Clocks, Watches/Herschede electric mantel clock was left unplugged and now won't work
QUESTION: I left my chiming electric herschede mantel clock unplugged for a month. Now even though it is plugged in the pendulum won't keep moving. I know this clock made in the 1930s I think, is supposed to run for 24 hours without power and I should not have left it unplugged for so long without stopping the pendulum. I had just had it repaired cleaned and oiled in the last 6 months. Can you tell me how to get it running again? Maybe I need to somehow wind a spring? There is a small screw in the back threat has writing"wind three turns" and an arrow above it,and I did turn the screw 3times but this did not fix the problem. When I picked up the clock for repair he was using a hair drier to heat the movement to get it started. Should I try that? The repair was very expensive and I'd like to avoid bringing it in again do any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated!
ANSWER: Nancy, I have worked on clocks similar to yours, but not that particular clock. I but have a couple of ideas to help you. Before I answered your question I polled the members of my Internet Clocksmiths Group and some of the suggestions are as follows:
When you start the pendulum does it make a tick tock sound at all? It should be in beat like, tick....tock....tick....tock. If it goes tick..tock......tick..tock, it is out of beat and will stop. But I think that there is something else wrong.
Make sure you turn the screw (is it a screw or a square shaft that is turned with a key?) 3 or 4 complete turns to get enought power to start it. One of the members said he has plugged one in for about 24 hours withour starting the pendulum, to let it heat up to running temperature. Then start the pendulum. Or it could be that the motor is bad. Maybe this is why the clockmaker used a hair drier. It is the consensus that it should not have been left in that condition, knowing that a hair drier was needed to start the motor. If it is a motor problem, it should have been replaced. Another member has service information on this type of clock and said if I became involved that he would supply information that was needed. So try those things we have suggested and let me know the result. If needed, we'll go from there.
Vintage Emperor Clock Consultant
THE VILLAGE CLOCKSMITH
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thank you very much for your reply.
I tried to turn the screw on the back of the clock and it won't budge now.I left the clock plugged in overnight and the pendulum still won't keep moving. It does one "tic toc" and then stops. I even tried heating it up with a hair drier with no success.
So I'm wondering if you have any more possible advice .
Thank you so much for your help!
Nancy, thanks for trying those things and getting back with me. Without seeing the clock I can't really tell you any more. Let me say that I cannot see anything you have done wrong. So, you have two options. The first is to explain (as nicely as you can, not to be accusative) to the previous clockmaker that you have talked to some other clockmakers and the clock should should be able to run after being off for a period. The fact that a hair drier had to be used to get it started indicates there is still a problem, which should have been resolved before the job was completed. The second option is to take it to another experienced clockmaker and explain the situation. One of the the things you have in either case is that you are removing and reinstalling the movement yourself. Some clockmakers, I for one, discourage that, as the clockmaker needs to be responsible for the complete job. There is is usually an additional expense for the clockmaker to make the house call. Again, I will say that I don't think that the problem you have described would have anything to do with your clock.
I am sorry I can't do any more at this time. But do keep me informed on what you do and if there is anything else I can help with, let me know.