Grandfather Clocks Running Fast Slow Over Time How To Fix

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Is your grandfather clock running too fast or too slow?  If so, what should you do about it.  This is a question we get asked many times, and we are attempting to provide here a useful guide for most owners of clocks.

Before deciding whether to raise or lower what is known as the pendulum bob – the usually brass round  weight near the bottom of the pendulum – it might first worth be asking whether the grandfather clock had been running fine for many years.  If so, and it has, say, after 5 or 10 plus years after purchasing it, a slow-running clock may be a symptom of a clock that needs a good cleaning and oiling.  If so, find a good local grandfather clocks repair center.

But what if your grandfather clock is new, or you’ve recently moved it, and it needs adjustment?  If your grandfather clock is RUNNING TOO SLOW, one should RAISE the pendulum bob to make the clock’s movement run faster.  If the clock is RUNNING TOO FAST, one should LOWER the pendulum bob to make the clock’s movement go slower.  One needs to have patience and be willing to experiment with how many turns of the screw beneath the pendulum will affect your clock.  Checking against a computer clock or other reliable timepiece once a day is a good idea, as is keeping notes of how many turns of the screw were made and the impact it had on the time.

Another key question is WHAT DIRECTION does one turn the screw beneath the pendulum to raise or lower the pendulum bob.  While it does not work the same for all clocks, the large majority of clocks made in the last 50 years will allow one to follow the direction of turning the screw clockwise or right to raise the pendulum bob and make the clock go faster.  Conversely, for most grandfather clock movements, if one turns the screw beneath the pendulum bob counter-clockwise or left to lower the pendulum make, it will make the clock go slower.

The best advice we can give is to try moving the pendulum bob a turn for every minute, for, say, up to a 10 minute daily variation vs. the correct time.  Recalibrate after seeing the results after 24 hours, and decide what to do the next day.

A final note.  We recommend not seeking the perfection of an atomic clock, but rather getting your clock to be accurate within, say, a minute or so per day.  After all, another way of looking at it is you can spend $25 for a very accurate quartz watch or many thousands of dollars for a Rolex, Audemars, or Vacheron Constantin.  One is buying more than accurate timekeeping when investing in a grandfather clock.

Howard Miller Newman Grandfather Clock

Howard Miller Newman Grandfather Clock Model 611-120 611120

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  1. mike says:

    i have a sligh grandfather clock,, its about 15 years old and does not work at all. When we moved into our new house 5 years ago, it quit working even though i have wound it up? Can you please tell me what you think I need to do to get it working again?



  2. billy whitehead says:

    my grandfather clock quit chiming 2 days ago,,any help ,the manual does not ..thank you

  3. McG' says:

    I have a 1790 Grandfather clock which was given to me by my uncle & aunt. It was built in the North East of Scotland, unfortunately it was running too fast; however your blog has helped me remedy the matter. I looked at several web sites and some were saying to wind the hour arm back – I distinctly remember my uncle saying never to do that…

    Many thanks for the pointers!

    Kind regards

  4. Pat Craft says:

    my ridgeway grandfather clock is out of sync with the time and chime how can I fix this. Thank You

  5. Kristine Hull says:

    I have an antique Grandfather clock. It is approximately 75-100 years old. The time and chime are not synchronized. The chimes are one hour faster than the hour. How do I get it synchronized?

    • admin says:

      You might want to try the following approach to synchronize the time and strike on your grandfather clock, We warrant this grandfather clocks advice for what you pay for it, which is nothing, the best grandfather clocks discount around! Nonetheless, it should help in resetting your grandfather clock time and strike.
      What if my mechanical clock does not strike the correct hour?
      If the clock is new, allow it to operate for several hours before making any adjustments. If the strike is off, grasp the HOUR HAND ONLY and rotate it forward or backward to line up with the correct hour on the dial indicated by the number of times the hour strikes. Rotating this hand independently will not harm the movement. Then adjust the hands to the correct time by rotating the minute hand counter-clockwise – as explained in the instructions. DO NOT MOVE THE HANDS WHILE THE CLOCK IS CHIMING OR STRIKING. After a few hours, the movement’s self-adjusting feature will synchronize the hands with the correct chime and strike.

  6. Karen Morgan says:

    I have a ten year old Sligh Grandfathers clock. model #0812-1-AM. It has been running very fast for months now, I have tried everything, by moving the weights way down on the pendulum. It does no good. Should I just call someone at this point to see what they can do?

  7. Cindy says:

    I have a Cosworth Beauty and the Beast clock that has a pendulum and runs very very fast dispite anything I do to try to fix it. I even yook it to a repair shop and all they did was charge me $5 for putting a small piece of tape to keep the pendulum.

  8. Terry says:

    I have a Ridgeway grandmother clock I inherited. It has 3 chimes, cable and pully driven, moon phase and seconds above hour and min hands. The clock is gaining approx an hour a day in time and the pendelium is adjusted all the way down. I have double and triple checked the pend. spring and it is correct. The weights x3 are on the correct cables. I have been told it is out of time as the tick tock does not sound correct to me. It will chime correctly and everything works except gaining time and no more adjustment on pend. There are no clock repair shops in the small town where I live. Can you please advise as I am VERY good with my hands and fixing things. This just happens to be something I have never done. Thanks

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