FAQs

Q?I just sent in my clock for repairs but I still have not received any updates?
A.

We practice a first come first served system in Siew Cheong Clocks to avoid any disputes and be fair to all parties. Spoiled clocks are usually scheduled to be taken from our showrooms to our Headquarter on Thursday every week.

The clock will then be assessed by our technicians for any damages and defects. After assessment, our technical team will contact you via phone/e-mail/text to update what needs to be done. This process will usually take about 10-14 working days depending on the queue and also the original damage on the clock.

 

Q?My grandfather clock weights are not falling evenly. What should I do?
A.

1. How the weights power your grandfather. The weight on the right powers the chimes, the weight on the left powers the hour strike and the center weight powers the pendulum (which regulates the time shown by the hour and minute hands.) On each swing of the pendulum, the pendulum weight drops. When the minute hand reaches the quarter hour, the clock chimes, and the right weight drops. And finally, on the top of the hour, the chimes trip a lever, the clock strikes the correct hour and left weight drops.

2. No weights drop. As stated above, the center pendulum weight causes the left chime weight to fall, and the chime weight causes the right strike weight to fall. So, if the pendulum weight does not drop, then the chime and strike weights won’t drop either. The first thing you need to do is get the pendulum swinging again. For help read the section 1 above titled “The Pendulum has stopped.”

3. The right and left weights refuse to drop. Here, the pendulum is swinging and the clock hands are moving, but the chime is not operating. And as shown above, if the chime is not operating, the strike will not operate either! First thing to check is whether the chime lever on the grandfather dial is properly centered over a chime and not in the “off” position. If your clock is a “grandmother,” take off the side panel of the clock and check to make certain that the steel chime retard bar has not been lowered onto the chime hammers, causing the chimes not to operate.

4. The left weight will not drop. Here, both the time and quarter hour chimes are operating, but the hour strike is not. On the grandmother clock, open the side panel and check to make certain that the steel retard bar has not been lowered onto the strike hammers causing them not to operate. On the grandfather clocks, the problem is that the trip lever from the chimes is not causing the strike train to be released or the strike train “bushings” are worn from a lack of oiling, that the wheels in the strike train are out of alignment. Unless you are professional enough, we suggest you call a repairer to do this so as not to damage the mechanism.

Q?My grandfather clock is inaccurate. What should I do?
A.

1. How to Adjust the Pendulum Bob: The round brass disc on the bottom of your pendulum rod is called the pendulum bob. The nut located on the bottom of the bob is used to adjust your grandfather’s time keeping ability. If the bob is pushed up, your grandfather will run faster, if let down, your grandfather will run slower. You can remember this principle; with the phrase A SHORT DOG’S TAIL WAGS FASTER expect an accuracy of at least 1 minute, fast or slow per week. Start by setting your grandfather’s time to an accurate electric or quartz clock or watch. Check the time 24 hours later. If the clock runs fast, turn the nut to the left (as you face the clock) and the bob will be lowered, slowing the clock. If the clock runs slow, turn the nut to the right, which will push the bob up, speeding up the clock. Then reset your grandfather to the correct time again. Keep a written record of the distance you turn the nut each day and the resulting minutes off. Do this every day until you have zeroed in within 1 minute of the correct time. Then, switch to checking your grandfather every 7 days, using the same process until your grandfather keeps time within l minute per week. Many grandfather clocks are designed so that one full turn of the pendulum nut equals l minute per day. So, for example, if your grandfather is 2 minutes fast in a 24-hour period, turn the pendulum nut 2 full turns to the left. Keep in mind that this rule of thumb is not true with all grandfathers. And remember, mechanical clocks are not as accurate as modern day electric or quartz clocks! When you regulate the pendulum of your grandfather, you are attempting to achieve the best timekeeping possible from a mechanical clock between weekly windings. You will need to push the minute hand of your grandfather forward or backward to the correct time once or twice a month.

2. Does your grandfather have two nuts attached to the pendulum rod? Some grandfather clocks have not one but two nuts on the bottom of the pendulum rod. If your grandfather has two nuts, then you probably have a real accurate grandfather clock! Many owners believe that the bottom nut is used as a “lock” nut against the top nut. Not so! If you have two nuts, you probably have a real accurate grandfather clock! Make sure the bottom nut doesn’t touch the top nut. Let the top nut raise or lower the pendulum bob until the most accurate timekeeping has been obtained. Then, by turning left or right, use the weight of this nut as the final delicate time adjustment to your grandfather clock.

Q?My grandfather pendulum is not swinging. What should I do?
A.

1. Have the clock weights been pulled up? This may seem like a dumb question, but many clock owners has suffered an expensive house call, when all that was necessary was to pull up the weights.

2. Are the clock hands touching? Touching hands are guaranteed to stop your clock! Look at the hour and minute hands closely. If they are touching, the movement is jammed and the pendulum would not swing. Try moving the hour hand slightly back and forth while pushing it towards the dial in order to clear the minute hand (but make sure it doesn’t touch the dial. If they still touch, you can bend the minute hand slightly towards you, allowing clearance.

3. Have you recently moved your grandfather? Grandfather clocks don’t like to be moved. They get very temperamental when moved and show their displeasure by refusing to tick! The reason a clock pendulum stops swinging after being moved is because the clock case now leans at a slightly different angle then at its former location. Don’t pay any attention to whether your clock is absolutely perpendicular to the floor. And don’t use a level. Simply start your pendulum swinging, and then listen carefully to the “tick-tock” sound. Play by your ears. Push the top of the clock slightly to the right. Does the tick-tock sound seem more balanced? If not, push the top slightly to the left. When you hear an even, balanced ticking, secure the clock at that angle to your wall with a bracket, or shim your grandfather’s feet. Your grandfather is now in perfect “beat”.

Q?My clock is not accurate. How do I regulate the clock?
A.

The faster the pendulum swings, the faster the minute hand will turn. A basic principle of physics is that the length of a pendulum determines how fast it swings. A short pendulum swings faster than a long pendulum. You can remember this principle with the phrase “A SHORT DOG’S TAIL WAGS FASTER” You can change the effective length of the pendulum by raising or lowering the pendulum bob on the pendulum stick. If you push the bob up, the clock will run faster. Lower it and the clock will run slower. If you turn the nut clockwise you will be raising the bob. If your clock runs too fast or slow, the best way to correct this problem is to set your clock to an accurate watch or clock. After 24 hours, record how many minutes your clock is running too fast or slow. Then adjust the bob up or down the pendulum stick to change the pendulums effective length. You’ll need to take an educated guess as to the distance. Reset the clock minute hand time to your watch or clock again. (Important: DO NOT turn the hands in the anti clockwise direction). Repeat this process every 24 hours, recording the results, and readjusting the bob until you are within 3 minutes of the correct time. Then, switch from recording every day to recording every week. Use the same process described, recording the time difference, adjusting the bob up or down every week, until the clock is accurate within approximately 3 minutes per week. Remember, mechanical clocks are not as accurate as quartz or electric clocks. A three-minute error per week is not bad. Maybe you can do better

Q?I bought a brand new cuckoo clock. How do I install it the correct way?
A.

Repair-Tips-Cuckoo_clock_installation

DO NOT THROW AWAY THE CARTON OR INSIDE PADDING BEFORE YOU HAVE FOUND ALL ACCESSORIES

  1. Carefully remove clock from carton and unwrap loose accessories. Do not touch the small bag tied under the clock.
  2. Put clock face down. Push clamp (4) upwards. Insert a dull instrument (screwdriver etc) (3) to remove back panel.
  3. Carefully remove cardboard under strike gong on back panel (5)
  4. Pull out the two wire clamps (6) from each of the two bellows.
  5. Put back panel in this place again. Push metal clamp (4) down to hold back panel closed.
  6. Now turn the clock over on its back.
  7. Fasten the hand carved top ornament with the two clips onto the front of the roof.
  8. Now select a place for your new clock. Put a strong nail (11), screw, or preferably dry wall anchor at least 7 feet above the floor. Be sure, clock is hanging straight and flush against the wall.
  9. Use hole (10) in the back panel to hang the clock.
  10. Carefully unwrap chains from paper bag fastened at the bottom of the clock, only after the clock is hanging on the wall.
  11. Remove the wire that is fastened through the chains. This wire prevents the chains from slipping from the cog wheel before the clock is hung.
  12. DO NOT TURN CLOCK UPSIDE DOWN AT ANY TIME AFTER REMOVING THIS WIRE! Allow chains to hang freely through bottom of clock. See that the chain has no knots but is hanging down very straight.
  13. FRONT OF CLOCK: There is a little door for the cuckoo above the dial of the clock. This door is held closed by a wire hook. Turn this wire upwards to allow the door to open (Some musical clocks have 2 doors and 2 door wires).
  14. Hang pendulum into wire-look (9) and pine cone weights into hooks (8). Clock might now start to cuckoo, do not try to stop this, after the first, full hour call, the striking mechanism will adjust itself and always be correct.
Q?My cuckoo clock is installed. How do I maintain it the correct way?
A.
  • SETTING TO CORRECT TIME:
  1. Turn the minute hand (long hand) slowly backwards. DO NOT touch the hour (short hand). If you turn the minute hand forward to see the time, MUST stop on the hour and the half hour to let the cuckoo cuckoos and if it is musical, let the music play. The cuckoo call will automatically adjust itself and strike the correct time.
  2. Now start your clock by gently swinging the pendulum to the side.
  • WINDING:
  1. After a few hours the pine cones have lowered and the rings fastened to the end of the chains have come up (The weights will not go down at the same rate of speed).
  2. Pull the rings down till the weights are up just under the clock, your clock is now fully wound again.
  3. One weight winds up the movement, the other one the cuckoo-bird mechanism, (cuckoo clocks with music have three weights. The third weight winds up the music movement).
  • TIME KEEPING ADJUSTMENT:
  1. If your clock is running too fast, lower the leaf by sliding it down the pendulum rod.
  2. If your clock is running too slow, move the leaf by sliding it up the pendulum rod.
  • TROUBLE SHOOTING: DOES NOT RUN
  1. If you put the clock near open windows, fans, doorways, or heating vents, the clock may stop periodically due to draught.
  2. If the clock does not run, move the minute hand back half an hour and forward to the hour and let it cuckoo. Set the pendulum swinging again.
  3. If the clock does not run, wind the weights fully and check the chains for any-kinks that may have prevented the weights from coming down properly.
  4. If you put the clock on the wall and it does not cuckoo or if it is musical does not play the music, check on the side of the clock for a metal lever that is the shut-off lever. The lever may be turned to the off position. Disregard the sticker which tells you which way to move the lever to turn the music and the cuckoo off and on. The lever must be moved to one extreme or the other.
  5. Listen to make sure that the clock has an even tic-tock – tilt the clock slightly to the left or right to obtain an even tic-tock.
  6. To adjust the sound of the gong look through the hole (2) on the drawing on page 1 – the hammer can be bent slightly closer or further away from the gong to obtain a desirable gong sound.
  7. If the clock still does not run – look underneath and see if “loop (9)” is rubbing on the clock case – move the clock flat against the wall if rubbing.
  8. If you have got an 8-day-cuckoo clock with 1260 gram or 1500 gram weights please help the weights by carefully lifting them while pulling on the chains.