Troubleshooting and Shipping Information for Cuckoo Clocks

posted by Karen Hood
Thursday, June 17, 2010

After unpacking the clock the cuckoo (and the music with musical clocks) does not work  

Cuckoo Clock Care

Cuckoo Clock Care

Please follow the SETUP INSTRUCTIONS carefully when unpacking the clock. If the clock should not work in the end, please check the following points:   

1. Have the clamps been removed from the bellows inside the clock as described in the instructions (see picture)?   

2. Has the cuckoo’s door been “unlocked?”   You have to turn a little wire to the side that secured the door while shipping (see picture).   

3. Please check the position of the night shut-off.  The most common reason why cuckoo and music do not work is that they have been turned off.  With some clocks the night shut-off is a switch at the left side of the clock, with other types it is a wire under the clock (see picture).  CHECK both positions of the night shut-off and make sure that the switch is not “somewhere between” the ON and OFF position.   

After the cuckoo call the door stays open   

If you open the clock on the back, you will see a thin wire that starts at the bellows and goes up to the cuckoo.  This wire should move the cuckoo up and down a little while it calls.  It is not connected with the cuckoo, but usually ends under the cuckoo’s tail (see picture).  During shipping it may happen that this wire is turned above the cuckoo.  If it is above, it may block the cuckoo and the door.   

To fix this you can simply turn the wire around the cuckoo – carefully – so it is under the cuckoo’s tail again.  This should be quite easy if you open the cuckoo’s door (the cuckoo will move forward when the door is opened).   

   

The clock does not cuckoo on the full and on the half-hour, but at other times   

It is not the cuckoo that goes wrong, but the minute hand is in the wrong position.   

To adjust the hand, you should loosen the hand nut and reposition the minute hand to the proper hour, then retighten the hand nut.  If the cuckoo calls the wrong hour (cuckoos 3 times at 4 o’clock), loosen the hour hand by carefully pulling it off the shaft, move the hand to the 3 o’clock position once it is loose, and push it back onto the shaft.  Never adjust the time by moving the hour hand, since this will cause this exact problem.   

A chain is off the wheel   

If one of the weights always drops to the floor at once, the chain has fallen off the wheel.  Fixing this is not so easy; it will require patience.  To fix this pull the other chains fully up, remove all weights.  Take a piece of wire and secure the other chains under the clock’s case “as close as possible” to the bottom of the case (see picture).  This is VERY IMPORTANT, otherwise the other chains will fall of their wheels as well during the next step.  Take the clock from the wall, and open it on the back.  Now turn the clock upside down, and try to balance the chain back on the wheel.   

The clock runs too slow / too fast   

The pendulum is responsible for making the clock keep time.  If your clock runs too fast, you can move the pendulum disc down a little on the pendulum to correct this.  If the clock is running too slow, you have to move the pendulum disc up.  This should also be described in your clock’s setup instructions.  Keep in mind that moving the pendulum leaf or disc 1/8 inch (3 mm) on the pendulum stick is equal to a 3-minute change in a 24-hour period.   

How to prepare your clock for shipping back to us.  

Cuckoo Clock CareTo send a clock to a service station, pull the chains so the hooks are under the case.  Insert a piece of string, wire, or a twist wrap through all the chains as “close as possible to the case bottom.”   Bundle up the chains in a piece of aluminium foil, and tie up tightly with a rubber band, tape, or string.  This prevents the chains from coming off the wheels and creating a snarled mess of chains inside the clock.  

Put a strip of paper in the spiral gong on the inside of the back access panel.  Pack the clock in an oversize box with crushed newspaper (do not use Styrofoam peanuts), and then wrap and label the pendulum and place in the box.  Do not send the weights.  If there are any numbers on the weights ( 275 or 320, etc.), write them on a piece of paper, along with your name, address, phone number, your E-mail address, a short description of any problems, and enclose in box.



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