Morehouse 7-Step Easy Process For Troubleshooting A Load Cell

November 2, 2015

Morehouse 7-Step Process For Troubleshooting A Load Cell

Troubleshooting A Load Cell

Visual Inspection Lets Us Know Which Cell Is Damaged

Troubleshooting A Load Cell Simplified. Have you spent countless hours trying to figure out what is not working? Is it the load cell, is it the meter, the cable, or something else?

We have wasted countless hours trying to troubleshoot nonworking load cells.   In an effort to provide better customer service and shorten our calibration lead time (most calibrations are performed in 5-7 business days), we have developed a process to troubleshoot nonworking load cells.    This blog post is our way of trying to help others save countless hours trying to diagnose common problems.    We call this the Morehouse 7-Step Process For Troubleshooting A Load Cell.

Troubleshooting A Load Cell

Troubleshooting A Load Cell - Morehouse Load Cell Troubleshooting Guide

1. Visual inspection for noticeable damage
2.  Power the system up and make sure all connections are made and verify that batteries have enough voltage and are installed
3.  If everything appears to be working, but the output does not make sense, check for mechanical issues.    Some load cells have internal stops that may cause the output to plateau.   Make sure any adapters threaded into the transducer are not bottoming out.
4.  Check and make sure the leads (all wires) are properly connected to the load cell and meter.
Inspect the cable for breaks - With everything hooked up proceed to test the cable making a physical bend every foot
5.  Check for continuity of the cable (pin each individual connection) – If the cable is common to the system, check another load cell and verify the other cell is working properly.
6.   Use a load cell tester or another meter to check the zero resistance of the load cell – If you do not have a load cell tester you can check the bridge resistance with a common multi-meter
7.   Check the voltage and current on the power supply

Inside Of An Overloaded  Shear Web Load Cell

A Morehouse load cell tester can be used to properly troubleshoot load cells

Troubleshooting A Load Cell - Using a Load Cell Tester

Video of the LCT can be found here

           A Morehouse load cell tester can be used to test for the following:
           Input and Output Resistance
           Resistance difference between sense and excitation leads
           Signal Output
           Shield to Bridge
           Body to Bridge
           Shield to Body
Troubleshooting A Load Cell - Overloaded Load Cells Cannot Easily be Repaired
          Important:  If the load cell has been overloaded, mechanical damage has been done that is not repairable.  Overloading causes permanent deformation within the flexural element and gauges, which destroys the carefully balanced processing.
          While it is possible to electrically re-zero a load cell following overload, it is not recommended because this does nothing to restore the affected performance parameters or the degradation of structural integrity.
Multiple Ultra Precision Load Cells
Troubleshooting A Load Cell  - Multiple Ultra Precision Load Cells
Morehouse stocks common capacity load cells, most equipment is available in about 1 week with calibration performed using deadweight primary standards. (shorter lead times are available upon request as Morehouse always aims to provide superior customer support)   Visit for more information.

Troubleshooting A Load Cell - Conclusion

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Everything we do, we believe in changing how people think about force and torque calibration.  Morehouse believes in thinking differently about force and torque calibration and equipment.  We challenge the "just calibrate it" mentality by educating our customers on what matters, and what causes significant errors, and focus on reducing them.

Morehouse makes our products simple to use and user-friendly.  And we happen to make great force equipment and provide unparalleled calibration services.

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