Mechanical Pendulum Clocks are some of the most precise timepieces around, but that precision can come at the price of being more delicate that other styles of movements. Pendulum Clocks are in perfect balance when they are working normally, but if they are bumped, dropped or nudged they can often seem to stop working immediately. Not to worry, this is more often than not the result of the clock simply going out of beat which can be fixed with a quick reset. Let’s get into the details.
How To Set the Beat of a Pendulum Clock
Things to Note Before Beginning
To prevent any damage, it’s worth mentioning that the pendulum should always be removed before taking the clock down from your wall. This will prevent internal damage and scratching as the pendulum could otherwise move in undesirable ways and bang into the inside of the clock case.
Steps to Set the Beat of a Pendulum Clock
Listen closely to the pendulum clock to hear for the beat. It will make a tick-tock sound that is uniform and even if it working properly. If it is not working properly, the tick-tock sound will be irregular and the pendulum will stop swinging in a short while due to the imbalance. The goal here to to get the tick and the tock to be like a metronome, precise and even by swinging equal distances from center to left and right.
The simplest way to correct the beat of the clock is to slightly adjust the clock case’s angle ever so slightly until the tick-tock is as uniform as possible. This may mean that your clock is no longer 100% level on your wall, which may not be appealing, but if the adjustment is very small, it may not be noticeable at all.
If adjusting the angle of the clock case does not work, the other method is to adjust the pendulum leader. To do this, take the pendulum out of the clock to prevent damage as we recommended above, and then remove the clock from your wall. Move the pendulum leader left to right very gently to readjust it until is feels like it will move on its own. From dead center to right or left, it should feel identical. Is most cases a gentle touch and this method of adjustment will do the trick if adjusting the angle of the case on the wall won’t.
Other Reasons Your Pendulum Clock May Not Be Working Properly
Clock Hands and Dials
If the above steps have not solved the problem at hand, check that the hands of the clock are not touching each other or anything else. If the hands of the clock touch each other or the dial at any point in their full rotation, the entire movement will stop. If they do touch something, you can slightly bend the hands of the clock away from the object they’re touching to prevent it.
Wall Hanging Imperfections
There is a chance the the mounting position of the pendulum clock is not level enough front to back. This can be caused by the nail or hook you have in your wall sticking out too far, or the clock not being pushed flush against the wall when it is hanging. Both of these have the potential to create a problem with the pendulum rubbing on internal components of the clock, such as chimes or the case itself. If this is the case, resistance will occur and stop the pendulum and as a result, the movement and clock as a whole.
A good pendulum wall clock will last many years if well taken care of, and will keep some of the most precise time out of any mechanical clock type. Occasionally they will come out of beat and need to be readjusted with the aforementioned methods. It simply takes a bit of patience and a gentle hand and your wonderful pendulum wall clock will be back up and running for everyone’s enjoyment. Here at Time For a Clock we are always a call, text or email away to help.