How to Fix an Electric Wall Clock

By Linda Stamberger
Wall clocks, home
wall clock image by palms from

Some electric wall clocks are vintage and require an in-depth examination of both the outer and inner working mechanisms. The clock parts may need to be replaced if faulty. Sometimes the gears inside a clock are rusty and need to be oiled, or the hands on the outside of the clock are locked. With a few basic adjustments, an electric wall clock can be fixed by hand using common household items or tools.

Carefully remove the clock from the wall and place on a flat workspace. Take a flat-end screwdriver and gently remove the face of the clock. Check the batteries, if the clock is battery-operated. Make sure the batteries are fresh and installed correctly.

Replace the batteries with quality high-powered batteries if there is any sign of rusting or wear on the old batteries. Take fine sandpaper or an emery board used for filing nails and gently sand away rust on batteries, if reusable. It is best to properly recycle old batteries and simply install new batteries into the clock.

Examine the front of the clock face and the hub, where the hands revolve. Clean away any dust using a small, clean makeup brush or fine feather duster. Try using a can of compressed-air cleaner if you do not have these other items handy. Lubricate the hub after all the dust and dirt is removed.

Put one drop of clock oil onto the hub, being careful not to apply too much oil. Remove the hands of the clock if they do not move around freely after oiling. More oil may be necessary. Unwind the hub nut that holds the hands in place by turning the nut counterclockwise. Remove the small hand, being careful not to break the hand as you pull. Place the oil into the hub and reattach the small hand. Tighten the nut, being careful not to overtighten. Use a small cloth to wipe away any excess oil from the clock face.

Use the canned air to fix a buzzing or humming noise. Unplug the clock and open the back of the clock using a small pair of pliers, if necessary. Simply pop out the back with your fingers if there is a slot-type opening. Attach the straw nozzle that comes with the air can and spray inside the clock. Repeat until all dust is removed. Spray carefully on the clock gears. Set the clock aside in a dry area and leave the back off for a few hours so that the clock dries. Do not put the cover back on until the inside of the clock is completely dry. Plug the clock back into the wall.

About the Author

Linda Stamberger began writing professionally in 1994, as an entertainment reporter for "Good Times Magazine." She has written online copy for The Volusia Community website and is the author of "Antiquing in Florida." Stamberger studied creative writing at Southampton College, where she won a partial writing scholarship.