antique ansonia regulator clock wont work

angeldogDecember 16, 2008

I just recently purchased an antique Ansonia Regulator wall clock which was supposed to be in working condition but I haven't been able to get it to keep ticking. I've wound both the time keep and the strike mechanism with the key, hung the pendulum on the part that swings back and forth to operate the gears, but after a minute or so, the pendulum slows to a stop. The case is hanging straight on the wall (even used a level). Can anyone offer advise?

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Does it need cleaning?
Sounds like the escape isn't working....the pendulum is swinging but the clock isn't unwinding.
One of my clocks does that if I over wind it....I know just where to nudge it to get it working....but can't begin to tell you how.
Best take it to a clock shop....I suspect it's been over wound.
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 11:33AM
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You may want to try putting the clock in beat by moving bottom of case from one side to another about 1/16" at a time until you get an even toc tic sound from the escapement then make a small pencil mark on the wall along the side of the lower case so you can easily reset if it gets moved. also make sure the pendulum is engaged with the crutch properly before hand. if you can easily remove the dial you can also watch the escapement wheel to see that it's getting enough power to thrust the pendulum if not it will need cleaning & oiled and possibly some mechanical repairs but try to get it in beat and going first as this is a no cost fix and don't worry you cannot over wind a clock unless of course you actually break the spring which is rare.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 9:37PM
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Thank you George. I had read online that it was not possible to overwind a clock, which was my initial fear. I will try moving the case before I take it in to a repairman.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 9:20AM
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Perhaps overwinding isn't a technical term...but I can wind the clock on the mantle all the way, tight, and sometimes the escapement will bind and it won't run. The pendulum swings whan I push it pot the mechanism won't move....btu a nudge will release it one tick and allow it to run.
Also....are you sure all the pieces are present and working? The seller may have told you so...but...
Linda c

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 10:14AM
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I own several antique pendalum clocks. Each one of them is unique & quirky. They have to settle in to a new environment. That can take several weeks to several months before they work consistently correct. Do not place it on an outside wall...they do best away from any drafts that expose the clock to quick temperature fluctuations.

I have an English train station double-sided clock that drove us crazy when we moved a few years ago. It just wasn't a happy clock. Took us several tries before we found the 'perfect' spot where it's been happily ticking away for 5 years now. But, 4' away it refused our pleading with it to work. So, we ended up moving the furniture to accommodate the clock!

If after fiddling with it for a couple weeks you can't get it to run for at least a couple a clock repairman. I'd highly recommend one that comes to your house. (Ours comes out every couple years & services our clocks) If you take it to the's likely to again not work when you get the darn thing home. Best to let the repairman coax it to work in place.

If you suspect the seller misrepresented the clock put them on notice in writing immediately that the clock is not working & your plans. Give a date certain when either the clock is working, as per your purchase understanding, or you get a return. Seriously, it isn't unusual at all for these old clocks not to work for awhile once moved.

Love those clocks! Can't imagine my home without their sounds.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 4:47PM
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Most likely, the gear train and escapement parts need cleaning and lubricating. Just lubing the last 2 to 3 gears and pinions in the gear train plus the escapement, can do wonders.

Using a level to position the case may not produce optimun results although it is not bad. The extremes of the pendulum swing from escapement release points may not be centered with the centerline of the clock. Here's a procdure that worked for me.

With the clock running, slowly move the bottom of the clock to the left until the escapement just stops working. Make a light mark on the wall, then do the same procedure to the right side. When moving from the left to the right, stop for several seconds at the midpoint to allow the pendulum swing to recover to its normal amplitude. Once the left and right marks have been found, move the clock to halfway between the marks. The timing between the tick and tock sounds should be equal.

I found that my clock, after being adjusted in this mammer, would run until most the spring tension was expended and producing the rated length of time between rewinds.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 3:51AM
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I have a Howard Miller tall clock from the mid 40s. It keeps excellent time. You wind it by pulling up the three weights by the chains. You adjust the time by the treaded bob on the pendelum. It also has a moon dial. The interesting thing about this clock is that it chimes a few minites sooner than it should. It seems to have a personality of its own. I just let it do its thing.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 9:37AM
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Update on the Ansonia clock. I moved the casement in several different directions and finally got it to keep time! It is working like a charm, so I believe the seller probably had it working before shipping but like someone said, they have a mind of their own and need to get used to their new location. Good point about having a clock repairman come out to the house; I had considered that problem arising.. once it got back home, it wouldn't work and I'd be in the same predicament. Thank you all for your valuable information. I'm keeping your responses in my clippings just in case it stops again. PS...I bought it on Ebay and it was shipped from Mumbai, is amazing that these old clocks can survive such trips!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 10:37AM
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