If you own a grandfather clock, it is most likely an antique passed down through your family. To keep the clock in good shape and running smoothly, regularly cleaning and servicing the clock will be necessary. Routinely servicing your clock can prevent breakdowns and expensive repairs later on. But what is this maintenance going to cost?
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The cost of servicing a grandfather clock can vary between $100 and $2,500, depending on what services are necessary. Normal servicing is not too costly while repairing and replacing parts can quickly add up. Major factors that impact the cost include:
- The type of clock and internal mechanisms
- The professionals in your area and choice of hire
- Service needed
- Work location
While the range in cost may seem vast, the complexity of the job is the main determinant. Keep reading to find out more details about the cost breakdown and answer some other questions you may have regarding your grandfather clock and its maintenance.
The Determining Factors
Before you seek out your professional service-provider, make sure you know the specific clock you have, including its make, model number, and any additional information on the internals (such as the movement system). Knowing as much as possible will help you find the best professional available and allow you to receive an accurate estimate. Let's discuss the major factors that impact the cost of service.
Type Of Clock
There are quite a few different types of grandfather clocks. Does your clock have a strike on the hour or any sounds or songs? How many timings are inside of it? All of these can make a difference in price, as a clock that strikes on the hour can cost double a time-only clock for normal repairs.
Instead of the $150 to $300 range, it will generally cost $300 to $400. If the clock plays a sound as well, factor in another $100. More complex clocks with more timings and moving pieces will also be more expensive to service as it will take more time to check over.
Dependent upon the number of trains, required work, and type of clock, a full overhaul can cost between $500 and $2,500. The age of your clock also can impact who can work on it.
Shop around with different shops near you. Normally, shops will have quite a few scheduled appointments, so don't be surprised if it will be a couple of months before someone can get to you. Shops in different locations will charge different prices and have different skill levels of technicians.
Don't be afraid to spend some time shopping around once you're done researching your clock. The number of clock shops will vary depending on your location. Check all of the available shops for reviews. Many good shops will be able to give a reasonably accurate estimate over the phone, assuming they're given enough information about the clock and the issues it's experiencing.
Like most things, good technicians are not cheap. The good news is that most shops offer warranties so that if anything goes wrong after the servicing, the work and parts are covered.
Outside of shipping costs, the cost of your clock is impacted by the repair and cleaning work it needs. On the low end, you should expect to pay around $500.
For the most part, thorough service for a grandfather clock is going to require a complete overhaul. This requires disassembling the entire clock and then cleaning, oiling, tightening parts, and checking the insides. After that, it must be reassembled and tested. That is the simplest service and costs the least.
If any teeth need to be straightened or repaired, expect it to cost $10 to $30 per tooth, depending on the type. New gears will range between $50 and $250, as each gear needs to be created.
If you need to ship your grandfather clock, expect to factor that into the cost of service. Sending it off may be a good choice if you have a clock that requires specifically trained hands to service it. However, with a grandfather clock, shipping can cost hundreds of dollars.
Scheduling someone to come to you is another option. Depending on the shop, a house call will cost between $50 and $100 to get them there, and only if the shop is within around 25 miles of your location. Further than that and you'll be paying an extra dollar or two per mile.
The cheapest option is to bring the clock into a shop yourself. Older clocks might not be able to be serviced in your area. If that is the case, send it off to a shop that can service it, or travel there yourself.
Other Things To Be Mindful Of
Old clocks are harder to work on because the manuals are harder to find. Servicing will have to be done by a specialized technician for these. Keep in mind that this means shipping and labor costs will go up. If you're concerned about the value of the clock, get an estimate, and do some research.
Weigh the value of the clock against the servicing cost. If the clock is an heirloom that is important to you, it is a personal decision whether the maintenance is worth it. Remember, the cost can vary a fairly substantial amount.
How Often Should Your Clock Be Serviced?
To put it simply, a grandfather clock should be serviced around every two years. Servicing it this often will help avoid costly repairs and renovation costs down the road. At least once every couple of years, some sort of service should be performed on your grandfather clock.
Look at the clock you have, do some research, and make sure your clock is worth servicing before making the investment. If the clock isn't worth much, servicing it could cost much more than the clock's true value. That is a decision to make on a case by case situation, as the clock could have sentimental value for you or your family.
How Often Should You Wind Your Clock?
Grandfather clocks are usually designed to run for around seven or eight days. Taking this into account, grandfather clocks are generally winded once a week to keep it running and counting time accurately. Keep in mind that the weights inside the clock must be raised up every seven days to wind the clock and keep it running, otherwise, it will stop.
Is It Okay To Turn Back My Clock?
It is totally okay to set back a grandfather clock. To set back the clock, move the minute hand backward (counter-clockwise). The clock striking or chiming during this procedure is fine, as is the clock chiming slightly differently for a while. After around an hour, the clock should sync itself back up and function normally.
Having issues after turning back your clock is cause for concern. Contact a technician to have it checked out. Most likely, this will be a simple issue, like a timing malfunction, and be a cheap fix. If your clock counts on the wrong hour after setting it back, check this list for steps to fix it.
This article should have given you a better idea of what it costs to service a grandfather clock. Make sure you know what clock you have, gather accurate estimates, and shop around!
Before you go, be sure to check out these other home decor articles that may be of interest to you: