Common Issues with Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks and How to Repair Them

Howard Miller grandfather clocks are not only beautiful pieces of furniture, but they also serve as functional timepieces that can be passed down through generations. However, like any mechanical device, these clocks may encounter issues over time. In this article, we will discuss some common issues that you may experience with your Howard Miller grandfather clock and provide tips on how to repair them.

Pendulum Swing Problems

The pendulum is an essential part of a grandfather clock as it regulates the timekeeping mechanism. If you notice that the pendulum is swinging too fast or too slow, it could indicate an issue with the clock’s movement.

One possible cause of a fast-swinging pendulum is a short pendulum length. To fix this, adjust the pendulum rod length by turning the nut located at the bottom of the pendulum. Turn it clockwise to increase the length or counterclockwise to decrease it. Make small adjustments until you achieve the desired swing rate.

On the other hand, if your pendulum swings too slowly or stops altogether, it may be due to friction in the movement. Check for any obstructions or debris that could be impeding its motion. Lubricating the movement with clock oil can also help reduce friction and improve its performance.

Chime Malfunctions

Another common issue with Howard Miller grandfather clocks involves problems with chimes. If you notice that your clock’s chimes are not sounding correctly or are out of sync with the timekeeping mechanism, there are a few steps you can take to address this problem.

Firstly, check if all chime rods are properly aligned and not bent or damaged. Sometimes, misaligned rods can cause uneven or distorted sounds. Gently straighten any bent rods using pliers if necessary.

If your clock has an automatic nighttime silence feature and you find that the chimes are not sounding during the day, make sure the silence lever is in the correct position. Adjust it to allow the chimes to sound during daytime hours.

If you notice that your clock’s chimes are consistently off-tune or out of sync, it may be necessary to adjust the hammers. Carefully lift each hammer and reposition it slightly so that it strikes the chime rod at the correct spot. This may require some trial and error, so be patient until you achieve the desired sound.

Weight Issues

The weights of a Howard Miller grandfather clock play a crucial role in its timekeeping accuracy. If you observe any issues with weight movement or if they are not descending evenly, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can take.

Firstly, check if any of the weight cables have become tangled or twisted. If so, carefully untangle them and ensure they move freely without any obstructions. Additionally, inspect for any frayed or damaged cables that may need replacement.

If one weight is descending faster than another, it could indicate an imbalance issue. To address this problem, adjust the nut located on each pendulum bob. Turn them clockwise to increase weight and counterclockwise to decrease weight until all three weights descend evenly.

Maintenance and Regular Servicing

Regular maintenance is crucial for preserving the longevity and performance of your Howard Miller grandfather clock. It is recommended to get your clock serviced by a professional every few years to ensure optimal functionality.

During regular maintenance, a professional will clean and lubricate all moving parts of your clock’s movement. They will also inspect for any potential issues and make necessary adjustments or repairs as needed.

In addition to professional servicing, you can perform some routine maintenance tasks yourself. Keep your clock dust-free by wiping it gently with a soft cloth regularly. Avoid using harsh chemicals or solvents as they can damage its finish.


Owning a Howard Miller grandfather clock is a privilege, but it comes with the responsibility of proper care and maintenance. By addressing common issues such as pendulum swing problems, chime malfunctions, weight issues, and regular maintenance, you can ensure that your clock continues to keep time accurately and function flawlessly for years to come.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.