How to Repair Your Cuckoo Clock

Repair Your Cuckoo Clock
Repair Your Cuckoo Clock

While cuckoo clocks require very little maintenance, older models occasionally have problems. If you want to avoid taking your clock in for expensive repairs, read our helpful guide.

Sometimes, the problem can be as simple as the train-weight hitting an obstruction. If any part of the clock is hitting nearby furniture or picture frames, its operation could be impeded.

Check the case and repair any obvious problems. Older clocks can bend out of shape as their wood warps. Sometimes, the train-weight chain can get caught on this warped wood. To fix this, drill a larger hole through which the chain can dangle.

If your cuckoo clock has stopped ticking, the chain may have fallen off its sprocket. Simply remove the back case of the cuckoo clock and loop the chain around the correct sprocket.

If none of the above repairs has worked, your cuckoo clock could be experiencing a problem with its bellows. To check the bellows, simply tap your finger on them. If you don’t hear a “cuck” or a “coo” sound, they may need to be replaced.

Make sure the pendulum is at its optimal speed. This can be adjusted by moving the pendulum weight up or down the length of the pendulum. Move the weight upwards to speed up the clock, and vice versa.

Is your cuckoo bird stuck? First, check the latch that is above the cuckoo door. If this gets stuck, the cuckoo cannot get out. Next, check the night shutoff lever. This can sometimes get stuck halfway, which will freeze the clock. Turn off the shutoff feature completely to free up the cuckoo bird.

Repairing a slipped chain can be difficult. First, take the cuckoo clock off the wall. Next, tie off the other chains with a twist tie, or elastic band. This will prevent them from coming off of their gears. Now remove the rear of the cuckoo case and turn the clock upside down. This will create slack along the line of your chains. This is the tough part – make a loop with the slipped chain and carefully place it back on the gear sprocket. This usually takes more than one try.

Sometimes, the pendulum can get off-balance. Listen for a “tick-tock” sound. If it sounds uneven, adjust the bottom of the cuckoo clock until it sounds perfect.
Sometimes, the pendulum of your cuckoo clock will stop swinging. To fix this, try pulling on the time chain – if you don’t hear a clicking sound, the chain may be disengaged from the first wheel sprocket. Remove the back cover of your cuckoo clock and turn it upside down. Then, pull the chains around the wheel, and keep pulling until the chain has wrapped around the sprocket.

If you have a quartz, or battery operated, cuckoo clock, you may need to occasionally replace the battery. Fortunately, this is an easy procedure. Simply open the back of your case and pull on the exposed length of ribbon to release the old batteries. Then, insert your new batteries into the appropriate terminals, based on the positive and negative symbols. Replace the cover, and you’re done!

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