How to Troubleshoot Clocks That Run Too Fast

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Have you noticed one of your clocks shows the time creeping forward each day compared to other timepieces? Fortunately, you can cross "buy a new clock" off your to-do list entirely. A clock that runs quickly still works fine; it just needs a simple adjustment. Fixing a clock that runs too fast can be as easy as turning a screw. Clocks with an interior or exterior pendulum have adjustment screws either on the pendulum or through a hole in the top of the clock. It may take up to two weeks to properly set a clock that runs fast.


How to Troubleshoot Clocks That Run Too Fast
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Adjusting an Exterior Pendulum

Hold the pendulum in your non-dominant hand. Look for a small screw at the bottom tip of the pendulum. This screw regulates the speed of the clock.


Use the fingers of your dominant hand to gently turn the regulation screw. Turning the screw to the left will lower the pendulum slightly and slow down the clock. Each turn of the screw slows the clock by two minutes per 24-hour period.

Check your adjusted clock against a reliable timepiece several times over the course of a day and continue making adjustments until your clock reads correctly.

Adjusting an Interior Pendulum

Locate a small hole on the top of your clock. There may be the words 'fast' and 'slow' marked around the hole to direct you in setting the clock's speed.


Insert the narrower end of a double-ended key into the hole. Turn the key gently to the left, or the direction indicated on the top of the clock, to slow the clock down. One full revolution slows the clock by two minutes per 24-hour period. Check the clock against a reliable timepiece several times during the day and adjust as needed.

Resetting an Electric Clock

Set the time on your non-mechanical electric or battery-powered clock to match an accurate timepiece. Keep an eye on the time for 24 hours to ensure that your clock runs fast and has not just been set improperly.


Plug your clock into an outlet in a different room and test the time again for 24 hours. Your outlet may not provide steady electricity to the clock. If you have a battery-powered clock, replace the batteries.

If your clock still appears to run fast after taking these steps, bring the clock to a repair shop for maintenance. It may have a faulty or broken motor, and a professional has the tools and equipment to efficiently replace or fix it.



Shaunta Alburger

Shaunta Alburger has been a professional writer for 15 years. She's worked on staff at both major Las Vegas newspapers, as well as a rural Nevada weekly. Her first novel was published in 2014.