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Troubleshooting Standing Desk

Sometimes when you're using your standing desk, unusual behaviour may result from a malfunction. Unfortunately, it can seem impossible to get the table back to normal functionality again without the proper instructions and guidance. This article aims to provide instructions for electric standing desk troubleshooting, provide definitions of error codes, and solve problems that may arise with Progressive Desks height-adjustable desks. 

Everyone loves using the technology until it stops working, and if you landed on this article, your manual standing desk won’t go up, and you're not exactly feeling the love.

Given that the desk has electrical components, at some point, it's normal that you experience a hiccup. The most common issue is that the electric sit-stand desk stops going up or going down. The desk just becomes stuck. 

Since the day you bought it, you have enjoyed your adjustable standing desk. However, there are pros and disadvantages to adopting technology. For example, is your standing desk no longer functional? 

"How do I fix or address this issue because my standing desk won't go down?" you might be wondering. Height adjustable desk troubleshooting could be the answer to this problem.

You may experience occasional difficulties while using this device, just as you would with any other electrical equipment or appliance. The most typical issue with electric height-adjustable or electric sit-stand desks is that they cease going down, leaving the desk trapped. This issue just serves to negate the reason for purchasing the desk in the first place.

You have been enjoying your adjustable standing desk since the day of purchase. However, using technology has its benefits and disadvantages. Has your standing desk stopped working? Have you wondered, "How do I fix or resolve this issue as my standing desk won't go down?" The solution to this problem may be height adjustable desk troubleshooting.

Just like using any electrical device or appliance, you can run into some hiccups at one point or another. The most common problem with electric height-adjustable desks or electric sit-stand desks is that they stop going down, which causes the desk to become stuck. This problem only defeats the purpose of getting the desk in the first place. 

A standing desk like SmartDesk Core should support your desire for a healthy work environment and not make it more difficult. 

What Is A Standing Sitting Desk?

Standing sitting desks, also known as sit to stand desks, offer the best of both worlds. You can quickly transition between either a sitting or standing position. This option can be perfect for standing newbies, who may need some time to adjust to being on their feet for long periods.

The "sit to stand" functionality is enabled with a motorized lift in most cases. However, some rare sit to stand desks offer spring-loaded lifts or a "stacking" function instead.

We admit we're a little biased regarding quality standing sitting desks. However, we've done a lot of research on what's available on the market and uncovered a few trends based on reading thousands of user reviews. As a result, we've discovered the following patterns in reported issues.

Common Issues of Standing Desks 

Objects installed above the desk, such as cabinets, shelves, or paintings, may obstruct the desk's upward movement. Some standing desks have built-in safety measures that will stop them if they are exposed to something. All you have to do now is look for any items that may be impeding your progress, remove them, and try again.

After restoring power, the standing desk tends to go into rest mode if it has lost power and is temporarily unplugged from the outlet. As a result, the desk can only move downwards. This can be resolved by performing the above-mentioned manual reset.

The control box recognizes the height difference and stops moving to prevent further harm if the desk's legs become uneven for any cause. Alternatively, the control box could keep moving until there is too much friction. The desk then comes to a halt. You may need to perform a complete reset to allow the legs to realign to correct this problem. Find more. 

You would have exceeded the desk's maximum lifting capacity if you placed too much weight on it. As a result of the overload, there is a lack of movement as a protective strategy. Some of the stuff on the desk should be removed. The desk will automatically turn on and run smoothly because of this.

Object is in the way

You may have something mounted above the desk that's stopping it from travelling upwards. The typical culprits are mounted shelves, cabinets, or artwork.

Many standing desks have a collision detection feature that prevents the desk from hitting another object as a safety measure. When it detects an object in the way, the table will stop moving upwards and then slightly move down, giving you room to remove whatever is in the way.

How to fix this

Check for any items above your desk that may be getting in the way, and remove them.

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The standing desk lost power

This typically happens for one of two reasons: the desk was temporarily unplugged and plugged back in, OR the outlet lost power.

In many cases, when a standing desk loses and then regains power, it automatically goes into reset mode. Unfortunately, a sit-stand desk can only travel downwards while being in reset mode.

How to fix this

To get your table to move up, you must complete a manual reset on the table.

Unresponsive Remote

If one or more buttons on the hand remote that came with your desk do not work, please unplug the remote from the control box, blow off any particulate on the plug, and seat firmly back into its slot in the control box. 

Balance Issues

Most standing sitting desks offer a weight capacity between 150-250 pounds, although you may find options with slightly higher or lower capacities. However, the "weight as advertised" isn't always the truth regarding stability. In some cases, a stable-looking leg design can indicate a desk that won't wobble or shake at the highest heights—but not always!

Ergonomic Issues

Rounded shoulders and lower back pain are common complaints of seated desk workers. But, unfortunately, a standing desk is no guarantee that your ergonomic woes will disappear.

If you're not of average height (meaning short or tall), be sure to carefully investigate the minimum and maximum heights before making a purchase. This can be important to verify that you won't find yourself hunched or stooped at the maximum height extension.

Mechanical Failure

Users commonly report mechanical failures with lowering and lifting desks, which can totally defeat the purpose of a sit to stand desk. In worst-case scenarios, you could find yourself stuck in an awkward position that's neither sitting or standing.

In some cases, the fix is relatively easy. For example, one Reddit member reported that the mechanical brain of his Ikea desk turned out to be fine, but the power source was dead. A new cord shipped from his manufacturer fixed the issue. In other cases where you've experienced total mechanical failure, you may need to wait for a replacement to be shipped if you're lucky enough to have bought a desk that carries mechanical warranties.

Loud Motors

There are a few standing desks with a totally quiet motorized lift. However, the best sit to stand desks produce a slight "hum" that's not obnoxious.

Others sound "whiny" and may even sound like they're struggling as the desk is raised or lowered. In some office environments, a loud desk motor that produces a "whine" for 10-15 seconds several times a day could win you many enemies.

When Overloaded Can Slow Down and Burn Out

If you have spent extensive time researching, you will notice that the weight capacity of motorized standing desks can vary greatly. This can confuse customers, who often believe that the highest weight rating is the best. It's important to note that most users do not require more than 150-200 lbs. lifting capacity, including the desktop weight. For those requiring additional capacity, be cautious as many Chinese electronics do not offer overload protection. This means that you could be unknowingly overloading and reducing the life span of your desk. Once a desk has started to exceed its recommended capacity, the performance will be greatly reduced. This includes the stability of the desk, specifically desks without true cross supports between the legs. The overall speed of adjustment will also be significantly reduced, frequently operating at less than 30% of its advertised speed. Read this post here.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Standing Desk

Sitting behind your desk all day is bad for your health and experts have long been advising people to stand at their workstations for about 15 minutes an hour. But a University of Waterloo professor says his research shows that people should be standing for at least 30 minutes per hour to get health benefits.

Standing desks are also linked to higher rates of productivity by as much as 45%. Users may also have better heart rates, improved energy levels, and a better mood overall than those who only sit. Switching from sitting to standing while working at your desk is an easy change to make.

Standing desks won't make you lose weight, and they also don't make you significantly healthier or more productive, according to a new analysis of 53 sit-stand desk studies.

The Pros. Besides less sitting time, standing at work has other benefits: More calories burned: One study showed that standing sheds 88 calories an hour, compared to 80 calories for sitting. Walking burns a lot more -- 210 calories an hour.

Standing Desks Are Overrated. A growing body of research suggests that many of the benefits claimed by standing desk evangelists are overblown. Simply put, there's no substitute for good, old fashioned movement and the our bodies are not designed to stand for prolonged periods of time.

Limited Adjustment Range

The comprehensive range of adjustments for motorized desks can vary significantly. For example, some of the cheapest standing desks will only offer a maximum height of 42", which limits the ergonomic effectiveness for users over 5'8". Similarly, other cheap desks offer a higher maximum range, reducing the lowest setting. The average sitting desk height is between 29" -30"; unfortunately, this is too tall for many users under 5'5".

It's important to consider both the minimum and maximum height for your motorized adjustable desk. Bad posture can result from desks that do not offer an adequate range of motion. With that said, selecting desks that offer max height adjustments over 50" can be excessive for the majority of the population. The recommended height for a user of 6'6" is 48" and using a set too high desk can create additional posture issues. To create a truly ergonomic workstation, we highly recommend considering the addition of a monitor arm or keyboard tray to provide the proper separation from where you use the keyboard/mouse and view your monitor. Using dual ergonomics will create a much healthier working environment and greatly reduce musculoskeletal disorders from bad posture.

Multiple Cycles Up/Down Will Cause Overheating

Something that is not advertised by most of the standing desk brands is a duty cycle function. These electronics will include an automatic shut off when a desk is over cycled up and down. This will most likely not be an issue for users since adjustments between sitting and standing are only performed every 20-90 minutes; however, showing off your brand new electric standing desk could leave you stranded if you decide to get a little too button happy.

Before you end up looking silly in front of your colleagues, check your user manual for your desk's duty cycle rating. An example would be our VertDesk v3 product: it offers a duty cycle of 2 minutes on/18 minutes off. This would mean that after 2 minutes of continuous usage up or down, the desk requires approximately 18 minutes of rest. These are put in place to prevent users from overusing the electronics and shortening their life span.

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How to Fix Your Standing Desk If It Won't Go Up

  • If objects are mounted above, such as cabinets, shelves, or portraits, these may hinder the desk from travelling upwards. Some standing desk setups have built-in safety features that stop them if there is an obstruction. You need only check for any items that may be obstructing travel, remove them, and try again. 
  • If the standing desk has lost power from either being temporarily unplugged from the outlet, it tends to go into rest mode after regaining power. Therefore, the desk only travels in a downward motion. This can be fixed by completing a manual reset as dictated above. 
  • If the desk's legs become uneven for any reason, the control box recognizes the height difference and stops moving to prevent further damage. Alternatively, the control box may continue moving until the friction is too much. The desk then stops moving. To fix this height adjustable desk troubleshooting issue, you may have to conduct a complete reset for the legs to realign themselves. Try this website.
  • If you have too much weight on the desk, you would have exceeded the maximum lifting capacity that the desk has. This issue causes an overload, which results in a lack of movement as a protective measure. Remove some of the items on the desk. Doing so automatically allows the desk to switch back on and operate smoothly. You can research the lifting capacity of the desk for clarification.
  • Each desk has a duty cycle that indicates the maximum times the control box can move up and down and the rest period the desk needs. If the limit is exceeded, this is not going to work. There's no need to panic. Give your desk a 20-minute rest period, and it should be good as new. 
  • If your power cables are loose, the power flow is not going to be consistent. Check your power cables and wire before resetting to ensure that they are secured.
  • Most decks come with an upper container stop which allows the user to set a maximum limit to stop the desk and other objects from colliding. If the setting is causing an issue, you may need to delete or change the settings to allow the desk to go higher.

Suppose the reset didn't resolve the problem, and you are still having issues with height adjustable desk troubleshooting. In that case, you should reach out to the manufacturer for more tips and instructions on standing desk troubleshooting. 

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