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Clocks, Watches/Westminster Hall Clock Not Chiming/Striking


QUESTION: Michael,

I recently purchased an Elgin Westminster Hall clock (Model e403/1) at an antique shop. Everything seemed to be working perfectly at the shop. I verified that it was keeping time and chiming correctly. In moving the clock I removed the weights and the pendulum, and secured the chains. When I got it home, I put everything back the way I'd found it and made sure that the chains were free. The clock is keeping perfect time still. Now, however, the chime weight does not seem to be falling at all (I verified that it is, indeed, the heaviest weight) and the chimes are not operating. The movement reads "COLONIAL MFG. CO. P. L. 61 cm MADE IN GERMANY". When activated manually (by releasing the lever on the movement), the chimes with chime 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, then full hour plus strike the correct number of hours. It just seems that the weight or hands are not activating the chimes correctly. Any ideas? Thanks!

ANSWER: Hi Blake, you are correct, if the chime is not working the chime weight won't go down. It's impossible to say why the chimes are not working but we can start checking a few things.
When you rotate the minute hand do you hear a click every time it passes the 1/4 hour on the face?
Can you look into the sides of the clock and see the chime hammers? If so, lift the hammers away from the chime rods (sometimes this relieves some of the resistance and they start running).
There might be some brackets that rotate down to a position behind the hammers that keep them from lifting. Be sure that there is nothing keeping any of the hammers from lifting.
Is there more than one chime melody?
Check for a lever on the front of the movement that might shut the chimes off. Sometimes it's there behind the face.
Let me know how all that goes,
clock repair and parts

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Michael,

Thank you for your reply. At the store before I brought it home, I could hear the click that you're referring to when I wound it past the quarter hour. Now, however, I cannot hear this click. The hammers are free, and chime and strike fine. Yes, there is more than one chime melody. 4 notes at 1/4, 8 notes at 1/2, 12 at 3/4, and 16 at 1 hr, plus the striking of the hour. There is a lever that shuts the chimes off, but I've verified that it is in the "ON" position. All this seems to work perfectly - except that they do not happen automatically, only when I manually engage the chimes.

There is a drum under the chime hammers that rotates, picking up the hammer wires and dropping them so that the hammers play the chime. Reach in the back and give that drum it a gentle push to see if you can get it started rotating.

If that doesn't solve the problem things get pretty involved. The lever that gets lifted and drops every 15 minutes is on the front of the movement. If it is indeed not clicking at all when the hands pass the 1/4 hour that lever may be stuck. You might need to remove the hands and face to get to the parts in question.  

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Michael Radi


Clock repair and clock parts questions.


I have been professionally repairing clocks for 17 years. I owned and ran a clock shop for 6 years and I am the owner of the clock parts supply company;

National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors

High school graduate, some college, graduate of Niles Bryant School of Piano Tuning and repair.

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I perform about 20 clock repairs per week.

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