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Grandfather Clocks – Set your clocks an hour back – A How To Guide

Grandfather Clocks – Set your clocks an hour back
Sunday, 11-07-2010

These instructions will work for most keywound or chain-driven Howard Miller grandfather clocks made in the last 20 years.

It is time again to set your grandfather clocks back an hour.

Take the minute hand (the long one) and move it back (counter-clockwise) one hour by rotating the hand backwards. 

If the clock chimes while you are doing this, it will not harm anything. If you feel any resistance on the minute hand, wait a few hours and try again. On many clocks when you move the minute hand back, the Grandfather clock will chime oddly for about an hour. This is normal. After an hour, the grandfather clock will sync itself and the chimes should be fine.


If by chance your grandfather clock is counting the wrong hour, ie: the clock counts 4 when the hands say 5:00 or some other time, follow the instructions below to correct the hour count on your grandfather clocks.

  • Wait for the next hour count on your grandfather clock.
  • Count the number of hours the grandfather clock chimes.
  • With your finger, move only the hour hand (the short one) to the number of the hour count. It doesn’t matter which way you move it.
  • Reset the time on the grandfather clock to the correct time.

Your grandfather clocks should now be in sync and chiming the correct hour.

***These instructions were written for grandfather clocks built since about 1980. Older grandfather clocks may need a different method of setting the time.

3 responses on Grandfather Clocks – Set your clocks an hour back – A How To Guide

  1. We bought a house with a Howard Miller grandfather clock, and we bought the clock too. It chimes beautifully and keeps good time (runs a tiny bit slow) but it adds three chimes to the correct number — at 5 o’clock it chimes 8 times, and at 11 o’clock it chimes 2 times.

    I believe the initial solution to the problem is to move the hour hand to match the number of chimes I hear. I am not sure whether I should move the hour hand forward or backward. Does it matter which way I move the hour hand? Either way, I will end up with the clock showing the wrong time. Should I just stop the pendulum until the actual time matches what the clock shows?

    There are three openings in the face of the clock. I have a crank that I could use in each of the openings which I believe will raise one of the weights at a time. Should I crank the handle clockwise or CCW?

    I don’t know how old the clock is. I have the serial number of the clock so I thought Howard Miller could advise me about the age and the procedures for maintenance, but no one answers the phone at their company. Are they out of business?

    As you can probably see, I am afraid of damaging the clock. It’s very nice and I want to keep it running properly.

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