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How to convert an electric clock to a battery

Updated February 21, 2017

Many older or floor-model clocks are powered by electrical cords. Many times a wire running out of the clock makes it hard to place the clock where you would like. One way to get around this problem is to remove the old clock movement and replace it with a battery operated one. Battery-operated clock movements come in many styles, even for use with pendulums. Get rid of that restrictive wiring with a battery-operated clock.

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  1. Un-plug the clock and move it to a table, or stand it beside the table if it's a floor model.

  2. Remove the protective glass face. The glass will be held in place by a decorative ring around it on the front, or the glass will be mounted into the front panel and the clock face will be screwed into the front from the back. Remove the screws with the screwdriver from the back of the clock that either holds the ring in place or the clock face. Remove the glass from the front or the clock face from the back to gain access to the hands of the clock.

  3. Pull the hands of the stem of the movement (gears and motor assembly) using your forefinger and thumb. Be gentle as the hands are delicate. If there is a nut on the stem of the clock movement, remove it with the pliers using the least amount of pressure.

  4. Remove the movement from the clock. If there are pressure clips holding it in place, pull the clips back to release it. Sometimes it is glued into place. Use your carpenters knife to cut away the glue to release the clock movement.

  5. Measure the size of the hole in the clock that the shaft of the movement fits through, as well as the thickness of the material. Measure the length of the clock hands. Buy a battery clock movement to fit the size of hole. Buy replacement hands that fit the clock movement that closely match the hands you took off the clock.

  6. Slide the battery-operated movement into position through the clock face hole and tighten the supplied nut over the threaded shaft to hold the unit in place. Gently slide the hour hand into position on the shaft with it pointing to 12 on the clock. Slide the minute hand into position on the shaft with it also pointing to 12. Attach the second hand.

  7. Using the hot glue-gun, apply some glue to the edge of the clock movement to hold it in place.

  8. Attach the glass face plate to the clock and place the decorative ring around it. Tighten the screws into position. If you had to remove the clock movement assembly to get at the face plate, screw the finished part back onto the front of the clock and you are done.

  9. Tip

    As you remove the parts place them in order of use on the table for ease of reassembling the unit. It's a good idea to give the clock a good cleaning before putting it back together.


    The glass can crack if it's not properly lined up in it's slot before you tighten it in position. Pressing too hard on the hands can change the shape of the hole for the movement shaft and they won't stay in place.

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Things You'll Need

  • Screwdrivers
  • Clean pliers
  • Carpenters knife
  • Measuring tape
  • Clock movement with hands
  • Hot glue-gun and glue sticks

About the Author

Based in Toronto, Canada, Andrew Copley has been contributing online articles on alternative treatments for immune disorders since 2008. After six years continuing research, Copley has acquired extensive knowledge on nutrition and its effects on the immune and nervous system. He holds a level one standing in university physics and science from Fanshaw College.

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