Do you find your office chair squeaking every time you move? It can be very annoying to both you and the others around. This however does not mean it’s time to get a new chair but then what to do?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with some easy steps you can follow to fix it. These don’t require any fancy tools or an expensive budget. You can do it all by yourself or with the help of someone.
Why do they squeak?
In order to fix a squeaky office chair, you need to identify the source of it all first. Proper analysis and evaluation of the problem are required before proceeding with the solution. An office chair typically consists of several individual components assembled.
Although an office chair lasts from about 7 to 8 years, the daily use and movement often tear down its life.
All the components of the chair especially the ones just below the chair are affected significantly by the daily weight-bearing over time. It leads to friction between the moving rusty and worn out nuts, bolts and screws.
All these factors hence result in the squeaky, annoying noises that echo through the whole office making them aware of your movements.
As annoying as it is, you don’t need to throw it out yet. A few reasons why it may be squeaking and how to solve it easily yourself are listed below.
How To Fix A Squeaky Office Chair?
- Loose bolts, nuts and screws: The constant body pressure often leads to the loosening of the bolts. That is normal.
The bolts undergo huge friction due to movement and natural stress every day causing the screws to loosen.
Temperature although very rare can also be a factor in loose parts, especially if they are metal. They can expand or contract with changes in temperature making them loose eventually.
The easiest way to fix a loose nut or screw is by first flipping the chair over some spare cloth or newspaper to prevent staining the material with grease or oil.
Carefully look for screws that feel free or shaky and use a screwdriver or wrench to tighten all of them. Replace all the rusty ones with shiny new ones. Make sure all of it is fitted properly. Before fitting them together, make sure to put a generous amount of oil or grease.
- Rusty, tight components: Another very common cause for squeaky noises in chairs are rusty nuts or parts. Moisture in the air causes rust to form on the outer layer.
Greasing and oiling rusty parts can help reduce the noise and lower the building friction between the parts. Spray high-quality grease on the parts where required and let it dry or you can also put machine oil on some spare cloth and rub it on the parts properly.
Seat tensions can also lead to annoying noises in chairs. This can be easily fixed by using Teflon thread seal tape to lessen the pressure between them.
Dipping steel wool in vinegar and rubbing it over the rust is an easy at-home alternative to oiling. It eases the rust and makes it vanish.
- Weak and shaky joints: If the problem doesn’t resolve even after tightening the nuts and bolts, there may be a chance of weak and shaky joints. Check the cylinder-mechanism junction the swivel-base junction for any noise.
Regular use generates friction between the joints by rubbing against each other which loosens the joints and squeaks.
Ask a friend to sit on the chair and move a little. This will help you locate the source of the squeaking noise easily. Apply some lubricant or grease on the joints to lessen the friction and wipe away the excess grease with a paper towel or spare cloth.
- Wheels and Casters: Wheels are inserted into the chair by fixing a metal post on top of them. These posts often get worn out or rusty with regular use.
The screws that keep them in place often loosen too from the body pressure and movement. This causes the wheel axes to rub against each other cause noises. Also, faulty bearings can be a reason too.
The casters have many reasons to make noises. Some of them are:
- Worn out thread
- Tread Delamination
- Tread Cracks
- Flat Tread
The casters can however be fixed easily. Flip the office chair upside down and use a screwdriver to remove all the wheels and place them on a newspaper or rag.
Apply a generous amount of lubricant or gel to the stem, wheels and casters. Clean off the excess lubricant and install the wheels back in place. Now, sit on the chair and move it around to see if the squeaking has reduced or stopped.
Sometimes the casters are beyond repair and they should be replaced with new ones.
- Seats: There are a lot of different types of mechanisms for office chairs. One of them is a synchro-tilt mechanism. This is known to cause squeaky noises but you can easily fix it. Remove the seat first and then spray lubricant on the lever mechanism and put it back in place.
- Hex Shafts: Hex shafts in an office chair can also produce noise if there is a weak hold between the swing arm and the hex shaft. To fix this, detach the hex shaft from the swing arm mechanism and apply grease or lubricant with a rag. Lastly, use white lithium on it.
- Tensed back: If your office chair squeaks only when you lean back on it, there are high chances it’s because of high tension at the back of the seat or the touch point of the housing and the end of the spring.
After a few squeaks, your chair may stop leaning back totally. This can be a problem for long office hours.
You can fix it by applying machine oil or lubricant to the seat’s tension spring inside the turn-knob housing of the chair. Lean back on it after fixing it to see if it works or not.
- Remove all the bolts before applying lubricant: As can already be said a lot of the issues can be easily fixed with proper lubrication but sometimes, the lubricants don’t reach in proper places when applied or sprayed on.
If even after lubrication and tightening the bolts and screws, squeaking continues, take all of them out again and keep them in some light machine oil for a long time before putting them back again.
This will help in proper greasing of all the parts without fail and hence will easily stop the noises.
These are a few of the problems that cause noises or poor performance of your office chair.
Apart from these, there could be other underlying problems too that may require a professional guide. If these solutions don’t work, visit a mechanic and get it fixed or if advised get a new one.
Read more posts from Indoor category: Toilet Making Noise When Not In Use
Fixing your office chair on your own not only makes you feel better and understand your chair better but is also highly cost-effective and economical.
Keep in mind to be gentle with the chair. Leaning on too much or rotating on it wildly will put unnecessary pressure and stress on it causing it to creak sooner than usual.
Every day, the chair is under a lot of body pressure and that causes wear and tear and squeaky noises. If taken care of properly, these noises will not be a problem for a very long time and the chair will be at its maximum efficiency.