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​In Pennsylvania, weights and measures matters are governed by Act #155 of 1996, Pennsylvania Title 70 and NIST Handbooks - 44, 130 and 133. Nearly every aspect of inspection, testing and punishment are covered in these documents.    

There are essentially three ways products and services are purchased in our system of weights and measures. All three involve a weighing or measuring device that is required by law to be examined and certified on a regular basis.

The first type of product or service delivery involves the customer being present, where he or she makes a purchase through a legal-for-trade commercial device. Some examples would be gasoline or kerosene at a fuel dispenser, deli items, meats, cheese or produce over a scale, L P Gas by weight for your 20 pound tank, a laundry dryer, an air dispenser or vacuum at a car wash or a parking meter in a local city or borough.

A second type of commercial transaction is where the consumer arranges to purchase some type of “bulk” commodity such as coal, mulch, top soil, animal feed, fertilizer, grain, etc. These products may be ordered by phone and delivered to the consumer’s location or the consumer may be present during purchase and measurement. The majority of these products are required to be weighed by a licensed public weighmaster and accompanied by a certified invoice or receipt.

The third type of transaction is when a consumer purchases some type of pre-packaged product. The vast majority of commodities found in the modern grocery store, hardware, drug store, department store, office supply store, farm and garden store or automotive store would fall into this category. An essential element of this type of transaction is the proper labeling of the product. The specific requirements for package labeling are found in NIST Handbook-130 as well as in the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act. Needless to say, nearly all commodities are required to display the product identity, the net contents and the packager or distributors name and address. Their content accuracy is determined through routine inspections by weights and measures officials in the retail store or at the point of fill.

All commercial devices are required to be inspected and tested on a schedule established by the Department of Agriculture. Each commercial device you encounter in the marketplace should bear a current seal or decal indicating the date of inspection.

 The following commercial devices are required to be inspected on a twelve month basis

​Small capacity retail computing scales.
Retail package shipping scales. ( UPS, Fed Ex, etc.)
Small platform scale which weigh items up to 1000 pounds.
Vehicle scales.
Truck mounted fuel oil meters.
Truck mounted L P Gas and Anhydrous ammonia meters.
Compressed natural gas meters. (for vehicle fueling)
Retail motor fuel dispensers.
Universal Product Code scanning systems.
Price Look-up devices.

The Department will inspect all types of commercially used weighing and measuring devices not specifically assigned a 12 month inspection interval as noted above, at intervals of “no greater than 36 months”. The following is a list of the most commonly found commercial devices assigned to the 36 month category.

  1. Pharmacy scales.
  2. Precious metals scales. (For gold, silver & other precious metals)
  3. Linear measures for gold chains, etc. (found at mall kiosks)
  4. Precious gems balance. (Carat weight)
  5. Non-computing scales and balances in smoke shops.
  6. Platform scales over 1000 pound capacity.
  7. Fertilizer hopper scales.
  8. Small capacity net-weight scales found in USDA plants and other food processing plants.
  9. Railroad scales & railroad hopper scales.
  10. On-board vehicle scales.
  11. Fork lift mounted scales.
  12. Front end loader scales.
  13. Meat beams & mono rail scales in slaughter houses.
  14. Livestock & animal scales.
  15. Laundry scales.
  16. Grain moisture meters & related scales for bushel weight and docking charges at feed mills.
  17. Feed mill scales utilized for adding antibiotics, minerals and other ingredients for custom feed orders.
  18. Wire & cordage measuring device.
  19. Multiple dimension measuring devices. (Utilized for calculating freight, storage or postal charges based on weight and volume or dimensions).
  20. Automatic weighing systems. (Utilized primarily in food and non-food packaging operations with high-speed filling lines.)

 TIMING DEVICES - 5 year interval

  1. ​Parking meters.
  2. Parking lots/garages with timed charges.
  3. Air vending timers.
  4. Car wash timers.
  5. Vacuum timers.
  6. Laundromat dryer timers.


  1. ​Loading rack meters. (For loading fuel trucks)
  2. Carbon dioxide liquid metering devices. ( This product is used in manufacturing, the food industry and was also utilized to euthanize thousands of chickens during our Avian Flu outbreak in Union and Snyder counties)
  3. Milk meters.
  4. Lubricant meters. (Jiffy Lube, etc.)
  5. Airport fuel meters.
  6. Marina fuel meters.
  7. Mass flow meters.
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