Digital scales can provide inaccurate readings, and they can provide readings that are different from other readings they have provided previously. Different scales are also calibrated differently and although the scales may be being used to weigh the same thing, in the same area, they can provide different weight measures.
Most scales will have weight discrepancies that are less than five pounds if both units are working properly. If the scales you are using are displaying a discrepancy of as much as ten pounds then you probably need to recalibrate the unit or troubleshoot for other problems.
7 Common Reasons Why Scales May Be Off By As Much As Ten Pounds
If your scales are off by as much as ten pounds it may not mean that the scales are no longer good. The reading may be indicative of other small complications that you can adjust.
1. Where The Scales Sre Being Used
Where the scales are sitting is one of the biggest factors in their ability to make an accurate and precise measurement. Check the area the scale is positioned on and make sure it is clean and free of all dirt, dust, and debris. Something as small as a grain of sand may be large enough to create inaccurate measurements.
You check the levelness of your area by using a small round object like a marble or a ball. Place the round object in the center of the area where your scale will be sitting. Steady the object, then slowly remove your hand. If the object stays in place, then you are dealing with a fairly level area. If the object moves then the area is not perfectly level. If the area is not perfectly level find another area to use the scale in.
2. Clean the Scale
Before you determine whether the scale you are using is incorrect take the time to clean the scale. You should wipe the scale down to remove any dirt or particulates from the weighing platform and from the bottom portion of the unit. A little bit of dirt or something small that may be clinging to the bottom of the scale can be enough to cause the unit to not weigh things accurately.
3. Recalibrate the Scale
One of the quickest things you can do to correct a scale that is reading inaccurately is to recalibrate the scale and reset it back to zero. Each digital scale is slightly different. You may have a specific button that you need to press to recalibrate the unit. Some units will automatically recalibrate themselves.
Read the manual that came with your scales and follow the calibration steps within the manual.
If you are using non-digital scales there is more than likely a small dial at the bottom of the scale that you turn to set the scale back to zero.
4. Soft Surfaces
If the scale is positioned on a piece of carpet or rug then the reading cannot be accurate. You need a hard and level surface to support a scale.
5. Change the Battery
Digital scales are powered by a battery. When the battery in the scale begins to age then it may provide a reduced amount of power to the scales so the accuracy of the scales will be reduced.
When you change the battery in your scale be careful to not damage the contacts inside the battery compartment.
Clean the battery compartment with a small brush so you remove any possible dirt or particulates before you insert the new battery.
After changing the battery turn the scale over and let it sit in an upright position for a couple of seconds before you power the unit on.
Try to remember to change your batteries every six months when the time changes. This will ensure that your batteries are always hot and ready.
6. Moisture and Humidity
Moisture and humidity are awful for scales. You should keep your scales in an area of your home that has less humidity. The rooms in your house with the highest humidity levels are your bathroom, your kitchen, and your laundry room.
Try to keep your scales in a bedroom or room that does not have a water source in it. Apart from that, you can buy the best mechanical bathroom scales.
7. Extreme Temperatures
These devices are not made to be exposed to extreme heat or cold. If they are exposed to extreme amounts of cold moisture may form and cause the unit to be Cluggish or to read inaccurately.
Related: Why Does Digital Scale Keep Changing Weight?
Scales are easy-to-use devices that are fairly reliable. Keep your scales away from strong winds or drafts, away from moisture, and do not overload their capacity to weigh. Every time you move your scales be sure to recalibrate or reset them. If at all possible keep the scales in one place in a climate controlled unit.