Can Office Chairs Explode?

By Calvin Allison •  Updated: 01/01/23 •  6 min read

So there is a freak on the internet, “Can office chairs explode?” The short answer is “Yes, with a Big No.” For Yes, it’s because some “Documented” cases of office chair explosion were reported in the past. But for No, You know with the advancements of technology, these incidents’ rarity is absolutely high.

But then, even gas chair exploding scenarios pose a 0.01% percentage today, we shouldn’t ignore the probability of such cases.

You might be thinking; we are now in 2021, have faced chances of atomic war, amazon wildfire, Pandemics (still facing), inflation, and all such inhuman disasters in 2020, now what the heck about this gas chair explosion.

Do not let the stress jump over your mind. With this kind of weird topic, we’ll talk today about the most likable circumstances due to which a chair can explode and how to maintain your office chair to kill any minimalist chance of such happening.

Can Office Chairs Explode – Investigating the Whole Story:

The matter isn’t much complicated, factually. But it would be best if you take care of your purchasing and chair quality. A good quality certified chair almost kills the chances of such incidents even after rough and abusive use.

But why can a chair possibly detonate? What mechanisms allow such shocking computer chairs explode incidents? Are there any chances of significant damage? Let clear all these parasitic confusions.

Chair Pistons and Gaslift Classes – You should know about this:

How easy it becomes for you to make a chair height adjustable. I mean, you just instruct the chair by pulling up or down the side lever, and your chair happily serves your order with smooth up and down movement.

Nonetheless, for this height adjustment, the chair has been implanted with a gas cylinder having a compressed nitrogen gas pressure inside. Along with this, a piston is used to compress and decompress the nitrogen gas pressure allowing you to elevate or lower your chair. 

On the other hand, there are classes of the gas cylinder from 1-4, for which you’ll find class3 as the most available and trusted for low-mid budget chairs. Gas lift classes actually represent the “Advanced and Durability” factor of the chair cylinder.

Also, the higher the gas lift class will be, the bulkier weights your chair can hold easily (it’s material dependent).

So technically, the class4 is the highest up till now, and it’s secure and viable to hold over 400lbs or 200Kg of weight. The class3 majorly caters to mid range furniture and can easily hold 150Kgs or 300lbs.

Consequently, this whole scenario represents your chair quality against exploding gas chair possibilities.

What Can Lead to a Gas Chair Explosion? Determine the Do’s and Don’ts:

Faulty Hydraulic Mechanism: It’s most likely the piston alignment gets faulty, and in the end, it leads to friction between cylinder and piston. So, it’ll create hurdles in compressing and decompressing gas pressure, thus can create any unwanted situation.

Weakening materials: Every chair has an aging period. Afterward, you can’t guarantee or show reliance for safe functioning. Weak nut, bolt, frame durability, and such other technical aspects can also lead you toward such a scenario.

Uncertified Chairs or Low-Quality Gas lift: Everyone loves a good-looking budget chair, but you never know what material the manufacturer is putting inside the cylinder?

Nitrogen gas is the finest element to keep your chair’s piston safe from explosion, but some cheap chairs get filled with ordinary air. As regular air pressure contains oxygen, it may result in rusting the cylinder body.

To judge whether you are getting into a fair deal or not, always look for a chair that comes with mandatory safety certifications and high-quality materials. The USA and the Western world has strict safety standards and certification levels. Accordingly, always keep a check whether your chair has these or not.

So what should you “Do” and “Don’t” with Your Pet Chair?

“Critically” Judge the Height Adjustment – The Do Part: Height adjustment should be smooth and buttery. As I said, small friction can lead to office chair piston failure and may end in an unfortunate office chair explosion.

So, whenever you adjust your chair height, critically note down the movement and sound. Friction creates noise and a hurdle while adjusting your chair. If you counter this, replace your cylinder part. So some greasing may also help temporarily.

Don’t Abuse Your Chair – The Don’t Part: The chair piston or office chair cylinders are distributed into classes, as we discussed above. The class part describes the quality of the cylinder as well as the weight capacity it can bear.

My sincere suggestion is, don’t ever abuse your chair while putting in some extra weight. Although the piston can slightly bear above its capacity, yet it just like giving a gun to a blindfolded person. If the weight limit has been recommended to 250Lbs, keep the thing under this limit.

The Bottom Line – Let’s Wrap Up the Story:

Ultimately and fortunately, you are safe with your chair, but as nothing comes in this world with perfection, your care makes things perfect. So can office chairs explode? The existence is VERY minor, like one in a billion times. You shouldn’t worry about this frightening topic but always consider the best chair for offices or gaming setups.

Also, there are some Do’s and Don’ts which you should adopt to be on the safe side.

Bust the Myths, Not Your Mind – FAQs:

What is a Class 4 gas lift?

Class 4 gas lift is the commercial-grade piston usually fit into chairs to bear above 200kgs of weight. From a height adjustment perspective, it goes from 280MM to 395mm (approximately).

Can you fix a gas lift chair?

It’s merely possible. As a gas lift cylinder has gas pressure inside, fixing or tuning it is a difficult task. You can replace a faulty gas lift part with a new one.

How does a gas lift chair work?

A piston inside slides back and forth allowing the pressure to compress and decompress. This makes the chair go higher and lower.

Calvin Allison