Troubleshooting Your Digital Weight Scale

A person standing on a digital scale to measure their weight.
What You'll Need
Digital Scale Objects with known weight Replacement batteries
What You'll Need
Digital Scale Objects with known weight Replacement batteries

A digital weight scale is more accurate than the old fashioned needle scales. It is also more sensitive to changes and movement. You have to stand correctly on the scale to get an accurate reading, but just as with any type of calculating machinery, the scale sometimes needs to be calibrated. If your weight is off and you're confident you haven't gained or lost, you need to check out the calibration of the scale and several other options that can be causing the problems. In this article, we are going to give you a few of those options.

Setting the Scale

On the scale, there should be an adjustment device of some sort, a knob or slider, usually under the front part where you can see the weight as you adjust. You need that to zero the scale. Turn the scale on and see what it reads. If it is over or under zero, reset it accordingly. This should alleviate problems.

Using a Known Weight

To test the scale further, weigh some objects of a known weight. Something such as a one-pound free weight will work. Set it on the scale and see if it is over or under. Try weighing a few more objects of known weight to give a more exact idea of this scale’s accuracy.

Leveling the Scale

If the scale is off-balance, it will cause an incorrect weight. Test the location of your scale to be sure that it is sitting on a level surface, and check that the scale’s little feet are all on and even. Also, turn the scale over from time to time and clean the bottom since too much debris might interfere with the way the scale sits.

If the scale is new, make sure the shipping plate has been taken off the bottom; they usually have one to avoid damage.

Checking for Electronic Trouble

If your scale is electric, make sure the plug is inserted correctly, and if there is a cable connecting from the body to the reader, make sure it is connected correctly as well.

Anything electric runs the potential to blow a fuse. If there is no display on the scale, this could be your problem.

If your scale is battery-powered make sure you have a fresh battery to install and check it again. A low battery can sometimes give an off reading, and of course, a dead battery will give no reading. If the battery itself wasn’t the problem, you might check the terminals next. Battery terminals can sometimes end up bent so they don’t make sufficient contact with the batteries. Check them to make sure you are getting a proper connection.

If you are showing a partial LCD reading, the LCD could be defective or the cable connector may be loose. Open the back and make sure it is tightly connected, and if it is, the LCD is defective and needs to be replaced. The scale must be handled with care, as rough handling may cause damage to critical components inside and create inaccurate readings.