Grandfather Clock Chime Issues

Posted on    Posted in  turned_in_not  Repair Help

Grandfather Clock Chime Issues

When a grandfather clock has issues with the chime functioning these are some basic corrections. The chime is the song that plays every 15 minutes and not to be confused with the strike. The strike is what calls out the hours after it is done with the chime song. This section will resolve chime issues that are not the fault of the clock movement itself. In other words what falls into the realm of being a set up issue instead of a movement issue. Please note that post WW2 German mechanical clocks are designed so that if turning the hands fast or stop the clock for a long while it may not chime for up to 3/4 of an hour. This is because the clock is looking for the top of the hour so it does not lose its place as to when to chime.

Could be looking for the top of the hour

First thing to do is see if it chimes after 3/4 of an hour. Go forward with the minute hand with fingers while going slow past the quarters. A faint click can be heard and at that point pause and see if it starts chiming. If it does not chime go forward to the next and the next quarter. If the minute hand goes all the way around for an hour with no chime, continue to the next section.

Silent switch and roll pin

There may be a switch at the 3 o'clock and this switch turns the chimes on or off. If the clock is a triple chime movement, meaning it has three songs, it will have the song selection and also silent on this switch. The movement may have this switch but the dial may not have a slot to get at it on some Westminster only units. If this is the situation access it from the back of the clock instead. Not all movements have the silence switch. So if there is no switch then this cannot be the reason for no chimes.

If it's a Westminster only unit, UP is off and DOWN is chime. However, only if there is a switch. When the clock selector switch is on chime and still does not work, the next thing to check is a jam in the roll pin. To correct this pull all the chime side hammers back all at once and then let go. This will release a jam in the chime roll pin and let it bounce into position. Shipping may cause the roll pin to jam up like this. Changing the chime song when the current song is in midstream can cause this same issue.

Weights, cables, or chains not right

Confirm the heaviest weight is on the right while facing the clock. This is the chime side of the clock and requires the heaviest weight of them all. Check the cables or chains that they are not rubbing anything on their way down to the weight. In other words, the chains or cables do not rub the seat board, pinch or wrap around the movement pillar, or anything like this. They should be straight from the ratchet wheel or cable drum and straight down to the clock weight with nothing rubbing. If the cable or chain is rubbing something it will cause resistance. Resistance is what makes a clock stop because there is not enough weight to drive through whatever is rubbing. So if the chain or cable is rubbing something it's the same as not having the right amount of weight on the clock.

ANSO = Automatic Night Shut Off is on

Higher end mechanical clock movements sometimes include an ANSO feature. This stands for Automatic night shut off, and the intention is to have the clock be silent automatically from 10pm to 7am (usually). It is possible that it thinks it's night when it's really day, and therefore will not chime. If the clock does not chime it will not strike, so therefore the clock remains silent. This being a mechanical clock, it has no sensors to determine on its own what is night or day. Solution is to go around 12 hours with the clock hands. If there is an ANSO feature on the clock movement the switch would usually be on the left when facing the clock at 9 o'clock. On some movements it is between the hand shaft and the 3 o'clock selection switch in the middle of the dial.

The content of this website is copyright by Clockworks and written by James Stoudenmire in year 2022

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MJT
MJT
11 days ago

Strike something works. Chimes sometimes works. Chimed and struck on the hour. Then lifted the hammers all at once and let fall several times. Thought it might be fixed? It chimed the quarter hour. Chimed the half hour. But then only clicked but no chime on the 3/4 hour. Then no chimes at hour and not strike ??????????????????

Chris Vickroy
Chris Vickroy
12 days ago

My grandfather clock seems to chime the correct number of parts (one set for 15 minutes, two for 30, etc), but starts with the second set when chiming (2,3,4,1 on the hour). How do I fix this?

TROY Edward SMITH
TROY Edward SMITH
17 days ago

i have a ridgeway and it does not chime it have the chime and silent feature but you say about the hammers is for westminster only don’t know anything about clocks thanks

Mark Kunkel
Mark Kunkel
19 days ago

My Sligh 8T4/4TCA Grandfather clock keeps great time. However, the every 15 minute chime is consistently 1 minute behind. That is, it chimes at 16, 31, and 46 minutes past the hour. How can I fix this? Thanks.

Mark Kunkel
Mark Kunkel
17 days ago

Thanks. I’ll give this a try.

Carol
Carol
20 days ago

I have a 1995 Sligh grandfather clock that will not chime or strike or even click when going through each quarter hour. The problem was caused when I accidently changed the song lever in mid-song. What will fix that?

Carol
Carol
19 days ago

That is not working…any other suggestions?

Jeff
Jeff
20 days ago

I had a Sligh grandfather clock delivered today from a consignment shop. It has a chain for the strike and the time (no chime). Although we heard the clock strike when we saw it in the store last month, it now does not strike. When I advance the hands, I don’t even hear it “catch” on the hour or half hour as if it were trying to strike. I’ve tried with the on/off switch both up and down, although I believe down is “on.” The Sligh label gives the movement number as “500-0043.” The actual movement says Franz Hermle with a number “241-083H.” Thanks for any help.

Tim
Tim
25 days ago

I have a Howard Miller grandfather clock. A few weeks ago it got out of sync. Manually I can move the minute hand and it will chime on the quarter hour except the third quarter (9). It chimes that at the top of the hour. If I reverse the minute hand just before the third stop (9) and advance to top of hour it will full chime then strike the hour on its own. Then it can go to all four chime stations and they will work. But now this is interesting. After the full chime and strike cycle the next cycle will not chime or strike. It gets out of sync again. Didn’t take it to a clock shop for servicing but did do a cleaning of the pivots on the movement with a toothpick then a small spot of clock oil. This didn’t help anything. Any suggestions are welcome.

Tim
Tim
22 days ago

Here is what is in the clock.

20230106_205957.jpg
George
George
27 days ago

I have a Jacob Mosely(?) Long-case Grandfather clock (more like Great-Grandfather) of late 19th century which has been passed down the family.
 
It works perfectly and only runs slow/fast in summer and winter.
 
The chimes are just single bell for each hour, no quarter chime or tune.
 
Couple of years ago chimes went wrong.
 
10 O’clock strikes 10,
11 O’clock strike 10 again,
12 O’clock strikes 11,
1 O’ckock strike 1.
 
All ok until:
6 o’clock strike 6
7 o’clock strike 6 again
8 o’clock strike 7
9 o’clock strike 9
 
I have taken videos of the mechanism as it strikes but am unable to detect what is going on.
 
I’d be grateful for your comments

Clock side view.jpg
Roger John Keyes
Roger John Keyes
1 month ago

Hi James,

My family purchased and old charm grandfather clock which we have just set up, I have got the time setting nearly right but cannot get it to chime. When resetting the time the chimes worked at least some of the time, however when running neither the hours strike nor the quarters chime. There are two levers inside the case on the right and left which I think turn the chimes off and on and I have tried every combination of up and down and nothing seems to work. They are currently set to down which I think is the correct setting. The weights are near the top so there should be enough energy to work the chimes. Nothing appears snagged in the clock and the weights hang freely. The lady who sold it to my family said everything worked when she sold it and have no reason to disbelieve her, however the clock was not transported by an expert so that may be the problem. Any suggestions welcome before I call in the local clock repair man to help.

Thanks

Roger

Roger John Keyes
Roger John Keyes
1 month ago

Thanks James, we have got the quarters to play and the hour but the clock does not strike the hours. I’m reluctant to remove the weights as I don’t really know what am doing however an attempt to weigh them without removing suggests they are all about the same weight give or take. The weights are unmarked so no indication there. Should the right hand weight be significantly heavier?

thanks again for your advice

kind regards

Roger

Roger
Roger
28 days ago

Hi James, after much experimentation my wife has found a combination of levers that work so all is now working. Thanks for your time and prompt responses and happy new year. Regards Roger

Charles H Bateman
Charles H Bateman
1 month ago

Hi, I have a Colonial Mfg. hall clock with a #64 Jauche movement. It was purchased in 1961 by the original owner. I just purchased it a month ago and it had not run in many years. I had a clock repair person go over it, clean it, etc. It is working fine expect for 1 problem. On the half hour Westminster chime, it often misses the last note. If it doesn’t strike the note, which is seldom, it will strike it after a second or two delay. Most often, though, it will strike the last note of the half hour chime at 41 minutes after the hour. It does not miss any notes on any of the other chiming points, the hour, quarter hour, three-quarter hour–only the half hour. The clock repairman has been to look at it and says he does not know how to fix it. This is a 5 tube chime. Any thoughts?

Charles Bateman
Charles Bateman
1 month ago

Thanks so much for the information. Is this a problem that can b fixed? If so, what is the best way to go about it? How would the roll pin and movement gearing be set properly? Is it just a matter of tightening the set screw?

Karen Lohmar Gordon
Karen Lohmar Gordon
1 month ago

after I knocked the pendulum off while winding, now the clock will not chime any of the quarter hour songs nor strike the hour. There is a black lever that I can activate and the chime plays as well as striking the hour. How can I fix this?

Dean K Schriber
Dean K Schriber
1 month ago

when I hang the weight on the left my clock wont stop striking

JD Weiser
JD Weiser
2 months ago

My clock is off 2 hours. If its 12:00 it chimes 10 times

Curt Chapman
Curt Chapman
2 months ago

My chimes are very slow. I have the right weight on the chime side. can i add weight to the existing brass weight?

Greg Miros
Greg Miros
2 months ago

1 OF MY 8 CHIMES HAS FALLIN TO THE BOTTOM OF MY TREND GRANDFATHER CLOCK BASE

Judy
Judy
2 months ago

What can I do to fix one muffled chime? It’s a Baldwin grandfather clock, approximately 35 years old. Goes diiiiiing, diiiiiiing, ding , doooooong

Last edited 2 months ago by Judy
Elizabeth Adele Martinez
Elizabeth Adele Martinez
2 months ago

My Howard Miller chain driven grandfather clock is silent when it should be striking or chiming. I can see the hammers moving but no sound is emitted.

wanda
wanda
4 months ago

I have a grandfather floor clock and the 3 weights the left one is always higher then the middle one and the right one can you tell why this is happening?

Nancy E Heer
Nancy E Heer
4 months ago

Our grandmother clock (Charles R. Sligh, Sr. # 8207224D13155) has stopped striking AND chiming on the same day. The cables are free, the chyme selector seems to be slack past the first position, and the “Nite off” switch is not engaged. May need to find a clockmaker who can work on it, but would appreciate any possible solutions before I attempt to find one. I have gone thru the “Chimes stopped sequence” above with no positive results. Thank you.

Nancy E Heer
Nancy E Heer
4 months ago

The only numbers I have been able to locate off the back plate are : 84 K116cm and a small yellow sticker with 26.9 The only other writing on the back of the clock is “Made in Germany”, Original KIENINGER snd “No (0) jewels unadjusted,” That is all I can see on the back of the clock.

Nancy E Heer
Nancy E Heer
4 months ago

Mr. Stoudenmire,
Here are the problems as I see them:

  1. The chime selector (rt hand, 3 o’clock) will not move to all three positions. It previously went to one position and the went “slack”, no longer moving the internal bar with the spring. Now, it will not lower to the first (off/bottom) position. I assume the change is because I have manually pulled bank the strikers and it is now somewhere between off and on?
  2. The auto night selector is off. We normally turn both the chimes and the hour striker at night. The clock functioned perfectly since our move 10 months ago, and only stopped both chime functions in the last week.
  3. It does appear that the cable is rolling over the back part of the spool on the “Westminster” side, but is centered on the hourly side.
  4. I have tried repeatedly to reset the chime side by pulling all strikers back and releasing to no avail.
  5. Neither the weight for the striker nor chimes have moved in over a week.
  6. Any suggestions on where I might look for additional numbers on the clock?
Nancy E Heer
Nancy E Heer
4 months ago

We have had it for about six years, o is probably correct. Our family has had it since 1986, so the 1984 is probably right. Until we inherited it, the chimes were seldom used. We recently had a time when the chimes slowed wayyyy down, I applied a touch of fine machine oil and they sped up, then settled down to regular speed. A few weeks later, both sides quit. I suspect the bushings may be the problem. How difficult is it to replace the Keininger K series ? Not sure if we have any local jewelers/clockmasters available. 🙁

Nancy E Heer
Nancy E Heer
3 months ago

Okay. Not sure which chime to order to duplicate what we currently have. I know it’s cable driven, but which of the 3 chime choices do I need. It has 3 different chime selections, and plays at the 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 hours. Not sure if “triple chime”, Triple sequential”, or “triple sequential with 9 bells” matches what we are replacing. Let me know and I’ll get it ordered.

Nancy E Heer
Nancy E Heer
3 months ago

It says that at the 3 oclock position. The 9 o’clock is nighttime off/hourly chimes.

Nancy E Heer
Nancy E Heer
3 months ago

Done and instructions seem clear.

Linda Gamble
Linda Gamble
4 months ago

I have an Ethan Allen Scandinavian floor clock that has Westminster chimes. We had a flood, and I wrapped the weights in towels and put the clock on its back on a table to save it. Now the chimes do not have the correct cadence. There are strange pauses here and there. The time stays correct. Is there anything I can do to solve this problem?

Barbara shipley
Barbara shipley
4 months ago

my grandfather clock chimes 4 times and strikes on the 3/4 hour

Ned Renner
4 months ago

I have a crown grandfather clock with a 451 movement.After turning clock back on from the silent mode it won’t stop chiming Thanks

Doyle Kitchell
Doyle Kitchell
5 months ago

Our Howard miller grandfather clock sounds like it is a wheezing when striking the hour. Quarter, half, and 3/4 hour sound fine. The wheezing begins at the hour striking. Anything we can do? It is 47 years old.

Brandi Mac
Brandi Mac
5 months ago

My Grandfather clock keeps time but the left weight drops faster then the center and right weight and it will over strike until it drops all the way down.
It is a Howard and miller ambassador collection.

Last edited 5 months ago by Brandi Mac
Lela Kay Harnice
5 months ago

I recently cleaned my 34 year old Seth Thomas Grandfather clock. After returning it to the case, it runs well but will not chime at the quarter, half or three quarter hour. It chimes the three quarter chime at the hour but will not strike the hour. I have tried all the suggestions on various videos but still can’t get it to work. I can force it to chime at the hour by turning the minute had counter clockwise and forward towards the hour till it chimes the quarter hour. I repeat this process until all of the chimes, quarter through three quarter have chimed. I then repeat back and forward to the hour and the whole chime will play and then the clock will strike. It will not chime or strike unless I repeat this process! I hope this makes sense. I am at my wits end. My clock set silent for a few years because I knew it needed cleaning and oiling and I didn’t want to further damage the movement. There wasn’t anyone close by to fix it. I finally got up the nerve to do it myself. I ordered the oil and grease kit from someone that fixed clocks on Youtube. I watched him and did it as demonstrated. My clock is a Seth Thomas A451-002 purchased Dec. 1987.

Lela Kay Harnice
5 months ago

Thank you. My clock will be 35 years old in Dec. 2022. I stopped it when it was 29 years old to save the movement from damage.

Lela Kay Harnice
5 months ago

I have cleaned and oiled it. Thank you.

Lonnie R Moore
Lonnie R Moore
5 months ago

We have a Howard Miller Grandfather clock, model 610-361. The center weight has been dropping faster than the other two for several months. Today it chimed at least six or eight times on the two o’clock hour and I suspect the center weight was dropping at the time although I didn’t see it happen. Can you offer some insight? Thanks!

Lela Kay Harnice
5 months ago

That is not the case with my clock. The middle weight, which is marked center, is coming down faster than the right and left and my chimes are on! I wind them up evenly and the center weight keep going down first and much further than the other two.

Marleen
Marleen
6 months ago

I have an emperor grandfather clock. It has Westminster chimes. It does chime every 15 minutes however the chimes are out of sync… Meaning that at the 15 minute it is chiming what it should be at the 12 o’clock spot. Also it only strikes the hour once always at the 15 minutes past the hour. But only strikes once each time help!

Connie
Connie
6 months ago

My grandfather clock quit striking on the hour fifteen minutes and half

Peter Herbert
6 months ago

I have a 1930’s vintage Isgus German grandfather clock. It keeps good time and the chimes on the quarter hours work fine. Re the hourly gongs, I hear the wheels spinning and it clicks the correct number of hours, but the strikers don’t move to strike the gong rods. The strikers move freely by hand; they are correctly aligned with the gong rods; but notwithstanding that the clock works are calling for the correct number of gongs, the gong strikers simply don’t move. Any suggestions?

Marie Ory
Marie Ory
6 months ago

I have a grandmother clock that chimes at 10 minutes after the hour and then doesn’t chime again until it reaches the hour. When it reaches the hour, it chimes around six times more than it should before striking the hour. Can this be fixed?

Marie Ory
Marie Ory
6 months ago
Reply to  Marie Ory

My clock movement was replaced with a Hermle movement in November,2009. It was replaced with a Hermle 1151-053 KS/94 cm.

John
John
6 months ago

My ANSO switch does not work

Christina
Christina
7 months ago

I wound my clock up with the crank shaft, and when I removed it the weight goes to the bottom of the clock and obviously stops the clock.
Any suggestions

Last edited 7 months ago by Christina
Renee
Renee
7 months ago

I have a Daneker President grandfather clock that I just moved from my mom’s house and set up in mine. It keeps perfect time, and the quarter hour chimes and hourly strike are working on schedule. The issue is that the quarter hour chimes seem to be exceptionally slow compared to when it was set up in my mom’s house. Can someone please shed some light on this?

Renee
Renee
7 months ago

James, the weights are in the correct position. They were marked before moving them.

Wayne
Wayne
7 months ago

i have a older Ridgeway grandfather clock {1980s} that the hammers strike way to fast on the half and the hour as the weights are in the correct place what would be some causes of hammers to strike in time?

Richard McCraw
Richard McCraw
10 months ago

My clock strikes 4 at 4 o’clock at 5 o’clock it chimes 4 times again but at 6 o’clock it chimes 6 times. So it is striking 4 twice but at 6 o’clock it is back correct . What could be the problem?

Tim Wright
Tim Wright
10 months ago

What would make my grandfather clock One of the charms sounds flat ?

Dan Tracy
Dan Tracy
10 months ago

I have a Howard Miller with the Kieninger MS001 movement. The first quarter chime stops after the first note, forcing the clock into auto-correct for an hour. How can I fix this?

Dan Tracy
Dan Tracy
10 months ago

Hello, thanks for the response. I have checked the weights, they have not changed and are correct. All the cables appear to be properly wound and in their grooves. We did have a visit from the establishment we purchased it from for clean and oil about five weeks ago. It was not cleaned in the least. The points on the chime barrel each still had tiny bits of black that were there before. The notes on the receipt were “if problem persists would need a recondition/rebuild, est. $895. I’m not going to even consider that. The unit is only fourteen years old. We have a very clean home. The actual clock movement itself is nearly as pristine as when we first bought it, as you can see by the attached picture. Shouldn’t this movement last 30 years? The initial problem of only the first note of the 15 min. past the hour chime began about two months ago, and has persisted even after the visit. The other three chime sequences are working fine, along with the hourly strike. Also, twice since the visit the timekeeping mechanism has randomly just stopped, and jiggling the minute hand a tiny bit frees it up, something else it had never done before. The clock company seems to have great reviews, but I have seen some not so great reviews also. Am I going to have to remove the mechanism to properly clean and oil the movement, or can I get to it by just removing the back of the clock and the chimes? It is a 6 1/2 foot tall grandfather clock. What could be causing the first quarter chime to be catching? Thanks.

30AAA096-9EA8-45F3-8408-F1A3DAC65B19.jpeg
Marion Carney
Marion Carney
10 months ago

My three-chain grandfather clock chimes the hour correctly and keeps time well, however it is not chiming on the the three quarter markers, only the hour?

Lynette
10 months ago

I have a grandfather clock (not sure of the brand but has moon phases on top). It was recently moved when my new carpet was installed. It now will only chime on 1 of the the 3 melodies. Is this a major problem or one easily resolved? Thank you for your help.

Peter Herbert
11 months ago

I have am Isgus German made grandfather clock. When I activate the chime lever and put downward pressure to the right weight, the little fly wheel spins and the strikers are all activated. BUT there is no faint click at the quarter hours or at the hour and therefore there is no chiming at all by the clock.Can you advise? Peter

Shirley Puckett
Shirley Puckett
11 months ago

My Herschede grandmother clock won’t stop chiming on the hour.

Shirley Puckett
Shirley Puckett
11 months ago

When striking the hour instead of striking the correct hour, say 3 times at 3 o’clock it continues to strike, sometimes as much as 50 times. It will stop sometimes. I can place my two fingers on top of the strike weight and pull down slightly and it will stop.

Paul
Paul
11 months ago

My clock starts the hour strike while still playing the west minster chime

Margery Ellen Green
Margery Ellen Green
11 months ago

We just replaced the works on the clock with the ones we ordered. Now the clock bongs continuously

Carolyn
Carolyn
1 year ago

Have a Colonial of Zeeland grandmother clock acquired in the 1980’s. Recently the Jauch PL78 movement was replaced by a repair person with a Franz Hermle 1151-053SK movement. The new Franz Hermle movement runs but the chime settings are hard to set because the lever does not feel like it is “finding a position”. This is a three chime movement and when the chime selections are changed the chiming will run for several hours and then stop. Sometimes it looks like the chime hammers are stuck and moving them a bit gets the clock chiming again for a few more hours. Getting frustrated with our repair person who does not seem to be able to resolve this issue. Is there anything we can do to fix this ourselves short of buying another movement and installing it on our own? We don’t know where the new Franz Hermle movement was purchased but have been told it comes with a warranty.

BG Marshall
BG Marshall
1 year ago

My Howard Miller grandfather clock sometimes strikes on the hour, but is now striking frequently on the quarter hour. This started a couple of months ago.

Kevin
Kevin
1 year ago

I have a Pearl 451-050H and it chimes 12 times every hour. Any Ideas on what to look for? Thanks

My clock chimes but It’s not play the Westminster
My clock chimes but It’s not play the Westminster
1 year ago
Rating :
     

Hi, My clock chimes, but does not play the west minister tune, the dial is set to Westminster and is not on silent. I have no clue what to do pardon me, I am very old and I am in need of step-by-step directions. Thank you

Smith
Smith
1 year ago

Is there a way to have a grandfather clock chime ONLY on the hour?

DAVID CHAPMAN
DAVID CHAPMAN
1 year ago

my Hermle longcase weight driven clock is oiled every year but the chimes have started to slow down. Why?

DAVID CHAPMAN
DAVID CHAPMAN
1 year ago

Hi James. I purchased my clock new 35 years ago and the makers of the case and finished clock have done the oiling for me. The clock keeps perfect time allowing for the temperature changes, therefore I see no reason to have a new movement. The triple chimes also work but have just started to slow a little. I will just try and get used to it. Thank you for your reply to my question

Jarrod
Jarrod
1 year ago
Rating :
     

Hello,
My mother has a Ridgeway that is about 35 years old. The clock has been working fine then all of a sudden the chime is very slow on all 3 selections. We tried holding back the hammers but good did not change anything. Any help is appreciated.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jarrod

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