Office Chair Popping Noise: Causes and Solutions

Office chairs that use gas lift cylinders tend to make a popping sound when rotating or swinging. This occurs after a period of using the chair and can be quite annoying. The good news is that it’s a small issue which can be solved in a few steps.  

The primary causes of a popping noise in an office or gaming chair are worn out washers on ball bearings and poor lubrication of the moving parts. To fix the office chair popping sound, flip the washers to the side that’s not damaged and lubricate the chair properly. You can also replace the worn-out parts.  

An office chair make popping noise only when there’s a part that’s faulty in a way. Office chair pops can be quite annoying each time you move in your chair. However, with the methods described below, you will be on your way to quiet chair in no time. They’re easy fixes that don’t require much in terms of skills and tools.

Office Chair Popping Noise

How to Stop Office or Gaming Chair Popping Noise 

For this exercise, you’ll need the following items: 

  • Piece of cloth 
  • Lubricant (preferably grease) 
  • Pliers (optional) 

Follow the steps below to fix the office chair popping sound: 

Step 1: Remove the Wheel Base of the Chair 

You can only do this by overturning your chair such that bottom is facing upwards. At the very bottom of the gas lift cylinder is a clip holding it in place. Gently remove it then pull up the wheel base from the chair. Your chair might also have a washer under the clip that should be removed before removing the wheel base.  

Step 2: Flip or Replace Washers 

At the base of the gas lift cylinder is a pair of washers sandwiching a ball bearing. The popping noise comes from these washers being worn out such that the motion of the ball bearings becomes uneven and noisy.  

The good news is that the wear and tear occur on one side of the washers yet the other side is fresh. Simply flip the washers below and above the ball bearing. If they’re too worn out, you’ll need a fresh pair of washers for the task.  

Step 3: Lubricate the Mechanism 

Before putting the chair back together, add some lubricant on the washers and ball bearing. The preferred lubricant is either grease or some other solid lubricant since it’s the most effective.  

You should also consider lubricating all the other moving parts on the chair as it’ll help in the general reduction of the noise from the chair. These include the tilt mechanism and levers.  

Step 4: Install the Rotation Mechanism 

The rotation mechanism of your chair is the combination of the two washers and ball bearing. Place them back unto the shaft of the chair in the order they appeared. As started before, if one side is worn out, flip it over. If the washer is too worn out, replace it. Also remember to have added a good amount of lubricant to the mechanism.  

Step 5: Install the Wheel Base 

Put the wheel base back into its place followed by the stopper clip. You can then test out the chair by sitting on it, spinning around and rocking back and forth. If it’s still noisy, it’ll be another cause and not the ball bearing washers.  

Other Solutions 

Other solutions to the gaming chair popping sound include the following: 

1. Tightening Screws and Nuts 

If the chair has any loose screws, nuts or other tightening mechanisms, make them as tight as possible as loose parts make a chair noisy. 

2. Replacing Broken Parts 

Broken parts will not only make the chair noisy, they’re also a health hazard as they can easily fall off and injure you. They could also lead to falls from the chair. The simple solution is to replace them with quality ones.  

If the solutions offered above don’t work, it could be that your gas lift cylinder is out of order and needs a replacement. You can check out our list of the best gas lift cylinders for office chairs for that. 

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