Broken Swivel Tilt Chair Mechanism

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
19 min read

The mechanism that allows a recliner to tilt back can malfunction on occasion. When sitting up straight to enjoy a show or a book, this might be a major inconvenience. Good news: fixing a malfunctioning swivel tilt mechanism is a breeze.

If the swivel tilt mechanism on your chairs has stopped working, don’t fret because we’ll show you how to fix it in this post.

All You Need To Know About Swivel Chairs

Is the concept of a swivel chair familiar to you? If you want to know everything there is to know about swivel chairs, then this article is for you.

Definition

A swivel chair allows the user to change their position in the chair’s seat without having to move their legs. Because of the wheels attached to the base of swivel chairs, their occupants may easily maneuver the furniture around the office without having to get out of their seats.

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As its name suggests, this design is ubiquitous in today’s offices. The seat height of most office swivel chairs can be adjusted with a gas lift, just like most computer seats.

Where to use it?

Living room

We can all agree that the living room is one of the most incredible places to put a swivel chair. A swivel chair is an excellent option for a living room chair since it can transform the space into several comfortable conversation areas.

Bedroom

The living room is one of the best possible locations for a swivel chair, as most would agree. A swivel chair is a great option for a living room chair since it can be rotated to create multiple conversation areas, each with a silhouette that is as attractive and inviting as an armchair.

Create the perfect late-night reading nook for him and her by placing two swivel chairs in a larger bedroom suite. A swivel slipper chair is a fashionable addition to a bedroom vanity or desk.

Workplace

There’s a reason swivel chairs are so commonplace in workplaces: they make transitioning from one task to the next a breeze.

Outdoor

Swivel chairs are no longer restricted to indoor use. Lovely swivels we’ve seen in outdoor settings wouldn’t be complete without mention. Just picture yourself relaxing in a cushioned rattan swivel on your front porch with a cup of coffee in the morning (or a bottle of wine in the evening).

Benefits Of Using Swivel Chairs

Work is easier with swivel chairs

If you spend a lot of time at your desk meeting with clients or working in an office, a swivel chair may be a good investment. When considering the purchase of a swivel chair, the simplicity with which it can be turned from left to right is a major selling point.

To speak to clients or patients, professionals can remain seated on one side of the room. A swivel chair is convenient because it allows you to easily turn around and face other people without having to get out of your seat.

One more perk of swivel chairs is that you can get up and stroll to your file cabinet for whatever you need, then return to your desk and swivel back around to your computer. It’s not necessary for anyone to leave the room for something to be completed.

Swivel chairs are a practical addition to any office since they encourage constant movement and interaction.

Casual seating at its finest

While accent chairs add style to any space, swivel chairs make people feel more at ease. Instead of using a stationary accent chair in your living room, try a swivel chair.

These padded seats are perfect for a marathon viewing session of your favorite show or film. Because of their effortless motion and complete freedom of movement, these chairs are ideal for unwinding in comfort and style.

You’ll find that swivel chairs come in a wide range of styles, sizes, and fabric options. These one-of-a-kind chairs will bring sophistication and easy comfort to any room in your home, whether you’re more into a contemporary or traditional aesthetic.

Ergonomic and efficient

Work in comfort for eight hours straight with the help of a swivel chair that supports your body in a neutral position.

While swivel chairs may initially cost more than other types of office chairs, they really end up saving you money in the long run by reducing the likelihood of health issues including cervical spondylosis, back pain, poor posture, and inadequate blood flow.

Ways to Fix A Broken Swivel Tilt Chair Mechanism

One of the most prevalent causes of a malfunctioning swivel tilt mechanism in chairs is the user pulling on it too forcefully.

There is a correlation between the amount of power used to pull the chair toward you and the likelihood that the seat back may break. If this happens, all you need to do is loosen up how much you are pulling the chair towards you.

The second most prevalent cause of a malfunctioning swivel tilt mechanism is repeated bending, which can cause metal parts to shatter.

Additional work is required to resolve this issue, however here is one possible solution: The fasteners holding the seat back together will need to be removed first. Now, take a long object like a broom handle or a wooden dowel rod and place one end into either side of where the bolt used to be attached.

As a third step, double-check that they are aligned with how they were before you removed all of those bolts; if not, rotate how they began until everything is as it should be.

The remaining bolts should be reinstalled in their original positions, but care should be taken to avoid overtightening them, as this could result in further metal fragments breaking off and causing additional issues down the road (see step #4).

As a fifth step, push the wooden dowels further farther into the bolts on either side of where you initially put them.

As a result, you may rest easy knowing that they will remain attached until one of them breaks again, which could be a long time from now.

Finally, step 6 advises that you halt the repair process immediately if you notice any parts of the chair mechanism coming loose; otherwise, you’ll be back to square one in no time.

How do you Take Apart a Caster Wheel?

To begin, use the ratchet to loosen each bolt in a counterclockwise motion.

Second, you need to invert your wheel and press down on it to disengage any clips.

Third, remove the damaged caster from its mount by gripping both sides and tugging or by prying up one side with a flathead screwdriver so you can get under it and pull out this part, which should come out without much difficulty if anything was salvageable after the prior repair operation.

Finally, reassemble everything in the opposite sequence, taking care not to cross-thread any of the parts or you may have to fix it again sooner than you’d want.

How do you Lubricate Caster Wheels?

The casters on your office chair play a significant role in its mobility, therefore it’s important to keep them in good operating order. In case you ever need to know how to grease the caster wheels on an office chair, here you go!

In order to get beneath the wheel, you must first remove it from its mount by holding it with both hands and pulling up on it or prying it if required. Even though there is already some grease inside, we suggest you take this time to add a bit more for optimal performance in the long run.

Next, reapply the fresh lubricant at regular intervals (at least every six months) to prevent the wheel and its motion from wearing out too soon.

After that, replace the caster wheel and give the chair a spin to make sure it works.

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How do you Clean Old Caster Wheels?

In order to get beneath the wheel, you must first remove it from its mount by holding it with both hands and pulling up on it or prying it if required. Even though there is already some grease inside, we suggest you take this time to add a bit more for optimal performance in the long run.

Next, reapply the fresh lubricant at regular intervals (at least every six months) to prevent the wheel and its motion from wearing out too soon.

After that, replace the caster wheel and give the chair a spin to make sure it works.

How to Clean and Maintain an Office Chair

Vacuum Dust and Debris

Use the wand attachment of your vacuum cleaner to give your office chair a once-over every few weeks. Assuming the wand attachment is smooth, it should be able to vacuum up most dust and dirt without damaging your desk chair. It’s easy to clean the couch: set the vacuum to a low suction setting and run the wand attachment around the seat, back, and armrests.

Regular vacuuming will help your office chair last longer, no matter what kind you have. The wand attachment will vacuum out dirt and debris that would otherwise settle into the upholstery of your office chair, hastening its demise.

Look for an Upholstery Tag

Check the tag sewn into the fabric of your office chair if you haven’t done so already. Although there are always exceptions, the vast majority of office chairs will have an upholstery tag. Manufacturer cleaning instructions are included on this label, sometimes called a care tag or care label. If you want to know the best, safest way to clean your office chair, go no further than the upholstery tag.

It is common practice to attach the upholstery label on the underside of a chair’s seat. Once you find it, see whether there’s a code on it that allows you to clean it. Codes of one or two letters indicate the most effective method for cleaning the fabric of an office chair.

The following is a breakdown of the many cleaning codes found on furniture tags and their respective explanations:

  • The most frequent cleaning code seen on furniture tags is “W,” which indicates that water or a water-based product should be used to clean the chair.
  • If the cleaning code on the upholstery tag is “S,” then a water-free solvent should be used to clean the chair. Manufacturers of chairs upholstered in natural fibers like cotton, wool, or rayon often advise against using water as a cleaning solvent.
  • Cleaning code W/S denotes that the office chair can be cleaned with either a water-based or solvent-based cleaner.
  • As a last note, an X cleaning code indicates that the office chair has to be brushed or vacuumed. If your office chair has this cleaning code, you shouldn’t clean it with water or a solvent.

If your office chair doesn’t have an upholstery tag, the directions for doing so should be in the owner’s manual. Even if a desk chair doesn’t have a label with care instructions sewn into the upholstery, it should still come with a user manual that details the same processes.

Spot Clean Using Soap and Warm Water

Spot clean your office chair with soap and warm water unless the upholstery tag or owner’s handbook specifies otherwise. Spots and smudges on your office chair can be removed by blotting the affected area with a damp washcloth and a drop or two of liquid soap.

In order to clean your office chair, regular dish soap will do just fine. A mild dish detergent is all that’s needed. Put a few drops of dish soap on a clean washcloth, run it under water, and then wipe down the counters. Then, blot the stained area(s) instead of scrubbing them with a sponge or towel. Blotting helps remove staining substances from textiles. Scrubbing the stain will just spread the dyes or proteins that caused the stain further into the fibers of the garment. Whenever you clean your office chair on the spot, always blot it dry.

Test Stain-Removing Products in a Discreet Area

Soap and warm water should be sufficient to remove most surface stains from an office chair, but for deeper stains, you’ll need something stronger. In order to remove stains, many different products exist on the market, and many of them involve strong cleaning agents. However, if you are considering using one of these devices, it is recommended that you first conduct a test in a non-obtrusive place, such as the seat of your office chair.

The stain remover shouldn’t be slathered throughout your entire office chair. The best place to give it a try is somewhere nobody will ever look. By doing this, you can observe the product’s effect on your desk chair. An office chair provides an ideal testing ground for stain-removal products. There is a chance that the substance could leave a permanent stain, however even if it does, it will be invisible once some time has passed.

You should always perform a spot test before using any stain remover on your office chair, whether it be a commercial solution or something more natural like vinegar. If the fabric of your office chair isn’t damaged or altered in any way, you can move on to the next step.

Apply Conditioner to Leather

To keep your leather office chair from cracking and drying out, condition it once every few months. Full grain leather, rectified grain leather, and split leather are just some of the varieties available. The greatest quality leather is full grain, and the next best is rectified grain. However, the porous surface of all varieties of natural leather means that it absorbs and retains moisture.

When viewed through a microscope, the surface of genuine leather reveals a dense network of tiny holes. These openings, or pores, are what maintain the leather’s moisture level. A leather office chair will not dry out since moisture will absorb into the material from the surface. However, after time, the pores will dry out and the fluid will be gone. Left unattended, the leather will eventually peel or crack open.

Applying a leather conditioner to your office chair will help prevent damage from occurring over time. Leather conditioners, such as mink oil and saddle soap, are used to replenish the natural oils in leather and keep it soft and supple. These products contain water and other substances that keep leather supple and prevent it from drying out. Using a conditioner on your leather desk chair will help keep it from drying out.

Additional advice on taking care of your leather office chair:

  • If you have a leather office chair, be careful not to spill anything on it.
  • Try to keep the relative humidity in your workplace between 40 and 55 percent. Low humidity levels, especially below 40%, might be damaging to your leather office chair. Contrarily, if it’s over 55%, it could get overly saturated with water.
  • Leather furniture in the workplace should not be conditioned more frequently than once every few months. To over-condition leather is to saturate it with an excess of moisture, which will cause it to rot.
  • Use a leather conditioner or protector to preserve the life of your leather furniture. Contrary to conditioners, protectants are meant to serve as an additional barrier between the leather and the outside environment.
  • A leather office chair should not be placed in front of a heater or air vent.

Clean and Lubricate Casters

If your desk chair rolls on casters, you should clean and oil them regularly to ensure smooth operation. The wheels on an office chair are housed in metal or plastic components called casters. Plastic, rubber, steel, aluminum, cast iron, and polyurethane are just some of the elements that go into making wheels. In contrast, the actual dwelling units are typically metal constructions.

All but the heaviest of people can roll around in a brand new office chair with nary a hiccup in sight. However, if you’ve used the same office chair for more than a year, the casters may get clogged with dirt and dust, making movement across the floor difficult.

To clean the casters, you need to turn your chair upside down and remove any lint, hair, or dirt from the wheel housing units. The casters can be be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner or bottled air to remove any stubborn debris.

WD-40 or another lubricant should be used to the casters of your office chair after they have been cleaned properly. To make your office chair glide more easily, simply spray some lubricant into each housing unit. Keep the casters on your office chair clean and well-lubricated by making it a regular maintenance task.

Tighten Fasteners

Naturally, you should also check the bolts on your office chair and make sure they are secure. If you don’t regularly tighten the screws or bolts (or both) on your office chair, the chair’s parts could fall free. Additionally, if a screw or bolt is missing, your office chair will wobble.

See the handbook for a complete list of all fasteners and their respective locations. Although some office chairs may have as little as two or three fasteners, others may have as many as a hundred. Locate the screws or bolts that hold your office chair in place, then tighten them using a screwdriver.

Turn the screwdriver to the right to tighten a screw. As an alternative, loosening a fastener is accomplished by twisting it counterclockwise from its locked position. Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey is a handy mnemonic for keeping track of which way to turn a screw or bolt.

Replace Gas Cylinder

Does your chair automatically return to the floor after you elevate it? If this is the case, the gas cylinder may need to be replaced. In most models, a gas cylinder is used to generate pneumatic lift for height-adjustable office chairs. This cylinder contains pressurized nitrogen gas that is capable of lifting and maintaining the raised position of the office chair.

You won’t be able to lift your office chair if the gas cylinder is leaking or malfunctioning in any other way. Most gas cylinders are inexpensive and simple to replace. To change the gas cylinder in your office chair, you just to invert it, remove the old one with a screwdriver, and insert the new one. After the new gas cylinder has been placed, you can test its functionality by lifting your desk chair.

Keep Away From Direct Sunlight

You should move your desk chair away from windows to prevent sun damage. Most textiles and materials, including those used to make office chairs, degrade when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) sunlight. This is not something that can be done in a day. However, an office chair left in the sun for too long may dry out and fade.

To prevent sun damage to your office chair, it is not necessary to work in complete darkness. Put your desk chair somewhere that will be primarily shaded during the day. The quantity of sunlight that reaches your office chair can also be reduced by partially closing the blinds or drapes. These measures can help ensure that your office chair will not crack or dry out from prolonged exposure to sunlight.

Replace When Necessary

Regular upkeep and cleaning won’t prevent the inevitable chair replacement that eventually becomes necessary in the workplace. It has been estimated that an office chair will last between seven and fifteen years on the whole. In the event that your office chair is broken or worn out beyond repair, you should get a new one.

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A warranty is a sign of quality for any product, and it should be present on a name-brand office chair. If a part fails within the specified time frame, the manufacturer will fix it or replace it at no cost to the customer. Office chairs with warranties show that the company stands behind its goods.

If you’ve recently purchased a new chair for your office, read on for some helpful maintenance advice. By doing so, you will prevent its untimely demise. Equally important is the condition of your office chair, which can greatly affect your productivity.

Conclusion

This article provided information about fixing a swivel chair’s mechanism and keeping it in working order. Check out the piece and give us your feedback!

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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