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How to Fix the Chimes on a Grandfather Clock

Grandfather clock chimes should go off at regular intervals.
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Grandfather clocks are tall mechanical clocks. Weights power a system of internal gears, while a pendulum regulates the time. Many grandfather clocks also feature chimes that strike the hour, half hour or quarter hour. These can play a variety of tunes, the most popular being, Westminster Chimes. Grandfather clock chimes may occasionally strike at the wrong time. Repair grandfather clock chimes by adjusting the clock’s minute hand.

Stop the pendulum as soon as the grandfather clock begins to chime at the wrong time. Write down the time. Grasp the minute hand with one hand.

Use pliers to take hold of the nut on top of the minute hand. Do not apply to much pressure or the nut will scratch. Turn the nut counterclockwise to remove it from the grandfather clock.

Pull the hand off the shaft of the grandfather clock. Pull only from the area by the shaft and not at the end of the hand.

Turn the hand over and find the hand bushing. The hand bushing is a small raised area around the hole that goes over the shaft. Use pliers to grasp the hand bushing firmly so that it will not slip.

Use your free hand to turn the minute hand of the grandfather clock to the correct chiming time. For example, if the clock had chimed at 12:10, instead of 12:15, the hand must be turned forward five minutes.

Turn the hand right-side up, and place it back on the shaft of the grandfather clock. Use the pliers to reattach and tighten the nut on top of the hand. The minute hand should now point to the correct chiming time. Remove the hand, and repeat steps 4 and 5 and turn it again, if it does not point to the correct location.

Start the pendulum of the grandfather clock. Reset the clock to the correct time by moving the minute hand counterclockwise to the correct time. Do not move the hour hand.

Things You'll Need:

  • Grandfather clock with chimes
  • Pliers


The minute hand should be adjusted if the grandfather clock chimes one minute or more off from the correct chiming time.


  • Make sure the grandfather clock weights can move freely. If the weights cannot move, the clock will not chime. Balance the clock so that the weights do not hit anything. Untangle the chains that hold the weights, if needed..
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