Clock Resources     About Us    View Our Quick Shipping Schedules     Testimonials

Grandfather Clock Chime is off by a Quarter Hour

If your clock is new or has been recently setup:
Most Quarter hour chime clocks have a self correcting feature. You should wait until a couple of hours go by after hearing this happen with the chimes playing to see if it will automatically correct itself.
If you are turning the chime on / off and listening…it will probably continue to chime the incorrect quarter hour and other strange things until the clock has run at least over an hour.
Again..every time the chime is turned off..then back on, it will probably not play the correct quarter hour chimes until after at least an hour of chimes have played continually. It will correct itself automatically.

If you have had the chimes turned on continuously for over 90 minutes and the quarter hour is still wrong, there is an easy solution.
In a nutshell, what we are going to do is to remove and replace the minute hand where the chimes said it should be, then re-set to the correct time.

1) Wait for the clock to strike the next hour and count the hour. (no matter where the hands are located)
2) Stop your pendulum at this time. (Keep in mind, the clock is right, the hands are wrong)
3) Remove the hand nut in front of the minute hand by turning the nut about a 1/4 turn with a pair of needle nose pliers counterclockwise  just enough to loosen, then remove by  turning it by hand.
4) Remove the minute hand by pulling it straight out with no left to right movement to the hand.
5) Place the minute hand back pointing to the hour that just struck on the chimes.
6) Re-install the nut by hand, hand tighten while holding the end of the minute hand keeping it from moving.
7) Firming hold the minute hand and tighten with pliers an additional 1/8 – 1/4 turn beyond hand tight.
8) Re-set the time and you are done.

**the time on most clocks may be changed by moving the minute hand backwards (counter-clockwise) until reaching the correct time. *This again will probably cause the quarter hours not to play properly until at least an hour has passed with the chimes playing.

*Continuing to turn the chime lever to on / off will also cause the quarter hours not to play properly until at least an hour has passed with the chimes playing.

Best practice is to either keep your chimes on all the time or keep them off. 

Why might this happen?

1) Clock weights go all the way to the bottom and clock stops. (it may not re-sync properly)

2) Moving the chime lever frequently ( short term chime issue until it re-syncs after an hour)

3) Changing the time by moving the Minute hand. ( short term chime issue until it re-syncs after an hour)

4) Winding the clock while chimes are playing. (it may not re-sync properly)

5) Changing the time while chimes are playing. ( short term chime issue until it re-syncs after an hour)

The following video will help to see how to take off the minute hand and set it closer to the actual quarter hour needed.

10 responses on Grandfather Clock Chime is off by a Quarter Hour

  1. How to correct 1/4 hour chimes if they are off by 2-4 minutes? Minutes have passed before chimes are struck. Minute hand has a square hole.

    1. Hi..The minute hand is on the shaft in the wrong position. You will need to follow these instructions and it will correct it:
      1) Wait for the clock to strike the next hour and count the hour. (no matter where the hands are located)
      2) Stop your pendulum at this time. (Keep in mind, the clock is right, the hand is wrong)
      3) Remove the hand nut in front of the minute hand by turning the nut about a 1/4 turn with a pair of needle nose pliers counterclockwise just enough to loosen, then remove by turning it by hand.
      4) Remove the minute hand by pulling it straight out with no left to right movement to the hand.
      5) Place the minute hand back pointing to the hour that just struck on the chimes.
      6) Re-install the nut by hand, hand tighten while holding the end of the minute hand keeping it from moving.
      7) Firming hold the minute hand and tighten with pliers an additional 1/8 – 1/4 turn beyond hand tight.
      8) Re-set the time and you are done.
      This will correct it so it will strike the hour on the hour.

  2. How often should a grandfather clock chime at a) 15 past the hour; b) 30 past the hour and c) 45 mins. Past the hour?

    Hi Sandy,
    If your clock is a traditional Westminster chime grandfather clock, your chime melody will be made up of 16 notes.

    1) On the first quarter hour the clock will play the first four notes (a quarter) of the melody.
    2) On the half hour the clock will play the first eight notes (half) of the melody.
    3) On the three quarter hour the clock will play the first twelve notes (three quarters) of the melody.
    4) Then on the hour it should chime all 16 notes followed by a hour count to count the current hour.

    This sequence makes it easy to tell what time it is as you hear the clock without having to always keep looking at the dial.

    Robert

  3. OMG somehow I messed up my grandmother clock. I don’t know if I accidentally did something, maybe hit the minute hand while I was turning off the chime, which I do each night before I go to sleep. Suddenly the clock was chiming 5 minutes after each quarter hour. I called the local jeweler, who recently got my clock up and running after 10 years of silence, but it’s been 2 weeks and they haven’t even called me back. I finally got the idea to check online for some instructions, and I came across your website. After a lot of fine tuning and tweaking, per your instructions,

    I finally got it working 100% properly!

    Thank you SO much.

  4. I have an issue I have not seen addressed anywhere. My Ridgeway grandfather’s clock runs fine, keeps good time and chimes the quarter hours and hours correctly…with one exception. The quarter hour chimes play the correct NUMBER of tones, but in every case, it plays the last two notes from the previous quarter hour “tune” and ends before the correct last two notes of the current quarter hour “tune.” The clock was serviced and cleaned last year and was working fine until it was silenced and then turned back “on”. It has been operating in this manner for weeks–more than enough time for the chimes to correct themselves. This is noticeable on the Westminster setting as that tune is simple and distinctive; the other two (Winchester and Whittier) are harder to pin down. Any thoughts on what might be causing this?

    1. Hi Lisa,
      Next time it chimes, look into the right window or access panel and you should see a cylinder that is turning much like a music box. This is the music wheel or roll. It is in a position that is slightly back from where it should be located. It is stopping “early” There is a release somewhere in the clock to allow one to free move the wheel to the correct position. If all else is good, it will then chime correctly.

      Good Luck,
      Robert

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*