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Adjustable Bar Stools: Issues and Solutions

Adjustable Bar Stools: Issues and Solutions

Imagine you have just bought yourself a nice set of adjustable barstools from the store down the street. You had been wanting them for a while but were still saving up. But after setup, every so often, the barstool keeps sinking on its own. You adjust it again, take it up, and after a few minutes, it goes back down. 

Suppose you have been in such a situation. In that case, you are in luck because today, we have compiled a comprehensive list of the common problems that are associated with adjustable bar stools and how to fix them without having to resort to turning them to trash. 

Here are some of the issues and solutions that you might know for the adjustable barstools.

The Mechanism behind an Adjustable Barstool

To fully understand this, first, we need to know how an adjustable barstool works. 

  • Adjustable barstools function using a gas lift action in the cylinder inside the stem of the barstool. The pump's sole purpose is to make it simple to change the barstool's height, so you don't have to spend a lot of time and effort on every adjustment.
  • This gas cylinder inside the barstool, also known as a pneumatic cylinder, contains two chambers. One that brings compressed gas in and another one where it gets out. The results of these compressed gas movements are what causes the barstool to rise or fall. Letting gas into the chamber increases the pressure and pushes the barstool upwards while allowing the gas drain to release the tension that brings the stool back down. 
  • The most common gas lift options for barstools are based on a piston system. Compressed gas is forced through the valve into the back of a piston, pushing the barstool upwards. The valve after that stays closed, keeping the bar stool in place until the adjustment mechanism is used again and weight is put onto the barstool. That is what forces the air back out, relieving the pressure on the piston. 
  • With continued use, the pneumatic spring will eventually wear out. However, the good news is that the cylinders can be replaced whenever the need arises. Now that you have learned the physics behind the barstool's rise and descent, we must find out the issues and possible solutions concerned with them.

Why does my barstool keep rising? Why does it keep falling? 

Like all inventions, barstools breakdown. Whereas some sink unprovoked, others rise. So, what do you do when your barstool starts rising or falling on its own? There are usually two leading causes to suspect.

  1. Possible cause: Faulty adjustment mechanism

First, you'll need to check the adjustment levers to make sure it isn't broken or faulty. Check it for firmness, as well as any signs of physical damage. Raise the barstool to maximum height, then lower it to the minimum. If you notice any issues, the levers may be the cause of your troubles. 

  • Solution

If the lever is broken or faulty, you'll need to call your vendor for a replacement.

  1. Possible cause: Faulty gas lift

    The second cause of your barstool's unwanted rise or fall may be a faulty gas lift. As explained above, these cylinders are worn out over time and need to be taken out. 

    • Solution

    It would help if you had a new gas lift. You can even order one and fix the barstool yourself in this case if you want to save on labor costs. Have your new gas lift ready, as well as a rubber mallet, and follow the instructions below.

    • Start by removing the seating pad and stem from the base of the barstool. To make it easier to separate the parts, you should place one foot on either side of the stool’s bottom. Then grab the pad of the chair and drag it upwards so that it reaches the limit. To make the top come off, first hold the gas lever, grab both ends and thrust upwards. After pulling them apart, set the pad down and stem to one side.
    • If there is a plastic ring at the top, remove it, then turn the base upside down so you can see the underside of it. Lift the stool base a few inches above the floor, then use a rubber mallet to gently tap the bottom, where you should see the pump. After a few taps, it will slowly come loose and fall out.
    • Carefully put the spare in, and then re-attach the rest of the stool back on top in the same order you separated it.  After reassembling the seat, give it a try. Adjust it up or down and check to see if it reverses by itself. If not, you're all set and free to enjoy your barstool. 

    Why is my barstool shaky? Why is it wobbly?

    You may find that your barstool is not as firm as it's supposed to be and occasionally shakes as you sit or rise from it. That can be due to various factors, starting with an uneven floor or poor tiling preventing the stool from gaining proper support, the barstool being assembled poorly or even plain old wear and tear from use over the years.

    1. Possible cause: Uneven floor preventing the bar stool from gaining proper balance

    Some floor tiles do not line up smoothly, and sometimes it's the floor slate with a naturally uneven surface. This variable pattern creates a problem for bar stools, especially those with a four-legged design, to gain the balance required to support your weight when you sit.

    • Solution

    You can add a matt underneath the stool or increase the floor pads on the base's underside where it sits on the uneven floor. 

    Alternatively, you may move the stools to a more even area if the setting allows.

    2. Possible cause: Protective pads at the base may be loose or off completely

    The protective rubber guards and pads at the bottom of your bar stool can be pulled off as you drag it across the floor, leaving it unable to balance when set down again.

    • Solution

    For a round base stool, pull the rubber ring back into place. You may need glue or any other adhesive for a flat base stool to help you stick the protective pads around on.

    3. Possible cause: You may have poorly assembled the barstool

    If you built the barstool yourself, the cause of wobbling could be that you did not tighten the bolts evenly during assembly. You may also set your frame stool at a slight angle differing from the intended setup, or some bolts might have come loose with continued use.

    • Solution

    Check the entire frame of the stool to make sure the bolts are tight. Should you find any that are loose, tighten them. 

    If you set your frame stool at an angle, you may need to pull it apart so you can align the frame correctly. 


    These are a few things that can go wrong and cause issues for an adjustable bar stools, but they're all mostly easily fixable, even without professional help. We hope this guide helps you in case you run into any of the above problems.  

    If you need a well-made barstool with a round base that will do well on any floor, have a look at this Chintaly bar stool. I know it's worth the shot.

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