How to Convert an Electric Clock to a Battery

Older clock models or floor clocks tend to be electric, which means that they're powered by electric cords that run out of the clock and connect to an outlet. Sometimes, that clashes with the decor of a room or it can make it hard to find a place for the clock since it needs to be near an outlet.

Black digital clock on a white background showing time hours minutes
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How to Convert an Electric Clock to a Battery

If there's an electric clock that you're fond of but keep having trouble placing thanks to its cord, there are ways to convert it into a battery clock. It's a straightforward way to get rid of the restrictive wiring and have a portable and seamless clock for your home.

Prepping the Clock

First, unplug the clock from the wall and put it on a table or counter. If it's a floor model, push it over to the table or counter. If there's a protective glass face over the clock, carefully remove it. If it's attached to the front of the clock with a ring, remove the ring first. If the glass is inside of a front panel, unscrew it from the back, remove the panel and then take out the glass.

Removing Parts

The next step is to remove the hands of the clock and the movement in the back. The movement consists of the gears and motor that cause the hands of the clock to move to show you what time it is. When taking this apart, be very careful not to break anything.

Gently pull the hands of the clock off the stem of the movement. They're very fragile and may break if you quickly pull them off. If there's anything attaching them to the movement, like a nut, be gentle when removing that as well. Once the hands are off, carefully remove the movement from the clock.

Some movements are glued on, so you can try scraping the glue off with a knife. Some of them have pressure clips that can be pushed back to release the movement.

Converting to Battery

There are many hardware or home improvement stores that have clock conversion kits. In order to buy the right one, be sure to measure the original hands of the clock and the hole in the clock that the shaft of the movement went through.

Once you're sure of your clock's measurements, buy a conversion kit with a movement that has a shaft that will fit through the hole in the face of the clock. If the hands of the clock were damaged during their removal, buy new hands that are the same size. If you can't find the exact size, find clock hands that are as close to the original measurements as possible.

Add a battery or charge the new movement and then put it through the hole on the face of the clock. The shaft will stick out on the other side. Tighten it to the face of the clock with the nut that's provided in the kit.

Once it's in, slide the shorter hour hand onto the shaft and have it point at 12. Be as gentle as possible when doing this. Once it's on, slide the minute hand on to also point at 12. To secure the movement to the clock, add some carpenter's glue or glue from a hot glue gun.

Once it's dry, place the glass and panel back over the face of the clock. Screw it together at the back and set the clock to the appropriate time. Now you'll have a way to tell time anywhere in your home without having to worry about tripping over a cord, not finding an outlet or how the cord will look among the rest of your belongings.