County Weights and Measures Inspectors inspect and test all commercially used weighing and measuring devices for accuracy throughout the county. There are roughly 30,000 devices in Contra Costa County that require inspection. Some examples of weighing devices are deli and frozen yogurt scales, shipping facility scales, railway scales, and vehicle scales. Measuring devices include gasoline dispensers, taxi meters, electric meters, retail water dispensers, vapor meters, water submeters, and fabric and cordage meters. Devices are also inspected to ensure that they are being used for their intended purpose. Once a device is determined to be correct, it will be certified by affixing a seal. If the device is not determined to be correct, it is taken out of service until it can be repaired and retested.
Fun Fact: The 1919 Hay Baling Act ensured accuracy in the sale of hay, mandating the testing of scales used by hay balers and the recording of the net weight of sale. It also prevented dirt, rocks or other debris from being included in the sale price of baled hay.
Submission of submeters for inspection
1. Electric watt-hour meters, hydrocarbon vapor (gas) meters, and water meters (domestic service) must be inspected at least once every 10 years by the County Sealer.
2. It is suggested that you have at least a 10 year – 10 percent per year replacement plan. Should you choose to rotate out your used meters for reinspection, you will need new or used meters sealed by our office to accomplish your rotation.
3. When ordering your new replacement meters, you can arrange to have them shipped directly to our Concord office for testing and sealing prior to installation.
4. Used gas meters submitted for inspection must have all external pipe fittings removed.
5. New or used solid-state electricity meters submitted for inspection must have the current transformers (CTs) as well as any counters attached to the electric meters.
Our goal is to complete the inspection of submeters within two to four weeks after receiving them. This will depend on the volume of meters at any given time in our possession, whether they are new or used, if they are type approved, and the volume of work in other programs. We recommend that you call us prior to dropping submeters or shipments of submeters off at our office.