How to Repair a Quartz Wall Clock

Written by max stout
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How to Repair a Quartz Wall Clock
A wall clock with a quartz movement (wall clock image by palms from

Unlike mechanical clock movements, quartz clock movements do not rely on mainsprings or weights to develop motive power. Instead, quartz clocks use electricity from a battery or batteries for their energy requirements. Many clock repairmen choose to replace the relatively inexpensive quartz movement for expedient purposes when the clock becomes inoperative, for reasons other than a discharged battery. However, there are steps the clock owner can take before making the decision to have the movement replaced. These steps can be performed in 30 minutes or less with a small number amount of tools and materials.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Flat-tip screwdriver
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • #380 sandpaper
  • Moist paper towel
  • Dry paper towel
  • Cotton swab
  • New battery or batteries

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  1. 1

    Check the clock's door glass (if applicable) to make certain the minute hand does not come in contact with the glass.

  2. 2

    Inspect the hands of the quartz wall clock to ensure they do not come in contact with one another or the dial of the wall clock case.

  3. 3

    Bend the minute hand slightly with your fingers as needed to make any corrections in the event that the hands are touching each other or the door glass.

  4. 4

    Use forefingers to apply equal pressure on the centre ring of the hour hand to pull it forward slightly if the centre is too close to the dial. Bend the hour hand if needed to adjust the length of the hand away from the dial.

  5. 5

    Remove the screws to the battery access panel on the back of the clock, if applicable, using the appropriate tipped screwdriver.

  6. 6

    Remove the battery or batteries from the quartz movement. Check the batteries for obvious signs of corrosion at the terminal ends of each cell.

  7. 7

    Inspect the battery contact points and surrounding area for signs of corrosion.

  8. 8

    Remove any loose corrosion with a moist paper towel. Repeat as needed to remove as much of the loose corrosion as possible. Use a cotton swab for the corner areas and under the battery contact points.

  9. 9

    Clean the battery contacts of the quartz movement using #380 sandpaper to remove any corrosion that may have formed on the contact points. This step is critical to ensure the proper operation of the quartz clock movement electrical circuitry.

  10. 10

    Clean the battery area with a moist paper towel after sanding the contact points.

  11. 11

    Remove all moisture after cleaning the battery area with a dry paper towel. Use cotton swabs for corners and areas underneath the battery contacts.

  12. 12

    Install a new battery or batteries according to the manufacturer’s recommendation regarding size or type. Pay particular attention that the positive pole on the battery (+), matches with the positive (+) contact point in the battery area of the quartz clock.

  13. 13

    Replace the back access panel and screws using the appropriate tipped screwdriver.

Tips and warnings

  • Quartz clock movements use very little energy and can often operate for more than a year on a single cell. Inspect the battery area of the clock every few months for further corrosion build-up.

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