My Clock Has Stopped! Can I Repair It Myself?

Many stopped clocks can be repaired by the owner. Here is a list of common problems you can resolve yourself. The following instructions are designed for Dutch or German clocks however they will work for lots of other clock types.

  1. Is the clock wound up? Dumb as that sounds I have heard of service calls where a clock repair was achieved by simply winding the clock up.

  2. Are the clock hands touching each other? Touching hands are guaranteed to stop any clock! Look at the hour and minute hands closely. If they are touching, the time train may be jammed resulting in a pendulum that won't swing. To repair, push the hour hand slightly towards the dial in order to clear the minute hand (but make sure it doesn't touch the dial!). If they still touch, you can bend back the minute hand slightly towards you, allowing clearance (but make sure it does not touch the glass, if present!).

  3. Are the clock hands touching the dial glass? A clock minute hand that touches the glass case will stop your clock. To repair, you need to bend the minute hand towards the dial and away from the glass (but make sure it does not catch on the hour hand!).

  4. Have you recently moved your clock? Clocks don't like to be moved! They get very temperamental when moved and show their displeasure by refusing to tick! The reason a clock pendulum stops swinging after being moved is because the clock case now leans at a slightly different angle then at its former location. Don't pay any attention to whether your clock is absolutely perpendicular to the floor! And don't use a level! Simply start your pendulum swinging, then listen carefully to the tick-tock sound. Lean the clock left or right slightly until the tick-tock sound seem more balanced? A clock is said to be in beat when the tick and the tock are even. A clock that is in beat would sound like
    Tick.tock .tick.tock. A clock that is out of beat would sound like Tick..tock.tick..tock. When you hear an even, balanced ticking, secure the clock at that angle to your wall with a bracket, or adjust your clock feet.

  5. The clock has been stopped for several days and now reads the wrong time how can I make it show the correct time.
    If your clock has a silent lever you should set your clock to silent then move the minute hand clockwise until the clock reads the correct time. If you do not have a silent lever move the minute hand clockwise pausing every chime or strike sequence until the correct time is reached

  6. My moon dial does not show the correct phase of the moon! Determine the date of the last full moon using Data at the United States Naval Observatory . Move your moon dial clockwise until the moon is shown in the center position. Calculate how many days from the last full moon un till today. Move the moon dial clockwise one click per day since the last full moon until today.

  7. The date indicator of my clock changes during the day! Advance the clock on 12 hours.

  8. The date disk on my clock shows the wrong date. Remove the hood. Using light pressure on the date disc move it clockwise to indicate the correct date. Replace the hood

  9. The date dial on my clock shows the wrong date. Move the date dial clockwise to indicate the correct date.

  10. My clock chimes six but the hour hands show five. If you have a Dutch or German clock you can move the hour hand to be in sync with the chimes. If you have an 18th or 17th century Grandfather clock then the hour hands are fixed to the works and you will need to call a clock repair specialist.

  11. The hour hand has come loose and is constantly pointing at 6! This is a common problem and is very common on cuckoo clocks, however the fix is simple. The hour hands are held in place on a friction fit bushing to the hour pipe, so just push the hour hand in place and then move it to indicate the correct hour. On an Grandfather clock this is not the case. Mostly the hour hand is screwed into place. If you have this problem and own an Grandfather clock then you should call a clock repair specialist.

  12. When the night shutoff is turned on the clock chimes at night but is silent during the day! Move your clock hands on 12 hours.

  13. The Dutch clock doesn't stop chiming! The time has been adjusted counterclockwise and the lever for the chiming has been jammed in place. Move the time clockwise to 12 o'clock and let it finish chiming.

  14. My clock is running to slow. Move the weight on the pendulum up on the rod.

  15. My clock is running to fast. Move the weight on the pendulum down on the rod.