads:
    237
    Messages:
    929
    Likes Received:
    204
    Repairing chairs is the best option for the office because even if you
    buy new ones, there is no guarantee that they will last as they don't
    break solely on the basis of age. But I would go for metallic chairs
    with the same comforts since they rarely fall into a state of
    disrepair and therefore much cheaper to maintain in the long haul.
     
  15. kamai

    kamaiActive Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2016
    Threads:
    12
    Messages:
    868
    Likes Received:
    175
    I tend to try to fix anything before replacing them as it is not a good idea to throw out anything that may still work for you and it saves money if you were to fix it on your own. I had an office chair that almost cost me $300 which is pretty pricey but one day the top part where my back was held broke off. Good thing a friend of mine was a able to fix it up and it ended up lasting me a couple more years.
     
  16. walter12

    walter12Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2017
    Threads:
    0
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    16
    Replacing office chairs can be quite annoying and most of the time the damage done will be too much to fix and repair so just wasted.
     
  17. Alexandoy

    AlexandoyWell-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2016
    Threads:
    250
    Messages:
    1,460
    Likes Received:
    416
    For broken wheels of my office chair at home, I have learned to do the repairs from a handyman. The wheels can be bought from Ace Hardware and it is easy to replace. But when the upholstery is the problem, I just buy a new chair because upholstery repair is expensive.
     
  18. moneymania

    moneymaniaActive Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2016
    Threads:
    13
    Messages:
    909
    Likes Received:
    112
    The office chair that we have bought rarely gets used, but when it does get worn out I will remember what you said and apply it so that I can fix it and not buy a new one.
     
  19. overcast

    overcastActive Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2017
    Threads:
    14
    Messages:
    500
    Likes Received:
    40
    I think repairing saves a lot of time and money. And it can be really good option if you have low funds. Because buying new often leads to more pricing. If you can buy cheap repairs then surely that would be much better option. But overall you have to be really good at the purchases. That's something you have to learn to do in due time as well. I guess repairs does take time for some type of furniture.
     
  20. Athanas

    AthanasActive Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2017
    Threads:
    6
    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    14
    I would rather call someone to repair them than rushing to purchase new ones.Only a small section of the furniture may have a problem, the rest could still be nice. I would only prefer to buy a new one if I am sure that most of the furniture parts are in very bad shape. I would use the money I have saved to do other important things like buying a floor carpet.