Howard Miller Grandfather Clock Repair

Expert Clock Repair Done on Premises

Howard Miller Wall Clock Repair

Mechanical & Battery Repair & Replacement

Howard Miller Mantel Clock Repair

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Frequently asked questions about Howard Miller clocks and repairs.

We frequentley receive emails asking questions about clocks and clock repair. Here is a list of some of the most frequently asked questions. Please look through the questions and click on any that apply to you.

Don't see a question that applies to you? Call us at 714-578-0089 and we'd be happy to help!

  • When does my clock require an overhaul or major repair?
    • One indication that your clock needs an overhaul and not just a minor repair is when the oil point contains a black or green residue. This residue is a mixture of old oil and brass powder, a sure sign your clock needs re-bushing.
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  • What is a re-bushing or complete overhaul?
    • The clock plates are made of brass and the pivot is made of steel. These two materials form the bearing for the clock wheel. If the pivot is clean and polished and there is oil or no contaminants in the plate hole then the pivot will turn with minimal wear on the brass plate. If there is no oil in the baring then wear will occur and what was previously a round hole now wears in one direction causing the bushing to become oval shaped. This causes the pivot to sit lower in the bushing, which then causes the gears to not mesh as the clock was designed. This will cause the clock to stop running. A re-bushing is the process of drilling out the oval hole and installing a brand new, bronze bushing in its place. This is done for all bushings and this type of repair carries a 1-year warranty.
    • Note: All mechanical clocks need to be overhauled at some point in their life and can continue to be overhauled almost indefinitely if proper care is taken of clock.
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  • What function does the pendulum perform?
    • The pendulum regulates the time of the clock and allows the power to be released at a precise rate. The longer a pendulum is the slower the clock will run, the shorter a pendulum is the faster the clock will run.
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  • How do I set the time on my clock?
    • This depends on the make and model of your clock. It is safest to consult your manual to get specific instructions for your clock. The absolute safest way to set the time on your clock is to wait to start the clock until the hands of the clock show the correct time. Another generic option is to rotate the minute hands forward to the correct time, being sure to pause every time the clock chimes.
    • Please call us at 714-578-0089 and we are more than happy to give you specific instructions for your clock.
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  • Does The Clock Man repair all clocks and watches?
    • Yes, absolutely. We specialize in all types and brands of clock repair, antique and new. We also repair and service all makes and models of watches. Rolex, Breitling, Seiko, Panerai, Tag Heuer, Invicta, Bulova, and many more.
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  • Does The Clock Man repair clock cases?
    • Yes, we are experienced in shellac and Lacquer color matching, plus fabrication of missing pieces. Please feel free to bring in your clock or send pictures via email to receive a preliminary estimate.
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  • Does The Clock Man make house calls?
    • Yes, we come to your home and perform an oil and adjust. This is a typical service call that should be performed every 3 to 5 years on all mechanical clocks if they are running or not. If your clock is not running, we will do everything we can to get the clock running again. If your clock is worn out and requires an overhaul, we will give you an estimate on the spot. Should you decide to repair your clock with us, we will remove the mechanism, weights, and pendulum from the case and bring them back to our shop to fully overhaul the clock here. After the overhaul is complete, we test the clock for at least 1 week in our shop to make sure the clock is running properly. We then set up a scheduled time to deliver the clock back to you and install it in your case. This type of overhaul comes with a 1-year in-home warranty.
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  • Does The Clock Man repair Antique Grandfather clock?
    • Yes, The Clock Man has extensive knowledge of Antique Grandfather clocks. Our bread and butter for many years has been Howard Miller clocks and antique clocks. The antique clocks require a special touch and years of experience to repair properly. Antique clocks carry rich histories and sentimental value. We love to hear the background stories behind the antique clocks and repairing them is a labor of love for us.
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  • Does The Clock Man repair English or Scottish Grandfather clocks?
    • Yes, The Clock Man has extensive knowledge and experience with English, Scottish, Fusee, and wall clocks. We have over 70 years of clock repair experience in our shop, no job is to old or too tough for us.
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  • Does The Clock Man sell clocks?
    • Yes, we specialize in the full Howard Miller Clock and Furniture line. We have over 2,000 square feet of showroom and over 50 Howard Miller grandfather clocks on display right now on our showroom floor. Add to that wall clocks on every wall, mantel clocks on special stands, even clocks on the ceiling, and you have the largest clock shop in Southern California.
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  • If I have a grandfather clock that needs repair, do you need to take the whole clock back to your workshop?
    • If you have a grandfather clock we only need to take the pendulum, weights, movement and dial back to our workshop. We have test stands and can repair you clock on such a stand.
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  • Can I over wind my clock?
    • Lots of people ask this question. This is a myth; you cannot overwind your clock. Clocks are designed to stop you when the clock is fully wound. What happens is that the clock is in need of repair and stops around the time you wind it. But since a clock needs to be wound roughly once a week, people have attributed the clock stopping to overwinding it. The truth of the matter is that clocks need to be repaired every 20 to 25 years.
    • Please wind your clock fully every time you wind it! This will ensure the clock runs the length of time it was initially designed to.
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  • How often should I wind my clock?
    • Most clocks have an 8-day cycle. Most people choose Sunday or Monday to wind their clocks. Some clocks have a 1-day movement and require winding every day. There are even 30 day clocks and clocks that require winding once a year, but these clocks are more rare.
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  • How accurate should I expect my clock to be?
    • New clocks tend to keep time within 2 minutes per week. This is considered accurate and should not be worried about. If your clock is closer to five minutes a week off, you will need to regulate the clock. Please see What determines the rate of my clock for more instructions.
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  • What determines the rate of my clock?
    • The length of the pendulum determines the rate your clock runs at. Moving the pendulum bob up or down using the nut at the bottom will adjust the rate of your clock. There is a nut on the bottom of the pendulum that moves the pendulum bob up or down. Twist the nut to the right and the clock will run faster, twist the nut to the left and the clock will run slower.
    • The basic rule of thumb is 1-turn of the nut per minute per day. For example, if your clock is running 2 minutes fast turn the nut on the bottom of the pendulum to left 2 full turns. Then set the clock hands to the correct time and test the clock for one day. If the clock is then 1 minute slow, twist the nut 1 turn to the right and adjust the hands of the clock to the correct time. Repeat this process until the clock keeps time to within 2 minutes per week.
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  • Can I turn the hands backward?
    • This is a tricky question and the answer depends on the model of your clock and when it was made. In general, it is best to not turn clock hands backward unless your manual specifically states it is ok to do so. Be careful! You can severely damage your clock if you turn the hands backward and your clock is not designed to do so !If you are trying to set your clock to the correct time, please see Setting the time on my clock.
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  • Why are there three wind up points to my clock?
    • If you have three winding points then you have a clock with three independent gear trains. The center is for the time, the left is for the hour and is known as the strike. The right is for the chime.
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  • Can I spray WD40 in the back of my clock to get it working?
    • WD40 is one of the worst things you can do to your clock. It will not fix the problem and actually causes harm. It will attract a collection of dirt on the entire mechanism. We would have to give your clock an additional cleaning treatment to get rid of the WD40 before we can begin to clean the clock in the ultrasonic clock cleaner.
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  • What is the purpose of the weights or springs?
    • The weights or springs provide the power to drive the clock. The order of the weights does count on Grandfather clocks. The heaviest weight is used to power the chimes and the lightest weight is used to power the time. Hanging the weights in the wrong order will cause the clock to run erratically.
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  • What is the difference between weights and springs?
    • Weight gives an even pull throughout the clocks run cycle. A spring will be stronger at the beginning than the end of the clock cycle.This can cause the clock to run a little faster right after it is wound up and a little slower at the end of the cycle. A Fusee clock is a special design that evens out the power of a clock spring to ensure accurate time keeping throughout the cycle.
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  • Can I oil my clock myself?
    • It depends on your skill level, but probably not. This is because you can see less than half the oiling points from the rear. You would need to remove the clock from the case and partially dismantle the mechanism to reach all the oiling points. In addition some clock movements require light grease on several locations. A modern strike and chime movement can have as many as 40 lubrication locations.
    • Also, most people would use too much oil. Less than one drop of oil is required. Too much oil and the surface tension will not hold the oil in place, causing it to run from the oil sink down the clock plate leaving the bearing dry.
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Orange County Cities We Service

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