Clock Repair: Troubleshooting Common Clock Problems

Guide to quickly fixing common clock problems. Everyday maintenace and cleaning tips. Instructions for using specialized cleaning products.

The clock on your wall suddenly stops keeping perfect time, and it seems that it's been awhile since you've taken it down to have a look at it.

Many common clock problems can be fixed using easily accessible household items.

Probably the most annoying problem is a clock which will "ňústick' every now and then. If your clock is a wall clock, remove it from the wall, and carefully using a flat-end screwdriver or other flat, thin object, remove the face of the clock.

If your clock is battery-operated, the first thing to check is that your batteries are both fresh and installed properly. Inspect the battery contacts for signs of rust or wear, as a worn battery contact may interfere with smooth clock operation. If rust is apparent, remove it using either fine sandpaper or an emery board. Reinstall the battery, and see if that fixes your problem. If it does, congratulations! If not, move on to the next suggestion.

Examine the hub around which the hands of the clock revolve. It should be free of dust, and a thin coat of lubricant should be seen. If dust is evident, a can of compressed air is ideal for removing it. Attach the small straw that comes with the compressed air to the nozzle, and gently spray air on the hub of the clock. Increase pressure gradually, as needed, to remove any debris. When you are satisfied that all dust and grime has been removed, you may then proceed to lubricate the hub. For this, you may need a can of common household lubricant, such as WD-40 spray or silicone spray. Attaching the small straw to the spray nozzle, gently apply a small amount of lubricant to the hub. It is important not to apply a large amount of lubricant, as this may interfere with the correct functioning of the hands of the clock. Using a paper towel, wipe any excess off the hub, leaving only the smallest amount behind. If you have removed the hands for this, which is advisable, replace them. If not, simply put them in position for the correct time, and watch to see if the smooth operation of your clock has been restored.

A buzzing, or humming noise coming from your electric clock is an indication of dust buildup. Using your canned air, this problem is easily solved. Simply unplug the clock from the wall socket, and find an available opening in the back of the clock. This opening may be the space left when the alarm button is pulled out, or a slot in the backing. It isn't important what the space is from, only that it gives access to the inner clock without removing the back. Once a suitable space is found, attach the air can's small straw to the nozzle, insert the straw into the opening, and gently spray a burst of air into the back f the clock. Repeat as necessary. You may actually see particles of dust leaving the clock's inner gears. Be careful not to spray compressed air for any length of time, as it condenses, leaving moisture inside the clock. After you are satisfied that any dust or grime has been removed from your clock, allow the clock to sit, preferably in a warm, sunny place for approximately fifteen minutes. This is to ensure that any condensation has evaporated before plugging the clock back into an electrical outlet.

Warning: Failure to complete this step could result in electrocution.

Plug your clock back into the wall, hopefully to enjoy silent operation.

Cloudy wall clock faces are easily cleared up using a mixture of ammonia and warm water. Do not use soap to clean your clock's face, as it will leave a film, making it difficult to read the time.

Wind-up clocks need a bit of spray lubricant occasionally applied to the winding mechanism. This is to ensure that your clock is wound tightly and properly. A clock which is not wound with the necessary tension will not keep time correctly.

Remember never to remove the back of an electrical clock, and also make sure that the clock is unplugged from the electrical wall socket before performing maintenance.

If you have a problem with your clock which is not covered here, consult your user's manual. If it is not covered in your manual, please take your clock to an authorized repair center.

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