Problems & Solutions for Electronic Weighing Scales
Does your Scale show 8888, UnSta, Err or a similar error code? Please troubleshoot your scale using the online manual for your model. This manual can be found on by clicking on the links on the left side of this page.
Is your scale only showing "partial digits" on the display? If a scale is excessively shaken (sometimes during shipping) it's possible for the LCD to become partially separated from the PCB (Printed Circuit Board). On many models you can gently press on the LCD and it will reconnect. However on many scales it's difficult to reach the LCD (without removing the cover) and thus the scale will often have to be returned to us for a quick repair.
Scales perform terribly when they are cold. If the scale temperature is below 65, it will perform slowly and somewhat inaccurately. Scales like warmth. However, do not operate at temperatures above 85 or they will again be somewhat inaccurate. Please only operate and display scales at normal room temperature of 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. If a scale is cold or hot, allow it to adjust to normal room temperature for 12 hours if possible (this sounds drastic but a load cell / sensor is like a metal sponge. It takes many hours for the temperature of the entire load cell to adjust. When a scale is cold it can and will "drift". This is when a scale starts increasing or decreasing its displayed number (0.1g, 0.2g, 0.3g, etc).
Low Batteries, bad battery connections & Faulty AC Adaptors are the #1 cause of scale malfunction and inaccuracy! We test all of our scale returns from consumers. Fully 60% of consumer returns are battery related problems. This sounds silly but it's true! A scale will perform slowly, or read inaccurately when it has low batteries. Please replace or recharge the batteries often (and only use good quality batteries). We include good quality batteries with our scales (on models that come with batteries) but batteries can run low in storage. If your scale simply won't turn on while on Battery power, this is often caused by loose battery connections. Battery prongs (terminals) are made of metal. They must be making good contact with your batteries in order for the scale to power on. You can use a paperclip to slightly bend the battery prongs to make them have a better connection. Also some poorly designed batteries have recessed or partially obstructed battery terminals. This may cause your prongs to be touching the plastic housing of the battery instead of the metal battery terminal. A Faulty AC adaptor can cause your scale to act unstable with numbers "jumping" all around. Please test your scale with a good set of batteries (instead of the AC adaptor) to determine if perhaps the AC adaptor is faulty.
An unstable surface equals an unstable scale. All Scales need a perfectly flat stable surface to read and weigh accurately. This is especially important when calibrating a scale. Scales need a very stable surface and environment to be accurate. A wobbly table, loud music, cell phones or the hum of a light bulb will affect scale accuracy. This is especially important when you are calibrating. If you calibrate the scale in an unstable environment, it will always be unstable, even when you remove it from the unstable environment.
We hope you understand the importance of calibrating and operating in a stable, vibration and interference free environment. We just can't stress it enough. Any scale you use, regardless of brand, will always perform best on a flat stable surface.
Scale and Magnetic Fields. Scales are strongly affected by magnetic fields. So, don't operate or use a scale near any electronic device such as a computer, monitor, radio, or cell phone. Did you see the Barbara Walters special on how cell phones emit radiation? That radiation will also affect the accuracy of your scale. It sounds crazy but it's very true. HERE'S A TEST: Turn on your scale and place a weight on it. Then call a friend on your cell phone and hold the phone near the scale. The display on the scale will change dramatically as it picks up the radio signal from your phone. This happens to every brand electronic scale to different degrees depending on design. Scales will pick up this interference from up to 15 feet away! Do not operate a cell or cordless phone within 10 feet of an in-use scale!
Static Electricity can cause unstable readings. It is possible for a scale to become charged with static electricity either during use or during shipping. When this happens you'll notice the scale behave very strangely - especially when metal objects such as a calibration weight are placed on the tray. To discharge static electricity please use an anti-static spray or touch the scale and its tray to a metal grounded object/line.
Adding light loads or "dribbling" can cause display problems. Digital scales have an auto-zero function. The way this normally works is that if an item is placed on the tray that weighs less than half of one division, the scale will zero that out and maintain a stable display (this is done so that the scale can maintain a stable weight reading and adjust for vibrations or air movement). In layman's terms that means if you purchased a scale that reads in 1 gram increments, and you place a 0.3g item on the tray, the display will not change. Then if you place another 0.3g item on the tray, the display still won't change. Therefore it's possible to very slowly add weight to the tray and have the display not change at all. That is why NIST recommends that you purchase a scale that has a display resolution of at least 1/2 of the smallest item you intend to weigh (including 'dribbling' or adding items). So if you intend to weigh buttons, and each button weighs 1 gram, then you should purchase a scale that reads to 0.5 grams.
Therefore, it is recommended that you do not place items that are less than the display resolution on the tray during the weighing process.
Overload is the #1 cause of Fatal scale errors. Scales are only designed to weigh up to their maximum capacity. For instance, the Pointscale 150 is designed to weigh up to 150 grams. If you put 500 grams on the scale even once, you can crush or deform the load cell and cause fatal damage to the scale. Be careful! Don't put a scale in your back pocket, even the hard case scales. Your large behind will always crush the load cell and destroy the scale. Then you will contact us and say "I don't know what happened, it just broke". Please never overload a scale. There is not a single scale in existence that cannot be destroyed by overload.
Mishandling is the #2 cause of fatal scale errors. If you drop or otherwise mishandle your scale, it can cause a fatal problem. For example, we spoke to a jeweler who put his scale in his empty briefcase, then checked his briefcase as baggage on a flight, and arrived at his destination to find the scale broken. Obviously, the cause of this was the scale got banged around in his briefcase. Scales are precise instruments. They are not calculators or cell phones. They have delicate sensors that can easily be damaged by mishandling.