4 Ways your hopper scale’s load cells can malfunction

If your hopper scale is malfunctioning, you can be confident that it’s an issue with the load cell. Load cells are extremely sturdy (some have weighing capacities of a million pounds or more), but there are four ways they can get damaged.


1. Damage caused by overloading

Not all load cells can handle seven-digit weights. Smaller portable ones, for instance, may have a capacity of only 1,000 pounds. When you buy a new hopper scale or have one custom assembled for you, you will be informed of the weighing capacity. If you overload the scale by surpassing this weight, you risk causing damage to the load cell.

2. Damage caused by moisture
The presence of moisture can negatively affect a load cell in two ways: it can come into contact with the electronic components, causing them to malfunction or it can lead to corrosion, which can harm the structural integrity of the load cell and cause a misreading.

It’s important that you regularly check for moisture on your hopper scale. Especially if it’s an older one, for due to general wear and tear, it will be more susceptible to moisture infiltration.

3. Damage caused by chemicals

Contact with chemicals can damage a load cell and affect its electronic components or cause corrosion. The damage caused is likely to be extensive. Chemicals can heavily corrode a load cell and even destroy its components and structure.

4. Damage caused by electricity
Power surges and lightning strikes can cause significant damage to a load cell. This risk can be mitigated by grounding and shielding techniques and by ensuring that no outlets and circuits are overloaded.

What happens when my hopper scale’s load cell malfunctions?

The load cell can become defective in one or more of the following ways:
  • The scale doesn’t calibrate
  • The scale doesn’t reset
  • Readings are inconsistent
  • Readings don’t display
  • Zero drift occurs

In some cases the hopper scale becomes entirely inoperable.

Hopper scales in Alberta

If you’re having issues with a hopper scale assembled by Accurate/Western Scale, don’t wait to reach out to us. All repair work is guaranteed on our weigh scale equipment. And due to the smart and simple design of our hoppers, replacing a load cell is never an issue.

For a hopper scale that is level, accurate, durable and made to your specifications, trust the experts at Accurate/Western Scale. We assemble hopper, tank, truck, rail and axle scales. And we can provide nearly any type of scale rental for individuals and businesses in Calgary, Alberta, and the wider region. Contact us today!
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