Inaccurate scale readings: 7 causes and solutions

If you use your scale for commercial purposes, you need to be able to rely on it to provide consistent, accurate readings. Even if you have a quality scale that’s been properly calibrated, there are certain environmental factors that can affect readings. Here are seven potential causes of faulty scale readings that you should be aware of.


The load cells in your scale may be sensitive to vibrations from nearby equipment, resulting in inaccurate scale readings. To remedy this issue, you may need to relocate the scale to a stable surface that doesn’t experience vibrations.


A buildup of dirt, dust and debris on the scale, in the scale housing or lodged under the scale platform can affect scale readings. It’s important to regularly clean your scales and get the interior compartment of the scale periodically inspected and cleaned by a professional.

Temperature changes

When a scale’s load cell is exposed to large temperature variations, this can lead to inaccurate readings. Ideally, you should store and use indoor scales in climate-controlled environments.

Air currents

Sensitive indoor scales can be affected by even small amounts of air movement. Try to place scales out of the way of air ducts and air conditioning units.

Outdoor scales can be affected by wind, so if you require a precise reading, you may want to do your weighing on a day that isn’t too breezy.

Radio waves

Electromagnetic signals and radio waves can emit high-frequency vibrations that may possibly interfere with your scale’s electronic components. To counter interference issues, you may need to remove the source of interference or simply invest in a new scale. High-quality scales that transfer digital signals quickly aren’t affected by interference. With cheaper scales, however, even your cell phone frequency can affect the readings.


Scales and moisture don’t mix well. If your weighing equipment is in a humid environment, this can lead to problems. To remedy the issue, you can relocate the scale, dehumidify the room or invest in a scale with waterproof housing for the load cell.

Uneven surfaces

Even if your scale is perfectly calibrated, it may provide inaccurate or inconsistent readings if it’s resting on a surface that’s less than flush or rounded. Only use your scale on a totally even surface.

Comprehensive scale services in Alberta

If you need a new industrial, commercial or precision scale, count on Accurate/Western Scale Co. Ltd. We carry high-quality products and provide weight scale inspection, calibration and certifications in Calgary and throughout Alberta. Contact us today to learn more about our scale products and services.

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