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How To Regulate The Time Of Your Grandfather Clock

If your grandfather clock is running slow or fast, it is easy to adjust and regulate  it.

Grandfather Clock Pendulum

Grandfather Clock Pendulum

Changing the speed of time keeping is accomplished by moving the pendulum disk up or down. The pendulum disk is moved up or down by turning the adjustment nut.
To slow the Grandfather Clock down, move the pendulum disk down by turning the adjustment nut to the left.
To speed the Grandfather Clock up, move the pendulum disk up by turning the adjustment nut to the right.

Day One
1. Select a time of day that will allow you to check your Grandfather Clock at the same time for at least six days.
2. Record time selected.
3. Check correct time.
4. Re-set the minute hand to the exact, correct time.

Day Two, Three, Four, Five, Six (If Necessary)
1. Check correct time.
2. Compare time shown on your Grandfather Clock with correct time. Is your Grandfather Clock fast or slow?
3. Turn the adjustment nut on the pendulum one complete
revolution for each half minute fast or slow per day. (24 hours).
4. Check correct time.
5. Re-set the minute hand to exact, correct time.

How it Works:
When you turn the nut down, you are lengthening the Grandfather Clock pendulum making the clock run slower. When you turn the nut up, you are shortening the Grandfather Clock pendulum making the swing faster which will increase the speed of your clock.

01-28-2015

If you have lowered the nut as far down as it appears and your clock is still fast, you should check to make sure the nut is properly fitting the slot on the bottom.

We have added advanced instructions on setting up your pendulum on the following page:

Adjusting and Setting up your Pendulum on your grandfather clock.

 

 

21 responses on How To Regulate The Time Of Your Grandfather Clock

  1. I’m having problems regulating the number of chimes my clock strikes with the time on clock, it’s one strike behind.
    Any suggestions?
    Thank You,
    Linda Spears

    1. Hi Linda,

      Easy fix!
      1) When the clock comes up to the next hour, count the hour strike from the chimes.
      2) Move the hour hand (the short hand) to the number of the hour you had just counted.
      3) Move the minute hand to whatever the correct time is where you are at that time.
      Done! Sometimes it does take about an hour for the chimes to sync correctly, but this is how it is done.

      Good Luck,
      Robert
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  2. Hi,
    It is probably the pendulum length, though it could be a problem in the movement. Take out the pendulum and place it back up on a flat surface. Examine the nut and the threaded rod to make sure it is all the way up. If you are truly at the end of the threads, make sure the bob (the round disk) is able to move up and down with the nut. If it is, you could place some type of a spacer (like another larger nut of any kind) slightly larger that can move freely up and down the rod, then place the original nut under that one which will raise the bob to a higher level. If this is original pendulum and the nut was at the top of the threads, I would really suggest finding a clock tech in your area, as it is probably something else.

  3. My grandfather made my grandfather clock and the pendulum disc does not move. It does have an adjustment screw on the bottom. It’s running about 15 minutes slow in 24 hours. Is there anything I can do for this. My grandfather has passed away so I can’t ask him about. Looking for some advice. I would love to get the time running correctly.

    1. Hi Becky,

      The nut at the bottom should raise or lower the round disk (the pendulum bob). It might be stuck, stripped or maybe someone glued it in place. You need to take out the pendulum and place it on a table. Find out where it is stuck and release it. The nut needs to go up at least 7 turns if the tread is like most other clocks. This should correct it for you.

      Good Luck,
      Robert

  4. Hi, We are having problems regulating the chimes. If it’s 7 the chimes ring 8 times. Please advise me on how to fix this. Thank you.

  5. Update on the previous post:

    Trying to ancipate what you might advise, I removed the pendulum, laid it flat on a table and poked it while making quiet threats about flea markets. Somehow or other this seems to have done the job: it’s now running correctly, or even a little slow (but that’s easy to correct). So thank you – even before you replied you’ve inspired me to find the correct solution.
    Tim

  6. I just inherited a beautiful Howard Miller grandfather floor model clock, Can you tell me where I can get some information on operating procedures?

    1. Hi,

      You may download generic instructions for your grandfather clock at the following link. You may click the link to view.

      Grandfather Clock Instructions
      This should be very similar to what was packaged originally with the grandfather clock you now own.

      Thanks!
      Robert

    1. The thread varies with the clock design. Typically, the shorter the pendulum, the finer the thread. There is no correct spec for this. It makes it easier for the owner to set by widening the thread as the pendulum lengthens. Pitch?.. the threaded rod should be vertical.

    1. This would be difficult to tell unless we were able to look inside the grandfather clock movement. This usually happens on older clocks (over 20 years old) that have not be cleaned and oiled every 5 – 7 years. The chime side is probably dirty and not allowing the parts to turn within the movement. Cleaning and oiling should be done by a technician. There is no user fix for this one.
      Good Luck,
      Robert

  7. I have a Howard Miller 611-200 grandfather clock.. of the 3 weights one has a nut on the bottom the other 2 look similar.What are the correct weights (L,M R) for my clock and can incorrect weights be the cause of my clock running fast even after the pendulum nut (and disc) are set at the lowest position?

    1. Hi,

      If the clock is a 611-200, the weights should be marked on the bottom as Left, Center and Right. If not, the heaviest weight should be placed on the right (facing the clock). If the clock is running fast, it is most likely the pendulum and not the weights. Be sure to look at the lower diagram of the following page.
      http://www.theclockdepot.com/clocks-blog/adjusting-the-pendulum-on-your-grandfather-clock/

      Chances are the the nut is going down, but the “bob” (the round disk) is not following the nut when lowered. It might also be the bob is sitting on top of the nut. If this is a used clock, it may also be that someone replaced the pendulum with one of an incorrect length.

      Good Luck,
      Robert Pearson

  8. I cannot get my howard miller grandfather clock to keep accurate time. Been trying for over a year. I have been told that on mechanical clocks if you can get them between 1 or 2 minutes fast or slow a week that’s good. Do you agree or should it keep accurate time?

    1. Most pendulum grandfather clocks are capable of keeping great time if the pendulum bob is moving easily up and down the rod. If your clock has an all metal pendulum and is in a area where the temperature is relatively stable, you should be able to get it close. It takes some patience. I had one where it stayed accurate within seconds a month. This really deserves an article on it’s own, but briefly:
      1) Set the clock exactly to the correct time to the second.
      2) Check it again EXACTLY 24 hours later and record the discrepancy.
      3) If you are within a minute, make no more than a 1/4 of a turn on the nut in the direction you need and reset the time.
      4) Check it again EXACTLY 24 hours later and record the discrepancy.
      5) If it is closer, turn the pendulum nut less than before in the same direction as before.
      Repeat until you are pleased.

      This should make a dramatic improvement in the accuracy of your clock. Let me know how it works out.

      Good Luck!
      Robert Pearson

  9. I have a cable driven howard miller grandfather clock and every time I wind it the clock looses about 20 to 25 seconds. It catches back up by the next day. Is this standard procedure for these type of clocks?

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