How To Repair a Mechanical Weighing Scale and Identify Its Problems

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Amidst the presence of numerous advanced digital weighing scales, a mechanical weighing scale remains a staple.

While the innovative digital options offer amazing features, the durability of a mechanical scale is still unmatched. 

However, despite its robust build, mechanical scales can still be vulnerable to issues and problems.

While this is inevitable because of wear and tear, other factors usually cause them.

Since the importance of getting accurate readings should be a top priority, any owner should know how to repair a mechanical weighing scale.

You must also learn how to identify the specific problem of your scale.

This removes the possibility of downtimes and spares you from shelling out money for repair and replacement costs.

What Is a Mechanical Weighing Scale?

Analog scales, also known as mechanical scales, do not require a power supply to operate. 

We use this to measure tension, mass, force exertion, and object resistance.

You can use a working mechanical scale in most settings for varied purposes. 

This weighing scale uses standard measurement units for each reading. 

Mechanical scales come in various configurations, including spring scales, hanging scales, triple beam balances, and force gauges.

Moreover, these are durable units with an easy-to-use design.

Signs of Mechanical Weighing Scale Problems

Dealing with a broken mechanical weighing scale is stressful, especially if you need constant, accurate readings. 

While there are different ways to fix it, one must know what causes these problems and prevent them.

By understanding these, the process of repairing it becomes easier.

Thus, below are some of the most common indications of mechanical scale issues.

1. Inconsistent Scale Reading Results

One indication that your scale has issues is inconsistent scale readings.

This becomes noticeable when things usually of the same weight exhibit large fluctuations in their typical weight readings.

In this case, you may need to test it to confirm.

You can take one object and place it on the scale platform several times to see if you get the same reading.

2. Inaccurate Readings Using Different Scales

You can identify this when comparing readings from your scale to another accurate and correctly calibrated scale.

Typically, you will notice an odd difference on the erroneous scale. 

You can solve this with a simple calibration as what you do for maintenance.

However, getting the same inaccurate results after calibration indicates a shock loading or overloading problem. 

Dropping an object on the scale’s platform from a significant height may cause shock loading.

Meanwhile, a weight placed on the scale beyond its capacity can cause overloading.

3. Corrosion Damage

This is typically a mechanical issue that occurs in moist or corrosive-intense settings.

The moving parts of a scale may come into touch with various chemicals or water and cause the components to deteriorate and malfunction.

Moving scales to and from extreme temperature conditions can also cause temporary inaccuracies.

That is due to the quality and type of the material used in a scale’s internal systems.

These are just among the many possible causes of scale damage.

If you have encountered inaccurate readings and other unusual functioning from your scale, it’s time to fix it.

how to repair a mechanical weighing scale

How To Repair a Mechanical Weighing Scale

The thought of fixing a mechanical weighing scale on your own can be daunting.

For someone with no experience in repairs, picturing the mechanical parts inside the scale can be overwhelming. 

That said, this detailed guide can help you breeze through the process.

Just carefully follow each step to give you better chances of fixing your broken scale.

Step #1: Open the Scale

Position the scale on a level surface and invert it.

Using a pair of pliers or a screwdriver, pry the bottom locks out of the way.

Do not attempt to open it in its present configuration.

Orient the scale so that the top of the scale is pointing upward.

Displace the top cover and set it aside.

Make sure to gather all the loose items, such as screws, aside for safekeeping.

Step #2: Set Up the Iron Pieces

If they are not already in place, place the two slender iron pieces in their respective positions. 

Set them up so that one end passes through the cut on the front portion of the beam.

Ensure that the other end passes through the rings in the middle of the two horizontal beams on either side.

Step #3: Raise the Spring

You will see that there is a narrow spring situated underneath the dial.

Typically, a broken mechanical scale has a loose and unsecured spring.

Gently raise the broader spring attachment assembly from its current position.

Step #4: Adjust the Dial

Try applying a small amount of pressure to the long bars to see if the dial moves closer to zero or away from it.

Adjust the dial to be as close to zero by loosening the screw on top of the dial.

Continue rotating it to your desired position.

It’s as simple as confirming to see if the dial rotates as you apply pressure to the long slender bars.

Step #5: Position the Plates

Before doing this, remove the cover and hang the two small loose springs attached to the backside of the cover. 

To finish off the string, tie a knot in the loose end and thread the other end of the twine through the bottom hole plate. 

Make sure to thread the string through the large hole.

It is essential to ensure that the loose end of the string can remain in the bridge between the small and big holes.

By this time, your top plate is now directly above your base plate.

Step #6: Remove the Twines

Invert the entire scale while keeping the two plates firmly together.

Do this while carefully ensuring that the twines or springs aren’t falling out of their positions.

Remove the twines from the springs one at a time.

While doing this, ensure each spring’s dangling end at the bridge that connects the large and small holes in the base plate.

Step #7: Check the Dial

At this point, the assembly is now complete. 

Turn your mechanical scale over and make sure the dial is turning. 

The zero-point may no longer be perfectly aligned.

If this is the case, you can twist the small wheel located on the front of the scale.

It is necessary to twist it for the scale to read zero without any weight.

How To Maintain Your Mechanical Weighing Scale

You can purchase the most expensive weighing scale on the market, but failure to maintain it will put your efforts in vain. 

That is why its maintenance should be a priority.

Below are some pointers and practices that you can add to your routine.

Have a Daily Cleaning Routine

To keep your weighing scale operating at peak accuracy and effectiveness, clean it daily.

We use scales to weigh different objects; hence, debris tends to build during the weighing process.

To prolong your scale’s life, remove such debris regularly.

Clean the scale after each loading and unloading.

Meanwhile, avoid tampering with its delicate pieces.

Keep your scale away from any form of moisture-building liquid.

That is because moisture has a negative impact on the components of your scale. 

Inspect Your Scales Regularly

Regular inspections inform you of the scale’s current operational status. 

Doing this will let you detect any abnormalities in its functionality while helps avoid inaccurate readings.

These inspections include watching out for corrosion, wear and tear, loose wires, or hardware failures.

Regular inspections save you money in the long run by avoiding costly repairs.

Practice Routine Calibration

Always remember that you should calibrate your scale as soon as you use it.

Perform scale calibrations regularly to preserve its accuracy. 

Remember that the accuracy of a weighing scale is affected by a variety of factors.

That includes changes in temperature, transfer from one location to another, and drops.

Make sure to calibrate your scale if it goes through one of the circumstances mentioned above.

Remember Your Dont’s

There are some practices that you just can’t do to your scales. 

Like any other gadget or device, you need to make sure to handle them gently.

Even if they are created for long-time use, you still have to make sure you handle them with care.

Here are some bad habits that you will want to avoid when dealing with your scales:

  1. Turning the scales upside down or shaking them to remove residues.
  2. Handling it roughly and pressing down on its platform heavily.
  3. Using strong fluids and salts that can cause corrosion.
  4. Allowing large volumes of fluids to pour on the scales, causing moisture and damage.

Inspecting, Maintaining, and Repairing Your Weighing Scale

Determining the weight of a person or a specific object plays a considerable part for several purposes.

It can be for medication, food preparation, business, or any other endeavor.

Hence, a mechanical scale that gives inaccurate readings can cause inconveniences and problems ranging from minor to major.

It helps to know several ways to check for issues and inaccuracies. 

Additionally, knowing how to repair a mechanical weighing scale can save you money and spare you from downtime. 

However, it is equally vital to know when a scale needs a replacement and is beyond repair.

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