What’s Wrong with Your Load Cells?

Load cells are the brains of your scale. They’re what make your scales tick. Proper maintenance is essential to extending their life, and without it they may begin to malfunction. If you experience such malfunctions as zero drift, failure to calibrate, or erratic readings, an issue with your load cells should be your prime suspect. Here are some strategies we can use to figure out what’s wrong with your load cells in Virginia Beach!

What’s Wrong with Your Load Cells?

Not sure what’s wrong with your load cells? Here are a few diagnostic tests you can try out.

Shock Resistance Readings

One of the simplest ways to troubleshoot what’s wrong with your load cells is checking shock resistance. After connecting the load cells to a stable source of power, use a voltmeter to emit a mild shock onto the cells. If you notice that the readings are erratic, there may be an issue of electrical connection within the circuitry of the load cells.

Delta Weight

For this test, you will need to measure two known weights on the scale. However, one of these ‘known weights’ can be zero, so just one calibration weight will do the trick. Measure the millivolts emitting from the load cell without any weight on the scale, and then with the calibration weight. If the difference you see in millivolts is not relative to that with a new set of testing weights, professional examination is necessary.

Test for Leakage

By now, you should know that water is the enemy of your scale. Even environmental factors such as high humidity can seriously damage your load cells. Thankfully, there is a test that will enable you to rule out water damage or confirm its presence in your load cells.

With a megohmmeter in hand, twist the load cell’s wires together. Then, you should attach one lead to the bunch of twisted wires and the other to the body of the cell. If the reading you see on your megohmmeter remains in range, leakage is probably the culprit.

Light Taps

The ‘tap test’ is the simplest method of troubleshooting what’s wrong with your load cells that we’ll go into today. You have to be very careful when doing this not to use too much weight or force. Simply tap the load cell with an eye on the indicator. If you notice drastic spikes on the indicator—disproportionate with the weight you’ve applied—then there may be a loose component within the cell.

Still Stuck? Let Us Know!

Today, we have gone over some relatively advanced ways to determine what’s wrong with your load cells. If you don’t have the necessary equipment or expertise, and want to rely on experienced professionals, contact us! One of our offices is just a stone’s throw away from Virginia Beach, and we’d be delighted to get to the bottom of your load cell malfunctions.


Since 1956, The Scale People have earned a reputation as the finest service provider for calibration and repairs of weighing equipment in the mid-Atlantic area. Our sales team can help work with you to find the best weighing equipment for your application.  We currently have offices in Columbia, MD, and Newport News, VA, but we offer our services nationwide. Over the years, we have built up a long list of satisfied clients from a wide variety of industries, including pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and government manufacturing. We are a fully ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accredited service company.  All of our services have a 100% satisfaction guarantee. We’re only a phone call away at +1 (800) 451-9593. To learn more about what we do, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.



This entry was posted on Saturday, February 27th, 2021 at 12:27 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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