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How to Set The Beat On Your Pendulum Clock

Often a pendulum clock will stop when it has been moved, bumped or even a too aggressive push to restart a pendulum. It is not broken, only out of beat. This only takes a few minutes to readjust and all pendulum clock owners should learn how as this will happen eventually.

How to Set The Beat of the Pendulum Clock

TIP – Prevention: for wall clocks, always remove your pendulum before taking the clock off the wall. If the pendulum stays in the clock it may scratch the inside of the case as well as change the beat and then the clock may not work.

Check The “Beat”: Listen to the tick-tock on the clock and see if it is nice, even tick-tock. It should sound steady and even like a metronome. Equal time between the TICK and the TOCK. The pendulum needs to swing exactly equal distances from dead center to the left, as from dead center to the right. If a clock is out of beat, the pendulum will swing for a few minutes, then stop even if the clock case is level.

Setting The Beat of the Pendulum Clock
If the beat is irregular like: tock,tick——tock,tick- an adjustment must be made or the clock will stop. This can be done by either try leveling again from left to right by moving the clock very slightly from the bottom until you hear the most even tick-tock. This may not be physically level for the clock case.

If this fails or you don’t wish to have a clock case crooked on your wall, you may take off the pendulum and slightly move the pendulum leader from left to right or right to left until it almost or starts moving back and forth on it’s own. It should have the same feel from dead center to right and dead center to left. Rehang the pendulum and the clock should continue and you are done.

How to Video available by clicking here

If setting the beat has not solved the problem and it is a newer clock, please check the steps below:

My clock is in beat, but the pendulum still stops swinging on my Clock

Hands have to be free! Make sure the hands are free from touching the other hands and second hand. Also make sure the hands are not touching the dial at any point. If the hands are touching, this will stop the clock. Slightly bend the hands away from each other by holding the hand still toward the center and slightly pulling the hands away from each other.

Is the Pendulum dragging? Look into the lower side window and watch the pendulum swing. If the pendulum is touching the chime rods toward the back or touching the weights toward the front, the pendulum will stop. This indicates a problem in leveling from front to rear.

Leveling ~ Your clock will need to be level from front to back and side to side.

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  1. Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:35 am | Permalink

    Hi Robert

    Thank you so much, I have got the clock rhythm spot on.

    This clock is over 100 years old (LFS were the makers), It feels really good now to hear the rhythm being balance.

    Again Thank you for responding to my query.

    Happy Easter



    Grandfather Clocks at The Clock Depot – Visit our new

    Showroom in Durham, NC.

  2. Carole P.
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Want to thank you for the info on getting the rhythm set on my grandfather. It works perfectly now.

  3. The Clock Depot
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Hi Carole,

    I am glad this worked for you. Try for the most even tick-tock and the grandfather clock will keep running for a long, long time.


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