My grandfather clock stops after 4 or 5 days but works perfectly

Ok this article was inspired by a clockist who came to me with a problems he just couldnt figure out.

He brought the movement in for us to have a look at and see if two heads etc.

The movement was perfect and correctly set up. It functioned under test well and there was absolutely nothing wrong with it at all. Yet it stopped after 5 days on what should be an 8 day cycle. Ive seen this a few times and the first time I encountered the problem it was infurating. I had to return to the clients house on two occasions because the problem would occur sometime within a 3 hour time frame after about 5 days.

I had opened the clock on each visit to see what might be wrong with the weights. They appeared fine on the first occassion and then on the second I noticed something.

To explain. Almost all long case clocks are fitted with externally mounted doors. They are effectively a plank over an slightly smaller appeture. This creates a ledge on the inside of the clock wall when the door is closed.

As youve probably guessed what was happening was that the the edge of the weight was catching on the ledge in the clock and just sitting there. Theproblem wasnt apparent on the clock I looked at because the weights were light and the clock strings were holding them upright even though most of the weight was on the shelf. The result was weights that looked like they were doing the job but secretly had one foot off the scales at the back! (so to speak).

Ive published this article because since then Ive seen this a lot. It happens when clocks get moved and are set in place leaning very slightly forward or the head is repositioned too far forwards or both.

So if you just moved you clock and it only runs for a few days check everything is in order as above before you call me. Then, if this turns out to be the problem, you can text me on 07462 269529 with “5 DAY FIX DONE” and ill update this article if I get any just for a laugh.  The point is that for every text I get I guarantee there will have been a long period of consternation about what the bloody hell is going on with their clock  – its a hard one to spot.