17+ Years Experience

Grandfather Clock troubleshooting

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Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex

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Clock stops.
Try moving the calendar disc.
Move the minute hand back about 5 minutes and wait a few seconds.
Check the cables where they wind around the barrels, to be sure they aren't looping over themselves.On chain driven clocks,check to see if the chains are not caught somewhere.

Pendulum not swinging 
Make sure your grandfather clock weights are pulled up?.
Are the grandfather clock hands touching each other?
Touching hands can stop your grandfather clock! Look at the hour and minute hands closely. If they are touching, it can stop the time train and a pendulum that won't swing. push the hour hand slightly towards the dial in order to clear the minute hand (make sure it doesn't touch the dial). If they still touch, you can bend the minute hand slightly towards you.
 Are the grandfather clock hands touching the dial glass? A grandfather clock minute hand that touches the case glass will stop your grandfather clock. You need to bend the minute hand towards the dial and away from the glass.

 Have you moved your grandfather clock?
There could be many reasons, but one problem a clock pendulum stops swinging after being moved is because the clock case now leans at a different angle then before.Give a real good swing so it almost touches the side of the case.Does the tick-toc sound seem more balanced?.

Time keeping is too fast or slow 

How to adjust time keeping grandfather clock pendulum bob:
The round brass disc on the bottom of your pendulum rod is called the pendulum bob. The nut located on the bottom of the bob is used to adjust your grandfather clocks time keeping.If the bob is raised up, your grandfather clock will run faster, if lowered, your grandfather clock will run slower. You can remember this principle, with the phrase LOWER SLOWER!. Start by setting your grandfather clocks time to an accurate quartz clock or phone .Check the time 24 hours later. If the clock runs fast, turn the nut to the left (as you face the clock) and the bob will be lowered, slowing the clock. If the clock runs slow, turn the nut to the right, which will push the bob up, speeding up the clock.Then reset your grandfather clock to the correct time again. Keep a written record of the distance you turn the nut each day and the resulting minutes off. Do this every day until you have zeroed in within 1 minute of the correct time. Then, switch to checking your grandfather clock every 7 days, using the same process until your grandfather clock keeps time within 1 minute per week. During your weekly grandfather clock weight windings, its a good idea to make it a practice to also reset the minute hand to the exact time of day as established by a quartz clock or phone.

Chimes out of sequence / grandfather clock repair

 Quarter hour chimes are out of sequence with the time displayed.
If your grandfather clock chimes play in the correct order every 15 minutes, but are not in sync with the time shown, there may be nothing wrong with the chime mechanism!The majority of grandfather clocks manufactured within the last 40 years have a chime correction device that should automatically recycle the chimes back in sync with the minute hand when it reaches the top of the hour. Westminster chimes should play 4 notes on the first quarter, 8 notes at half past, 12 notes at three quarters, and 16 notes at the top of the hour.Another problem may be that the minute hand has been installed on its arbor in the wrong direction. Remove the nut holding down the minute hand with a pair of pliers, pull the minute hand off, rotate it to the quarter hour indicated by the number of chimes played, then reinstall the nut.

Hour strike is out of sync.
Move the minute hand to 12 o'clock making it chime,listen to the hours striking.If the hour strikes for example 3 times then move(you will feel some resistance,but don't worry) the hour hand to # 3.Then check again at # 4 hour moving the minute hand.

Weights refuse to fall / grandfather clock 

Your grandfather clock weights power your grandfather clock.
The weight on the right powers the chimes, the weight on the left powers the hour strike and the center weight powers the time and pendulum (which regulates the time shown by the hour and minute hands.) On each swing of the pendulum, the pendulum weight drops slightly. When the minute hand reaches the quarter hour, the clock chimes, and the right hand weight drops. And finally, on the top of the hour, the chimes play, the right hand weight drops slightly, then a lever is tripped, the clock strikes the correct hour, resulting in the left weight dropping.

No weights drop. 
Every quarter hour, the time train causes the chimes to strike, which in turn triggers the left strike weight to fall at the top of the hour. So it follows that if the time train center pendulum weight will not drop, then the chime and strike weights won't drop either. The first thing you need to do is get the pendulum swinging again. 

The right and Left weights refuse to drop.
The pendulum is swinging and the clock hands are moving, but the chime is not operating. First thing to check is whether the chime lever selector(usually close to the # 3) on the grandfather clock dial is properly centered over a chime selection and not in the "off" position,or move it up or down ,sometimes they get stuck between two chimes.Take off the side panel of your grandfather clock and check chime hammers, are they moving freely.

The left weight will not drop
Both the time and quarter hour chimes are operating, but the hour strike is not. Check if the hour strike hammers are operating freely.Check and make sure strike selector(usually close to the # 9) on the dial is not in the "off" position.

Chime bar sounds flat, or clatters instead of ringing clearly, hammer may be too close to the chime bar,try to slightly bend the hammer away from the chime bar. 
Strike operates,but the chime doesn't sound. The hammer may be too far from the chime bar, hammer arm may need to be bent closer to the chime bar.

If non of these hints fixes the problem then call 972-923-0008
We do house calls all over the DFW area metroplex on a weekly basis.


Dallas Fort Worth