Why Is My Cuckoo Clock Stopping?!

By: Philip B. Soley, Horologist

It can be frustrating when your beloved family cuckoo clock doesn’t seem to be working. Here are a 4 easy tricks you can try at home before contacting a specialist. 


1. Make sure your cuckoo clock is level. Cuckoo clocks are very sensitive to being level, both left-to-right and front-to-back. Listen for a steady “Tick-Tock” sound. The “tick” and “tock” sounds should be evenly spaced apart, and should be consistent. If your clock is level, and you are still hearing a “tock……tick. Tock….tick” sound, the clock is what we call “out-of-beat” and will need to be adjusted. You can learn how to put a clock in beat HERE.

2. Make sure the your pendulum is not rubbing against the case. If it is rubbing, put a small piece of felt or cardboard behind the back of the cuckoo clock to bring the bottom of the clock away from the wall. You can also bring the top of the clock away from the wall. The goal is to have the pendulum hang freely without hitting any part of the clock case.

3. Make sure your pendulum leader is attached. The pendulum leader is the piece of metal that connects the wooden pendulum to the clock movement. It has a hook or clasp on one end, and a loop on the other. You can find this by opening the back of the clock. Sometimes this part can become detached in transport and needs to be hooked back on. 

4. Make sure your pendulum is sturdy. Sometimes the hook at the top and the adjustable bob at the bottom are loose, and this causes the pendulum to wobble more than it should. This excess motion can cause the pendulum to stop. Tighten any loose bracket by squeezing it shut with pliers. 

Of course, there are more than 4 reasons as to why your cuckoo clock may be stopping. Give us a call and we would be happy to help you. Thanks for reading!

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