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Scale Not Working? Check These 2 Things First

Scale Not Working? Check These 2 Things First

Posted by Jon M. on Mar 21st 2023

Is your digital scale not working? We know how frustrating it can be when a vital piece of equipment stops functioning as it should—especially when it’s on a busy production line or in a fast-paced shipping department. So, what should you do if you suddenly notice your scale broke?

Well, if you’re looking for a quick fix to get your broken digital scale back up and running fast, there are two things we always tell our customers to check first: the power supply and the binding. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to troubleshoot both of these areas and, hopefully, turn your useless paperweight into a fully functioning paper weigher!


While this solution may seem extremely obvious at first, we know as well as anyone that in a busy environment—or when frustration gets the best of us—we tend to forget the simple things. Believe it or not, our scale repair technicians get calls all the time for broken scales, only to discover it’s as simple as a faulty power supply! Although it isn't always the first thing that comes to mind, the good news is that fixing a power issue is typically one of the cheapest and easiest solutions available.

How to check a scale’s power supply

1. Make sure your battery is charged and the scale is plugged in!

We've seen this on many occasions after kindly asking our customers if the scale is plugged in. And when it isn’t, we can almost hear the head slap when they discover they forgot to do so. Don’t worry—it happens to the best of us! Problem solved.

2. Check for damage to the power cord or plug.

If you notice visible damage, we recommend you purchase a new plug and cord. Even if this doesn't correct the issue, you're likely to run into this issue eventually, so it doesn’t hurt to have a spare power supply on hand. Not to mention, this could pose a significant safety risk in your workplace.

Digital Scale Power Supply

3. Test the power supply on another scale.

If you have multiple scales, testing a power supply issue is much, much easier. To check the unit in question, grab a power cable from a scale that is working and plug it into the broken scale. If that powers up the scale, you now know the power supply is no good. Simply replace it and you'll be back up and running in no time.


Commercial weighing scales have many tough jobs. From filling and counting to heavy-capacity weighing, they often take a beating and come out quite filthy at the end of the day. Dust, dirt, liquids, and other materials can all build up on the scale, eventually finding their way into places they don't belong.

When debris interferes with the internal weighing mechanism—also known as a load cell—it can cause a whole series of issues, such as:

When debris causes any of these problems, it is referred to as binding.

How to correct a scale binding issue

1. Check under the weighing pan and remove any debris you find.

Before you remove anything, be careful not to cause more damage by introducing extra debris into the housing or overloading the load cell. Typically speaking, you can carefully remove the weighing pan or disassemble the housing and remove any dust or debris without issue. But always check the owner’s manual first and follow the manufacturer's instructions for routine cleaning and maintenance.

Ohaus Scale Being Cleaned

2. Carefully disassemble the housing and clean any debris buildups.

Any buildup of material inside the housing should be removed with the appropriate scale cleaning tools such as brushes, specialty scrapers, or wipes. Again, be especially cautious when cleaning around the load cell and other fragile internal components.

3. Power up the scale and check to see if the issue is resolved.

If you suspect a bind and have finished cleaning the scale, power it back up and check to see if the issue has been resolved. If it still isn’t working properly, there are either more areas that need to be cleaned or it’s not a binding issue at all.


These are two of the most common fixes we discover when working with our customers. However, if neither of these solutions resolves your issue and you’re still asking yourself, “Why is my scale not working?”—you’re left with a couple of options.

First, you can continue to try and diagnose the problem by exploring some of our other troubleshooting guides below:

Second, if you’ve exhausted all our troubleshooting tips and are still experiencing a broken scale, we recommend you contact the Scales Plus technical support line or submit a service request and our team of experienced technicians can recommend whether to fix or replace your scale.

Scale Service Request Banner

And finally, you can always shop for something new. If you’d prefer to just move on from your malfunctioning scale, we invite you to shop our wide selection of high-quality digital scales. With a variety of top brands and models to choose from, we’re sure to have the perfect weighing equipment for you and your needs.

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