How to Fix a Pendulum Clock

If your pendulum clock has lost its best beat, you can get it back in time with a bit of beat education and simple tools. Understanding the mechanics of your cherished time piece will help you fix problems that can occur without having to drag the clock to a repair specialist. If the tic follows right behind the toc or the toc lags before the tic, you should take the time to find the issue and correct it with a few simple moves.

Antique carved wood grandfather clock
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How to Fix a Pendulum Clock

Listen Well for Wellness

The health of your clock is easily detected by its tic and toc. If you've checked that the clock is wound up, take a minute to listen to the beats it's putting out. A steady tic toc sounds like a metronome, steady and slow.

Reasons and Fixes for Tic-Toc Troubles

If your clock keeps stopping, it could be the space it rests on. If you've recently moved your clock, you should check the foundation for levelness. A clock that leans to the left or right at the slightest angle will throw your pendulum into pandemonium or stop it in its daily tracks for tracking good time. Don't worry about getting a level out and finding a perfect plane. Simply start the pendulum swinging and move the case gently until the tic and toc are in good balance.

Also, check that the hands aren't touching the glass that covers the encasement of the clock. This is a typical problem that clock owners overlook and repairman find in seconds of laying eyes on the face of the piece. Simply bend the obstructing hand or hands toward the dial. Be careful not to let the minute and hour hands touch at any point during their travels around the face of the clock and get caught, causing another hiccup in the tic toc of your clock.

When to Call a Professional

Clocks contain oils to keep its mechanics running smoothly. The oil attracts dirt and dust from the air that circulates through the home all year long. It needs a good cleaning at least every seven years. Don't let 10 years slide by without getting the oils renewed as they also tend to dry out and will slow down, if not completely damage, the delicate machinery of the clock. A professional clock cleaner can check the timing and replace the oil as well as give a good prime to all the moving parts that work day and night to bring you the exact time to the minute.

Kimberley McGee

Kimberley McGee

Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at