How to Balance a Westminster Chime Clock

Written by patrick nelson
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Westminster chime clocks need to be level. They will not operate correctly if they aren't levelled--or balanced. The clocks use gravity to function accurately. The weights also have to be balanced equally. Although they look the same, each of the three weights is in fact different, and performs a different task. The left weight provides power to the hour strike, the centre weight to the time and the right weight the chime melody. If these weights aren't properly positioned, the clock won't work.

Skill level:

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Things you need

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  1. 1

    Position the clock in its desired location.

  2. 2

    Place a level along the clock cabinet from front to back and another from side to side.

  3. 3

    Level the clock. You'll see four levellers under the cabinet at each corner. They can be screwed up or down to make adjustments. Adjust the levellers until the clock is balanced equally front to back, and side to side.

  4. 4

    Check the weights to make sure they are installed in their correct location. They will be marked on the bottom. They must be in the correct location for the clock to be balanced. The weights are marked as if you are looking at the clock from the front. Hang them on their pulleys or chains depending on the type of clock you have.

Tips and warnings

  • Raise the weights by cranking with the crank provided if the clock has cables with pulleys. If the clock has chains, pull straight down on the chain. Don't lift up on the weights.
  • Check that the protective film is removed from the pendulum, and make sure the pendulum is hanging from its hook.
  • If the clock is installed on carpet, check for balance again after a few weeks, as the clock may have settled after the original levelling.
  • Never wind a cable drive movement without the weights installed.

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