Battery Cuckoo Clock Troubleshooting Guide

Created by Clock Shop Development Team, Modified on Fri, 21 Jul 2023 at 02:30 PM by Clock Shop Development Team

Battery Quartz Cuckoo Clock Troubleshooting Tips

In this video we take you through some troubleshooting issues that you might encounter with a battery cuckoo clock. 

Some of the issues we cover include: 

  • Changing the batteries 

  • How to set and adjust the hands 

  • How to ensure the clock is counting correctly 

This video is part 2 in the battery cuckoo clock series. Watch part 1 (Unboxing and setup guide) here - How to Setup Your Battery Cuckoo Clock - Unboxing & Set Up

Common Issues With Battery Cuckoo Clocks

The clock has stopped working

The most common issue with battery cuckoo clocks is that the battery has gone flat and the clock seizes to work. It's important to note that sometimes only 1 or two batteries go flat, and if those flat batteries are in the terminals that power the sound box, then the clock may still hold time, but not make any sounds.

The first and foremost thing you should do when encountering any issues with a battery cuckoo clock is to replace all of the batteries with brand new, high quality alkaline batteries that have been purchased within the last few weeks.

Do not use carbon zinc, lithium or rechargeable batteries, as these batteries are not sufficient to operate a quartz cuckoo clock.

Avoid using cheaper, bulk buy brands of batteries, as not all batteries are made to the same quality or standards. We recommend Duracell, Panasonic or Energizer Max as suitable brands.

It is also worth checking the battery terminals to ensure there has been no corrosion from leaky batteries. If there is any corrosion, then the clock may not function at all with replacement batteries, and you'll most likely need to seek out a clockmaker to replace your movement.

How to change the batteries correctly in a quartz cuckoo clock

It is important to set your hands correctly when changing the batteries in a quartz cuckoo clock. To perform the battery change correctly, follow the steps below:

  1. Take the clock off the wall and remove the back door. Be careful not to place the clock down on its face which could damage the hands or any features of your clock.

  2. Remove all batteries from the compartment and inspect the terminals for any corrosion.

  3. Set your clock hands to 12:05 o'clock. So both hands should be sitting between the 12 o'clock and 1 o'clock numerals.

  4. Insert the new batteries back into your clock. Ensure they are facing the correct way, and give each battery a spin once inserted to ensure the batteries have good contact with the terminals.

  5. Replace the back door and hang your clock back on the wall. If your pendulum fell off during this procedure, place it back on the pendulum arm.

  6. Slow move the minute hand clockwise around the dial until you reach the correct time. Every time you pass 12 o'clock, let the clock finish playing any sound, then proceed to the next hour. If you find you the clock begins to call the incorrect time, you may have moved the minute hand too fast, or moved the hour hand by accident. In this case, you can correct the hour by moving the hour hand to the correct hour, or reset the clock using the above steps and try again.


The clock calls the incorrect amount of times for the hour

If your clock is calling the incorrect amount of times, for example, it calls 4 times at 6 o'clock, then the easiest way to adjust the time is to carefully move the hour hand to the correct position. So in the example above where the clock has called 4 times, the clock is assuming the time is 4 o'clock, therefore you would move the hour hand to the 4 o'clock position. Be careful not to move the minute hand.

Sometimes it can be easier to just reset the clock entirely. To do this, follow the steps above in the "How to change the batteries in a quartz cuckoo clock" section.

The clock keeps time, but doesn't play any sound

Battery cuckoo clocks are fitted with a on/off switch, or a 3 way switch with music on/music off/silent options. If your clock isn't make any sound, but is keeping time, it's first thing to check is if the switch is turned on, or switched to the music on option, depending on what model clock you have. 

If you find that the switch is turned on and the clock still doesn't make any sound, then it might be due to the light sensor not receiving enough light. Most quartz cuckoo clocks these days come with a light sensor, also referred to as an automatic night off sensor. The sensor is often next to the on/off switch on one of the sides of the cuckoo clock. To test if enough light is getting to the sensor, hold a torch to your cuckoo clock's light sensor and move the minute hand clockwise around the dial until it reaches 12 o'clock. If your clock makes sound with a torch on the light sensor, it means your clock is not in an ideal position in your house, and may need to move to a lighter area if you wish to have sound play with your clock.

The clock is not showing the correct time when calling

If your clock is showing the incorrect time when calling, for example, it calls the times at 12:10 instead of 12 o'clock, then you will need to reposition the minute hand. To do this correctly, slow move your minute hand clockwise around the dial until you hear the clock click and start to call the sound. If the call has occurred off the 12 o'clock mark, then grab the minute hand on either side where it attaches to the shaft, and gently wiggle and pull it off the shaft. Line the minute hand up with 12 o'clock and press it back on to the shaft. Ensure you press firm enough that the minute hand grips the shaft, but don't force the hand too much which may damage the clock shaft.

Any other issues?

If these troubleshooting tips didn't help you at all, or you have further questions, then please reach out to us at any time by submitting a ticket using the link below.

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