How to Reset a Grandfather Clock

Updated February 21, 2017

Grandfather clocks use an intricate, gear-driven escapement mechanism that turns the hands to indicate time. The mechanism may also operate a dial that shows the phases of the moon, or it may operate chimes. A series of weights and pulleys provide the energy for the clock to function, and a pendulum controls the movement of the clock mechanism. The weights must be raised every seven days or the clock will stop. A few simple steps will reset a grandfather clock and get it ticking again.

Open the face cover and cabinet door of the clock to reveal the face of the clock and the pendulum.

If the clock has chimes, move the chime selector lever to "OFF."

Rotate the minute hand clockwise to adjust both the hour and minute. If the clock has chimes, move the chime selector lever back to "ON."

Insert the weight crank into one of the crank holes in the front of the clock face. Turn the crank clockwise to raise the weight in the clock. Repeat this step in any remaining crank holes to raise all the weights within the clock. Remove the crank.

If the clock has a moon dial, apply gentle pressure to move the dial clockwise to the position that displays the current moon phase. Close the clock face cover

Grasp the pendulum and draw it to one side of the cabinet. Release the pendulum to start it swinging to start the clock. Close the cabinet door.


A grandfather clock is a sensitive instrument that should be levelled, adjusted and reset if moved.


Do not adjust the time using the hour hand, as this can damage the clock mechanism. Do no switch the chimes lever on or off if the minute hand is within five minutes before to one minute after the hour, quarter hour, half hour or three quarter hour marks to avoid damaging the clock mechanism.

Things You'll Need

  • Clock weight crank
bibliography-icon icon for annotation tool Cite this Article

About the Author