Comprehensive Guide by eTAZ Systems

Load cells are essential components in various industrial and commercial applications, providing accurate weight and force measurements. However, like any other piece of equipment, load cells can encounter issues that require troubleshooting. At eTAZ Systems, we understand the importance of maintaining the functionality of your load cells. This guide will help you identify and resolve common load cell problems, ensuring your operations run smoothly.

Understanding Load Cells

Before diving into troubleshooting, it’s essential to understand what a load cell is and how it works. A load cell is a transducer that converts a force into an electrical signal. This signal can then be measured and displayed by a digital readout or other data acquisition systems. Load cells come in various types, including strain gauge, hydraulic, pneumatic, and capacitive, with strain gauge load cells being the most common.

Common Load Cell Issues

Several issues can affect the performance of load cells, including:

  1. Mechanical Damage: Physical damage to the load cell or its components.
  2. Electrical Faults: Problems with the wiring, connections, or internal circuits.
  3. Environmental Factors: Temperature, moisture, and vibration affecting accuracy.
  4. Calibration Errors: Incorrect or drifted calibration causing inaccurate readings.

Step-by-Step Troubleshooting Guide

Step 1: Visual Inspection

Start with a thorough visual inspection of the load cell and its surroundings:

  • Check for Physical Damage: Look for any signs of mechanical damage such as dents, cracks, or corrosion.
  • Inspect Connections: Ensure that all electrical connections are secure and free from corrosion or damage.
  • Examine the Environment: Verify that the load cell is not exposed to extreme temperatures, moisture, or vibration.

Step 2: Electrical Testing

Use a multimeter to check the electrical integrity of the load cell:

  • Measure the Input and Output Resistance: Compare the readings with the manufacturer’s specifications. Significant deviations may indicate a faulty load cell.
  • Check for Short Circuits: Ensure there are no short circuits between the wires or between the wires and the load cell body.

Step 3: Signal Testing

Examine the load cell’s signal to ensure it’s functioning correctly:

  • Zero Balance Test: Disconnect the load cell from any load and measure the output signal. It should be close to zero (typically within ±0.1% of the full-scale output).
  • Load Test: Apply a known weight to the load cell and measure the output. Compare this with the expected value to check for accuracy.

Step 4: Calibration Check

Verify the calibration of the load cell:

  • Review Calibration Records: Ensure that the load cell has been calibrated according to the schedule and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Recalibration: If the load cell shows significant errors, recalibrate it using certified weights and proper calibration procedures.

Step 5: Environmental Assessment

Assess the environmental conditions around the load cell:

  • Temperature Effects: Ensure that the operating temperature is within the load cell’s specified range. Use temperature compensation if necessary.
  • Moisture Protection: Check for adequate sealing and protection against moisture ingress.
  • Vibration Isolation: Ensure the load cell is isolated from excessive vibrations that could affect readings.

Step 6: Consulting the Manufacturer

If the above steps do not resolve the issue, it may be necessary to consult the manufacturer:

  • Contact eTAZ Systems Support: Provide detailed information about the problem and the steps you’ve taken. Our technical support team can offer further diagnostics and solutions.
  • Return for Evaluation: In some cases, returning the load cell to the manufacturer for a thorough evaluation and repair may be necessary.

Preventive Maintenance Tips

Troubleshooting Load

To minimize load cell issues, consider these preventive maintenance tips:

  • Regular Inspections: Schedule regular inspections to detect and address potential problems early.
  • Environmental Controls: Maintain stable environmental conditions and protect the load cell from extreme factors.
  • Proper Handling: Handle load cells carefully during installation and maintenance to avoid mechanical damage.
  • Calibration Schedule: Adhere to a strict calibration schedule to ensure ongoing accuracy.


Troubleshooting a load cell involves a systematic approach to identifying and resolving issues. By following this guide from eTAZ Systems, you can ensure your load cells perform reliably and accurately. Regular maintenance and prompt troubleshooting are key to extending the lifespan of your load cells and maintaining the efficiency of your operations. For further assistance, don’t hesitate to contact our expert support team.

At eTAZ Systems, we are committed to providing high-quality load cells and comprehensive support to ensure your measurement systems operate flawlessly.

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