If you have a grandfather clock, it’s likely that you’ve inherited it as a family heirloom or bought it as an antique. It can be worrying when a grandfather clock goes wrong because these are items that families become attached to, and as an older piece of machinery, you will struggle to find a manual to fix it yourself.
If your grandfather clock needs to be repaired, you are probably concerned about the cost because specialists can be expensive. Here we look at common problems with grandfather clocks and how much you can expect to pay for them to be professionally repaired.
Factors Affecting Repair Cost
There are a number of things that will affect the price you pay for your grandfather clock to be fixed. Most repairs will fall in the range of $100 to $3000. The main factors affecting repair cost are:
Type of Clock
The type of grandfather clock you have will play a large part in deciding what a professional will charge you for repairs. Grandfather clocks that chime on the hour will cost more to fix than those that don’t, as they have more complex mechanisms. Your clock could also cost more to fix if it plays tunes or has additional timings.
Essentially the more parts your grandfather clock has, the more it will cost to fix because it will require more time to take it apart and put it back together. Rare grandfather clocks will also cost more because there will be fewer specialists who are able to work on them, and, therefore, they can charge a premium.
Age of Clock
The age of the clock is also key in understanding the cost of repair. Very old clocks will need a delicate hand and a specialist with plenty of experience to repair them, so you can expect to pay more to have a skilled professional work on your clock. The older your clock is, the more money you will have to part with to have your grandfather clock repaired.
The type of problem that you have with your grandfather clock is another factor that will determine the cost of the repair. Some issues can have fairly simple fixes that will not take much time, and, therefore, the cost of these should be low. The more complex the problem is to fix, the more money it will cost to resolve.
Basic problems on grandfather clocks will have a minimum cost of around $100, while more complex problems can run into the thousands. In some cases, you might find that the cost of repair exceeds the value of the clock itself.
Your location and, therefore, your proximity to grandfather clock specialists is going to affect the price you pay for repairs. If you live in a remote location with no specialists nearby, then you are going to have to ship your grandfather clock off to have it fixed.
The size and weight of grandfather clocks mean that the shipping alone could cost several hundreds of dollars. If you have a grandfather clock specialist in your local town, then this isn’t a cost you’ll have to worry about; however, you will still need to transport the clock to the workshop.
If you have a truck and can deliver the clock to the workshop yourself, then this will help to cut costs, but most grandfather clock repair shops will offer the service of picking up your clock for you for an additional fee. This will typically be anywhere up to an extra $50, depending on how far you are away from their location.
The benefit of having the workshop collect your grandfather clock is not just the convenience but also the peace of mind that it will be transported and handled by people who know what they are doing and will have insurance to cover you if any accidental damage should be caused during transit.
Common Repairs for Grandfather Clocks
Grandfather clocks are expensive to fix, and in some cases, the cost of repair will be higher than the value of the clock. In this case, you might be wondering whether the repair is really worth it, but if you are emotionally attached to the clock, it can be a difficult decision to give up on it.
Before sending your clock for repair, investigate whether your issue is one you could resolve yourself. One of the most common things to go wrong with a grandfather clock is that the pendulum will stop swinging. This can be repaired by trying these tips:
Check the Weights
Although this may sound obvious, some people do not know that the weights on their grandfather clock need to be pulled up. If pulling them up doesn’t work, you should also check that they are on properly and in the correct position. On most grandfather clocks, the heavier weight should be on the right side as you are facing it, with the lighter weight on the left.
Check the Hands
If the hands on the clock are touching each other, then this will cause the clock to stop. If you find that they are touching, you should bend them slightly so that they have enough clearance to pass each other without touching.
Check the Level
If a grandfather clock is not positioned on a level floor, then it can stop working. Check how level your floor is with a spirit level tool, and if you need to make adjustments, you can do so by sliding thin sheets of wood under the base of the clock to level it up.
Check the Dial Glass
If any of the hands are touching the dial glass, the clock will stop working. Most commonly, it is the second hand that can be slightly out of alignment and may brush against the dial glass. If this happens, bend the hand slightly to keep it away from the glass while being careful not to bend it so much that it touches the hands behind it.