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Bar Stool Won’t Stay Up or Down? (Solutions Inside)

Have you ever dealt with bar stools that keep sinking and rising for no good reason? Most of the time, the answer is yes. This is a common problem that arises when the stools are used frequently. Luckily, it is easy to fix.

Why does my bar stool keep rising?

The levers may not work after frequent usage. When there’s no weight on the lever, it may allow unnecessary air in the cylinder which fills the cylinder, causing the stool to keep rising. The set screw may also be screwed too tightly, which makes the cylinder active causing automatic rising.

There are usually two types of bar stool- hydraulic and gas lift bar stool. The hydraulic bar stool keeps rising when the activation lever is pressed down without having any weight on the stool’s seat.

The air then forces into the cylinder which connects the seat and the base, pushing the seat upwards.

The gas lift bar stools have a cylinder filled with nitrogen gas. In the same way, when the valves stop working, the nitrogen gas fills the entire cylinder, exerting pressure on the seat to rise.

How to stop bar stool from rising?

It is possible to stop the bar stool from rising if there’s a problem with the screws and not the cylinder.

During installation, make sure the set screw is not significantly loose or tight. Adjust the screws near the lever and the cylinder. Slightly tighten the screw to lower the seat. However, if your screws are already tightened, loosen it as too tight screws activate cylinders.

Why does my bar stool keep going down?

The pneumatic cylinders when it starts to deteriorate lets the gas or air inside it drain out so it releases any pressure forcing the seat to stay upwards. As a result of having no air in the cylinder, the seat keeps going down when there’s no weight or pressure on the stool and the lever.

The main reason is the cylinder that is no longer working. It usually means that the valve in the cylinder is now allowing the air or nitrogen gas to flow out over time. It can also happen when there are leaks in the cylinder; air passes out easily through those holes.

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How to stop bar stool from sinking?

A bar stool can be stopped in the first place from sinking, but the methods might be temporary.

A hose clamp can be wrapped around the cylinder to prevent the air or nitrogen gas from leaking.

For the hose clamp, make sure it has a diameter of 2cm or 13/16″- 1-3/4″. A duct tape must be attached to secure the hose clamp and prevent it from sliding down from the cylinder.

On the other hand, a plastic pacer or a PVC pipe can be cut according to the desired height of the cylinder and wrapped around it. Make sure it adjusts to the preferred height of the cylinder. It works better than a hose clamp with lots of duct tape attached to a stool.

However, these methods only stop the seat from staying down once the cylinder has been broken. It will also not enable the user to adjust the height accordingly. Hence, it is not a permanent solution. 

How does a gas lift bar stool work?

A gas lift bar stool works differently than a hydraulic bar stool. The main mechanism is in the stem of the chair which connects the seat to the base.

The stem has a cylinder, and its mechanism is also known as “gas spring”. It is a pump full of pressurized nitrogen gas and oil that is sealed. The oil lubricates the cylinder while the nitrogen gas stores energy in the spring.

The two elements ensure smooth movements in the piston inside the cylinder when force is exerted on the lever underneath the seat. The piston forces air through a valve into the back of the system when the gas lift is pressed.

The air which was compressed then looks for its way out of the gas lift and that is when the stool changes its height.

In simple words, when the activation lever is pressed down, the piston slides back and forth, causing the top seat to move up and down. Additionally, the piston can slide more easily if the bar stool has a wide surface area, which will make the stools lift more smoothly.

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How to disassemble a hydraulic bar stool?

Remove the seat:

Turn the stool upside down and hold onto the bar stool above the footrest. Use a rubber mallet and hit the bar seat gently until it comes out

Remove the hydraulic pole:

Start by removing the ring on top of it. Flip the pole upside down and grab its base tightly. Making sure the pole is close to the ground, hit the center of the base, and watch the pole coming out.

Remove the cap:

The cap is wedged inside the pole of the seat. To remove it, use the Allen key to remove the four screws of the pole and press the lever beside it. Now when the black cap is visible, hit it gently with any round object until it comes off.

How to replace the gas lift bar stool cylinder?

Replacing a gas lift bar stool cylinder is not difficult, especially when you have a rubber mallet and a new gas lift ready to be used. Even if you don’t have these tools, getting a complete replacement kit shouldn’t be hard.

To replace a gas lift bar stool cylinder follow the steps below:

Remove the seat:

First, secure the base of the stool by placing your legs on it. To remove its top, pull part of the seat top to lift it upwards. Next, pull the seat top from both sides while exerting pressure on the gas lever. It will come out easily.

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Remove the old gas lift cylinder:

Since the top part of the bar stool is now separated from the base, turn the base upside down.

The gas lift needs to come out loose so gently knock the base with a rubber mallet until it comes out. Do not knock it too hard or it will result in dents on the base.

Insert new gas lift cylinder:

Once the previous gas lift cylinder has been removed you’ll be left with the base and the top seat.

Insert the new gas lift cylinder into the empty stem of the top seat. Secure it using a plastic cap that will be provided along with the new gas lift cylinder before attaching it to the base. 

Can you fix the broken gas lift bar stool?

It is not possible to fix a broken gas lift bar stool cylinder as the small parts inside it cannot be fixed or replaced.

For instance, if the cylinder leaks, it will leave holes in its body. The holes cannot be sealed with duct tape as it is temporary.

Can I purchase a replacement gas lift for my bar stool?

Yes. Replacement gas lifts for bar stools can be found easily in the market.

As the gas lift cylinder and the base can be replaced using a rubber mallet, replacements can be purchased. Purchasing a new one will be more important especially if the old mechanism has been broken down.

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Bar stools are known to be comfortable and easy to use, it is only true when the activated lever and the cylinder are working perfectly. For most of the models and designs, the parts can be replaced.

However, temporarily fixing the bar stools cannot be seen as a great option once the parts are broken.