How to Repair a 400 Day Clock

Updated November 21, 2016

Anniversary clocks are a popular wedding gift for many reasons. Not only do they run for 400 days without needing winding, but also they can be wound once a year on a couple’s anniversary, which makes them a memorable keepsake. The piece that sets anniversary clocks apart from other clocks is the pendulum that is a set of rotating metal balls. Just like every couple is different, so is every clock, and there are many things to consider when trying to repair one.

Determine both your skill level at repairing items as well as how extensive the repairs appear. People who have experience mending small mechanics and who have patience and steady hands should easily be able to repair the suspension spring, which is the both the easiest and cheapest repair. On the other hand, if you own a very valuable clock or do not have a patient, steady hand, it might be best to take it to a repair shop.

Purchase both a repair guide and a complete repair kit. You will find step-by-step cleaning and repairing instructions that will help you find the appropriate parts for your clock.

Determine if your suspension spring should be replaced. It is a thin piece of steel that is found in the clock’s back, and it runs the length of the clock. If you find the spring bent or missing, your clock will not run. Most often, faulty anniversary clocks have damage to the spring.

Identify the four pieces of suspension spring. The first piece is the spring, the second is a brass block on top, the third is a brass block on the bottom and the fourth is a fork attachment in the middle section.

Measure your spring’s thickness with the micrometer. Use the measurement to order a replacement spring. Should your spring be missing, locate listing for your clock in the repair guide to order the spring. If a spring is too thick or too thin, then the balls will not move correctly, which causes the clock to keep improper time. You will need to trim the length of the new spring to match the old one. Make sure you do not make it too short or too long. If you do, the pendulum balls will be too low or too high to rotate correctly.

Take out the old spring. You should find this secured to the clock by a screw. You will need to use a precision screwdriver to remove it. Then remove the blocks and fork. Attach the new spring to the blocks. While tightening, hold the block steady with your needle-nose pliers.

Reattach the form by screwing it to the new spring. You will want to replicate the way the old one was screwed in. Hold the spring inside the lock to gauge the position of where you should put the form. Ideally, it should knock the verge wire back and forth at an appropriate speed. Should you place it to high, your clock will run too fast.

Hang the spring inside the clock. Follow your operator guide to test your clock. Should the run not be a success, you will need to put your clock back in beat by carefully adjusting the screw that controls the pendulum.

Things You'll Need

  • Clock repair guide
  • Clock repair kit with supplies
  • Micrometer
  • Precision screwdriver set
  • Needle-nose pliers
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About the Author

Krista Raye is a Steel Magnolia who began writing professionally in 2009 with eHow, Answerbag and Trails. She has 10 years teaching experience in middle and high schools. Raye holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, a Bachelor of Science in secondary English education and a Master of Arts in adolescent English education.