Grandfather clocks

Wall Clocks and Mantel Clocks FAQs

12.10.13

To be helpful for grandfather clock and wall clock and mantel clock users and shoppers all across the globe. we are posting here some of the more Frequently Asked Questions for Mantle Clocks and Wall Clocks.  These lists were compiled by the technical support team at Howard Miller Clocks, and may apply to many other high-end wall clock and mantel clock brands as well.

For Keywound Mantel Clocks and Keywound Wall Clocks:

Following is a list of Frequently Asked Questions related to “Keywound” “Wall/Mantel Clocks”

 

What if my mechanical clock will not chime or strike?
  1. Check that the strike on/off lever in not in the “strike off” position or halfway between positions.
  2. Check that the movement is not in the “night off” position.
  3. Be sure that all the packing material is removed from the movement area. You should be able to carefully pull each hammer back away from the rod approximately one inch.
  4. Check the hammer adjustment to be sure that the hammers are properly aligned with the gong rods.
  5. For weight driven clocks, make certain that the weights are in their proper location. The proper position of the weights as you are facing your clock is labeled on the bottom of each weight.
  6. If your clock is a cable driven clock and was previously run, it is possible that the cables were not wound up with the weights left on the pulley. When this happens, the cables overlap on the drum. Check the cables on the drums to see if they are overlapped. If so, contact the dealer or retailer where you purchased the clock. Correcting this problem is not covered under warranty.
What if I need a part?
  1. If your purchase is new, is missing a part, and was not in the original carton, contact the location where you purchased the item. This will be the quickest and easiest way to obtain parts that they likely have, but failed to provide.
  2. If your clock is new, is missing a part, and was in the original carton, carefully check the packing material. At Howard Miller we take great care to include all parts with every item. If your are confident that the item is missing, contact Customer Service at (616)-772-7277 or go to the QUESTION section at the bottom of this site and detail the part that you need. Have your model number, serial number, and sales receipt available before you place the call.
  3. If your clock is not new or if a part is damaged and parts are required, contact Customer Service at (616)-772-7277 or go to the QUESTION section at the bottom of this site and detail the part that you need. Have your model number, serial number, and credit card available before you place the call.
What if I hear a squeaking sound while winding my movement?
The squeak is likely from the wood knob on the winding crank.  This is not uncommon and does not indicate anything is wrong with the movement or crank.  The movements themselves will not squeak when they are wound.

If you turn the crank by hand without using the knob, and you still hearing squeaking, then it is the pulley that is squeaking.  You can place one drop of oil (any type of common oil)  on both sides of the pulley wheel where the shaft goes through.

Why is it necessary to have my clock movement cleaned?

Movement oil collects dust and other contaminants from the air. These contaminants can be abrasive and the oil can harden. For this reason, it is necessary to have the movement cleaned and oiled. The frequency of cleaning and oiling depends upon several factors, some of which include the humidity and temperature controls and cleanliness of the environment. Based on these factors, oiling should be performed every 2 to 5 years and thorough cleaning every 5 to 10 years.

What are the symptoms that the clock movement should be oiled and/or cleaned?

Signs that a movement could require oiling or cleaning can include slowing or erratic operation of the time keeping, chiming melody, and/or hour strike. Continued use may cause excessive wear and require more extensive service to the movement.

What if I want to clean and oil my own clock movement?

Howard Miller does not recommend that you service the clock movement yourself. Contact an authorized Howard Miller Service Center. However, if you feel inclined, there are a variety of internet sites that offer detailed instructions and kits necessary to perform your own cleaning and oiling. Search “clock oil kit”, for example, on the internet.

What clock oil is recommended by Howard Miller?
Howard Miller recommends using the same high quality synthetic clock oil 859 used by the original German movement manufacturer, Kieninger. Most clock oil kits available on the web contain less expensive oils (Nano oil and others). Contrary to claims made by Nano oil and other suppliers and manufacturers of oil, our testing has proven the advantages of synthetic clock oil 859. For convenience, Howard Miller offers a synthetic 859 pen oiler for sale on the Howard Miller web site on the tab entitled, “Need a Part. Purchase Parts & Accessories Online.”
What if my clock chimes a few minutes before or after the hour?
If the clock chimes more than one minute before or after the proper time, the minute hand should be removed and adjusted.  For complete details, please refer to page 10 of the Floor Clock Instruction Manual or page 3 in the Wall and Mantel Clock Instruction Manual.  Copies of these manuals can be down loaded from our web site for your convenience.

Please click the link below to watch the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-99j6QSCoI&feature=plcp

How do I reset the time for daylight savings?
When setting the clock back one hour, rotate the minute hand counterclockwise one-hour. When setting the clock ahead one hour, rotate the minute hand clockwise one-hour. When moving the hands forward, it is important to allow the clock to chime every quarter hour (1/4, ½, ¾, 1) before advancing the hands to the next quarter hour position. . DO NOT MOVE THE HANDS WHILE THE CLOCK IS CHIMING OR STRIKING.

Please click the link below to watch the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_EGbI3SMsA&feature=plcp

Where is the closest Authorized Service Center in my area?
A list of Service Centers in your area is available on this web site.
What if my mechanical clock does not strike the correct hour?
If the clock is new, allow it to operate for several hours before making any adjustments. If the strike is off, grasp the HOUR HAND ONLY and rotate it forward or backward to line up with the correct hour on the dial indicated by the number of times the hour strikes. Rotating this hand independently will not harm the movement. Then adjust the hands to the correct time by rotating the minute hand counter-clockwise – as explained in the instructions. DO NOT MOVE THE HANDS WHILE THE CLOCK IS CHIMING OR STRIKING. After a few hours, the movement’s self-adjusting feature will synchronize the hands with the correct chime and strike.

Please click the link below to watch the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgaqpWTwIes&feature=plcp

What if my mechanical clock is in the “night off” position and it is silent during the day instead of the night?
Rotate the minute hand counterclockwise twelve hours. DO NOT MOVE THE HANDS WHILE THE CLOCK IS CHIMING OR STRIKING.
What if my clock chimes have the incorrect tone?
The chime tone may be affected by the hammer resting on the chime rod (coil) or striking the rod (coil) off center. Although the hammers were set at the factory, it is possible for the hammers to get out of adjustment.
Chime hammer arms are made of brass and can be bent safely. This is accomplished by bending the hammer arms slightly in the middle so that the hammers rest approximately 1/8 inch from the chime rod. DO NOT bend the chime rod. Strike volume cannot be adjusted.Please click the link below to watch the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmh1ao32JBo&feature=plcp

Can I increase or decrease the chime volume in my mechanical clock?
No. Volume is not adjustable.
What if a chime rod is broken?
Contact a local service center or Howard Miller for a replacement rod.
What if my mechanical clock operated fine for several years but now is slow or stopping?
It is likely that your clock movement needs maintenance. Contact an authorized  Service Center.  A list of Service Centers is located on this web site.  Cleaning and oiling are not covered under warranty.
What if the hands are bent?
The clock hands are easily bent. Carefully bend them back to the correct position.
How do I wind my clock?
Floor Clocks with Cables and Pulleys – Weights that are suspended by cables with pulleys should be raised by using the crank provided. DO NOT lift the weights by hand while cranking. Insert the crank into the holes located in the dial face. It does not matter in what order the clock weights wound. All weights need to be wound to the up position.

Floor Clocks with Chains – Pull straight down on the chains. DO NOT lift up on the weights as this could cause the weight to come unhooked from the chain. Pull down on the loose end of the chain until the weight is approximately 2 inches from the bottom of the wood movement mounting board. It does not matter in what order the clock weights wound. All weights need to be wound to the up position.

Wall and Mantel Clocks – Insert the winding key into the holes located in the dial face. Depending upon the model of your clock, there can be 1, 2, or 3 winding keyholes. Turn the key clockwise until the spring becomes tight and will not turn further. For clocks with hanging weights, raise the weights using the crank. DO NOT lift the weights by hand while cranking. Wind your clock once a week. It does not matter in what order the clock weights wound. All springs must be fully wound.

What is meant by “triple chime”?
Triple chime refers to clocks that play a choice of three different melodies. The most common triple chime melodies are Westminster, St. Michaels, and Whittington.
Why is it necessary to have my clock movement oiled?
 

In mechanical devices with moving components, oil acts as a lubricant to help prevent friction and wear. Over time, the oil must be replenished. The frequency of oiling depends upon several factors, some of which include humidity and temperature controls and cleanliness of the environment. Based on these factors, oiling should be performed every 2 to 5 years.

Who should I contact to have my clock cleaned and oiled?
Contact an authorized Service Center.  A service center locator is available at this internet site. Cleaning and oiling are not covered under warranty.
What if my clock is out of warranty and needs service?
Contact an Authorized Service Center. A list of Service Centers is available under CUSTOMER SUPPORT.

For Quartz or Battery Operated Wall Clocks and Mantle Clocks

Where is the closest Authorized Service Center in my area?
A list of Service Centers in your area is available on this web site.
What if my clock is out of warranty and needs service?
Contact an Authorized Service Center. A list of Service Centers is available under CUSTOMER SUPPORT.
What if my quartz dual chime movement will not operate properly?
Before going further, follow the two instructions below.

  1. First, ensure that you are using brand new alkaline batteries.
  2. Batteries made by various manufacturers may present some difficulty in working properly in the movement. A poor electrical connection can cause inferior performance. Ensure that the positive battery contacts are positioned over the nub on the end of the battery.

The problem area is typically the negative end of the battery. Ensure that the negative battery contacts are positioned completely on the metal contact area of the battery. As necessary, bend the battery contacts out to ensure that they are not making contact with the battery casing. If necessary to ensure a proper contact on the negative end of the battery, take a 1 inch by 1 inch piece of aluminum foil and fold it over tightly to the size of ¼ inch by ¼ inch and place it between the battery contact and the battery.

Other issues and remedies.

Pendulum will not swing: To provide proper pendulum operation, it is also necessary to ensure that the clock is level. Also check that the pendulum is properly located on the pendulum hanger and that the speaker wires are not interfering with the pendulum operation.

Chime volume is off or lower during the day and louder at other times: The nighttime volume reduction or shut-off is not properly set. Reset the nighttime shut-off.

Chime volume is always low: Attempt to increase volume using the volume control knob. If this does not solve the problem, replace the batteries.

Chime is off – will not chime: Ensure that the chime is not in the “OFF” position. If this does not solve the problem, replace the batteries.

The clock chimes several minutes before the hour when the hands are moved manually: This is normal. The clock will chime on the hour under normal operation.

What if I need a part?
  1. If your purchase is new, is missing a part, and was not in the original carton, contact the location where you purchased the item. This will be the quickest and easiest way to obtain parts that they likely have, but failed to provide.
  2. If your clock is new, is missing a part, and was in the original carton, carefully check the packing material. At Howard Miller we take great care to include all parts with every item. If your are confident that the item is missing, contact Customer Service at (616)-772-7277 or go to the QUESTION section at the bottom of this site and detail the part that you need. Have your model number, serial number, and sales receipt available before you place the call.
  3. If your clock is not new or if a part is damaged and parts are required, contact Customer Service at (616)-772-7277 or go to the QUESTION section at the bottom of this site and detail the part that you need. Have your model number, serial number, and credit card available before you place the call.

© Howard Miller Clocks

1 comment so far

Wall clocks have been the number one choice of people in decorating the drawing room. The beauty of the room can also be improvised in the perfect manner with the wall clocks.



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