Why Do Digital Scales Give Different Readings?

Have you ever stepped on the scales at the doctor’s office, and the scales at your friend’s house, and your scales and received different readings on every set? Have you ever stepped on your scales and then two hours later stepped on the scales again and received a different reading? 

What Is A Digital Scale?

A digital scale is a device that can discern the weight of an object that is placed on its sensor platforms. The digital scale has a display area that shows the weight like the digital display of your alarm clock.

Digital scales may be small and used primarily for food items, or large enough to weigh people. They come in many different styles and colors and the scales may also offer different functions like figuring out body mass and other details.

What Causes Weight Fluctuations Between Scale Units?

The main cause of weight fluctuations between scales is the way the scale is designed. Each different manufacturer builds scales with different calibrations so the readings they issue may be different between the two units.

The scales also may be sitting on different types of surfaces which could cause a discrepancy in their weight measurements. Generally, when scales are reading within five pounds of each other you can consider both scales to be fairly accurate. Read our article on why digital scales keep changing weight?

7 Causes One Scale Unit to Be Inconsistent in Weight Measurements?

A man checking his weigh with a digital scale

1. Surface Problems

The main reason why any set of scales does not read accurately is the surface they are sitting on is not level, firm, and flat.

It does not matter if you are using weight measurement scales, food scales, or postal scales the devices must have a firm surface to sit on. The surface the scale is placed on also has to be level for the scale to read accurately.

Carpeted floors do not provide firm support for these devices. You also cannot place the scale on top of a throw rug and expect to get an accurate reading.

Digital scales are considered to be more precise and more accurate than analog scales. These units are normally lighter than their analog counterparts and they often are designed to be highly attractive.

2. A Low Battery

The battery in the scale provides the power the device needs to function properly. When the battery starts to age it may stop sending the same amount of power that is sent when it was brand new. If the power supply to the unit is reduced then the reading the scale provides will be less than accurate.

You can be sure that the power supply to your scale is adequate if you make sure to change your batteries every six months. If you live where the time is changed twice a year then you can make sure to change the batteries in your digital devices like clocks, scales, and such when it is time to set your clocks forward or backward.

Once a year is the recommended time to leave a battery on a scale by many manufacturers. This will work for you if you remember to mark a calendar to remind you to change the battery on time.

3. Normal Weight Fluctuations

When you weigh you should weigh at the same time each day while wearing clothing that is very similar. Your body weight fluctuates during the day so your scale may not be reading inaccurately it might just be reflecting the changes in your body weight.

To get the most accurate weight measurements to weigh each time at the same time of day. Morning is usually when you will weigh the least. Make sure that you go to the restroom and empty your bladder prior to weighing.

4. The Scale is Dirty

If the sensors of the scale are dirty then they cannot give a precise measurement. Be sure to keep your scalp clean and free of dirt and debris. The cleanliness of your scales is critical to making sure they work correctly.

Wipe your scales off at least once a month to maintain a clean platform.

5. Weight Overload

If the amount of weight placed on the sensor platform exceeds the abilities of the unit then the weight it displays will not be accurate and will change each time you use the unit.

6. Moisture Exposure

One of the worst things for a set of digital scales is exposure to too much humidity or moisture. That is why the bathroom is not the ideal place to keep your scales. The slightest amount of moisture can cause these devices to read inaccurately or not read at all.

Keep your scales set up in an area of your home that does not have an undue amount of moisture. If you do put the device in the bathroom keep it as far away from the tub or the sink as possible to reduce moisture exposure or possible water damage.

7. Wind Blowing Across The Device

If there is a strong wind or draft blowing across the sensor platform of the unit the scale will be inaccurate. Do not place your scale in an area that allows a draft from a fan or air conditioner to blow across the sensor platform.

You are not standing still.

These scales need you to be perfectly still while you are weighing. If you are shifting your weight then the sensor cannot make a precise determination.

Stand on the scales without touching anything like the wall or counter.

Stand still and try not to bend forward to see the display.

Related post: Best Digital Pocket Scales in 2022 Reviews

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