Weighing Devices

ScalesThe Shasta County Weighing Devices Program assures the suitability and accuracy of commercial weighing devices used in transactions based on weight. All weighing and measuring devices used for "point of sale" transactions are required to be type approved for use in California, registered annually with the County, and tested regularly to guarantee they are performing within State tolerances.

Some of the Weighing Devices we check:

  • Computing Scales: Scales used to calculate weight and price per pound to arrive at a total price. Electronic ones are often found at check stands in grocery stores to weigh produce. Old-fashioned counter scales, consisting of a drum and a paper roll that that has all the calculations of price per pound and weight read on a parallax, can still be found at produce stands and feed stores.
  • Hanging or Spring Scales: These scales are often found in farmer's markets and hardware stores. They are used to weigh bulk items in a hanging basket. Sometimes they are available in the produce department for customer's estimation of quantity. If they are used for determining the price of the final transaction, they must be registered, tested and sealed.
  • Hopper Scales: A scale used to weigh bulk commodities into waiting containers. Commodities are emptied into a hopper, weighed, and dispensed in batches through a chute into a waiting container. Hopper scales are sometimes used to weigh commodities such as fertilizer, grain or coal prior to loading into railway cars; they are also used to measure material into portions before processing or packaging.
  • Livestock Scales: This type of scale is used to weigh livestock. The animal is placed on a stationary or portable platform equipped with load cells to determine its weight.
  • Monorail Scales: These are scales which move along a rail allowing the weight to be taken from any place along the rail. They are most often found in butchers' shops where they are used to weigh animal carcasses.
  • Platform Scales: Scales with a flat platform for placement of the commodity to be weighed. Weight indication is commonly on a beam or dial above the platform. These types of scales are still used in feed stores and as "people weighers."
  • Prescription and Jewelers Scales: Normally these are highly precise scales, weighing in grams. Jeweler's scales are used to weigh gold, gems and other precious metals. Prescription scales are used by pharmacists to formulate special drugs prescribed by a physician.
  • Vehicle scales: A type of scale used to determine the gross and net weight of the vehicle, both loaded and unloaded, for bulk delivery. They consist of a deck, which the vehicle is driven onto, and a weight indicator.

All devices are checked on an annual basis. Upon passing, a county seal is placed on them to attest to their accuracy.

Weighing Devices Complaint Form Weighing Devices Complaint Form

Weighing Devices Links


Weighing Devices FAQs

My scale for my business is brand new, why do I need to have it registered with the county?

Answer: The law requires that any scale being used to weigh commodities involved in financial transactions must be registered and inspected by the county in which it is being used, regardless of the age or condition of the scale.

My scale is an all-electronic scale, is it still necessary to have it tested and sealed by Shasta county each year?

Answer: All scales, electronic scales included, must be tested and registered in the county where they will be used. Electronic scales are capable of error and therefore must be checked by the Department of Weights and Measures.

I only use my scale two or three times a year, do I still need it to be sealed by the county?

Answer: Yes, all commercial scales must be sealed by the county Weights and Measures regardless of how often they are used.

The scale I purchased in another county has an updated seal from that county on the scale. Do I still need to have it tested by Shasta County Department of Weights and Measures?

Answer: Yes, all scales must be registered and tested by the Department of Weights and Measures in the county where the scale will be used for business.

Can any scale be used for transactions or does it have to be a special scale?

Answer: Only scales that have been approved for commercial use (type approved) and sealed by the department may be used for a commercial transaction. A licensed service agent may place a device into service before our inspectors conduct their tests.

I purchased a very old high quality scale. Can I get it sealed and certified by the county for commercial use if it hasn't been type certified?

Answer: Older scales that have not been type certified can be sealed after a thorough testing by the Department of Weights and Measures to ensure they are accurate and suitable for the use it is intended.

The scale at the rock yard doesn't have an indicator, the indicator doesn't work, or the indicator can't be seen from the public side. Is it legal for them to use that scale to weigh my rock?

Answer: The law states that any scale used to weigh commodities at the point of sale must have an indicator that is visible to the purchaser at the time of weighing. If no such indicator is present, then the scale is not legal for public tender.