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Grandfather Clock Does Not Chime At Proper Time

If your grandfather clock is not striking exactly on the hour and the deviation is less than 15 minutes, you may adjust the minute hand to get it as close as you wish to an exact hour strike. You may have to do this several times to get it right as it is a trial and error method.  As soon as you tighten the hand nut, it may change.


If the Grandfather Clock chimes more than one minute before or after the proper time, How to Adjust the Chime Time on your grandfather clock?  The minute hand should be removed and adjusted.
CAUTION: When performing this operation be careful not to scratch the hand nut, hand or dial.

How to Adjust the Chime Sync Time on your grandfather clock

adjusting the minute hand chime sync on your grandfather clock

1. When the Grandfather Clock starts to chime, stop the pendulum and record the time.
2. Using pliers, carefully remove the small nut that holds the minute hand in place by turning the nut counter Clockwise while at the same time hold the minute hand with your fingers near the small nut.
3. Remove the hand from the hand shaft by grasping it with your fingers at the point where it attaches to the shaft. Pull the hand straight off. This hand is not screwed on and should come off easily. The minute hand has a small raised area on the back side directly around the shaft hole, this is the hand bushing. Using
pliers, grip the bushing firmly by its sides so that it cannot slip in the pliers. With your other hand, turn the Grandfather Clock hand forward or backward the distance necessary to chime at the correct time. (See figure 20).
4. Re-attach the hand to the shaft and turn the hand nut finger tight. Make sure the hand points to the correct location that you recorded in Step 1 plus any corrections you made in step 3. If the hand does not point to the correct mark, repeat steps 2 and 3.
5. Snug up the hand nut with the pliers. Do not over tighten.
6. Start pendulum.
7. Re-set the time by moving ONLY THE MINUTE HAND counter Clockwise (backward) as described in Step 5 of the set-up operation.

EXAMPLE: Grandfather Clock chimes at 1:10 but should chime at 1:15.
Step 1: When Grandfather Clock chimes at 1:10 stop the pendulum and record the time of 1:10.
Step 2: Carefully remove the small nut.
Step 3: Remove the minute hand. Grip the bushing by its sides and turn the hand forward 5 minutes.
Step 4: Reattach the hand so it points to 1:15. Attach the hand nut finger tight.
Step:5 Snug up the hand nut.
Step 6: Start pendulum.
Step 7: Reset Grandfather Clock to the current time.

The following video will help to explain this process.


If Your Clock Is Chiming Exactly 15 or 30 Minutes Off

1) Wait for the clock to strike the hour and count the hour regardless of what the hands indicate.
2) Stop the pendulum.
3) Carefully remove the small nut, a remove the minute hand.
4) Reattach the hand so it points straight up.
5) Attach the hand nut finger tight, then an additional 1/8 turn.

14 responses on Grandfather Clock Does Not Chime At Proper Time

  1. Since moving my grandfather clock chimes the hour when the hands are at 10 past. Timekeeping is perfect each hour so can you please tell me the type of adjustment I need to make?

      1. Thank you so much for this posting. I installed a new movement and the chime time was off by 7 minutes and couldn’t figure out how to change it until I found this description and video. It worked and all is well! Thank you.
        David Robinson

        1. I had same experience, moved clock and it started chiming 7 min early. I removed second hand and moved square cog on back of second hand to make it center up on 12 and reinstalled.
          All the other posts I could find talked about the number of chimes being off and moving hour hand to correct it.
          Thank you so much for this very helpful and simple solution!

  2. Pingback: Grandfather Clock Chimes the Wrong Hour - The Clock Depot
  3. I have a three weighted grandfather clock that I have just inherited. It keeps time and chimes with the right side hammers. However, does not strike the hour. I can hear the cog spinning though the hammers on the left to not move. Any ideas?

    1. Hi Alasdar,
      If you are familiar with the movement on the front, the lever is probably jammed, out of place or in severe need of cleaning and oiling. It should be resting on the snail. As the snail turns, you should see the lever lifting and the rack move as it is counting the hour. You probably will need some assistance with this from a clock tech.


  4. Hi,
    My grandfather clock is keeping excellent time after tightening the nut. It is chiming on the quarter hour. However, it is not chiming correctly on the hour. It is now 10
    am and chimes only 3 times. How do I correct this? I had it serviced 1 year ago and it was running great till the nut from the hands fell off in the cabinet. I have read your website but don’t see anything about this problem. I enjoy reading your website !

  5. My clock has a slightly different problem. It chimes right on the hour and at a quarter past, but the half past and three quarters past chimes are at 32 minutes past and 47 minutes past, respectively. For example, it’ll chime correctly at 12:00 and 12:15, but not again until 12:32 and 12:47. It seems like moving the minute hand wouldn’t fix that. Any thoughts?

    1. Hi Derek…I have seen many new clocks out of the box function this way where the hour is dead on, but one or more of the quarter hours are not exactly on the quarter hour. This is not unusual. If you have seen the same clock strike exactly at every quarter hour, there may be enough wear in the movement to cause this.
      Thanks, Robert

  6. thank you for this info, my clock too was chiming approx. 10 min too early as well, did not realize the bushing in the minute hand was movable. duh.. I was totally overthinking this. thanks again

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