how to calibrate pressure gauge with dead weight tester



Pressure gauges are essential tools used in various industries to measure and monitor pressure levels in different systems. However, over time, these gauges may lose accuracy and require calibration to ensure their readings are reliable. One of the most reliable methods for calibrating pressure gauges is by using a dead weight tester. This article will guide you through the process of calibrating a pressure gauge using a dead weight tester, providing you with all the necessary information and step-by-step instructions to accomplish this task accurately.

Why Calibrate a Pressure Gauge?

Calibrating a pressure gauge is crucial to maintain accurate measurements and ensure the safety and efficiency of various processes and systems. Over time, pressure gauges may drift, resulting in incorrect readings. Inaccurate measurements can lead to catastrophic failures, compromised process control, and potential hazards. Regularly calibrating pressure gauges using a dead weight tester helps identify and correct any deviations, ensuring precise and reliable measurements.

The Dead Weight Tester:

The dead weight tester is a highly accurate instrument that provides a known pressure source for calibrating pressure gauges. It consists of a piston-cylinder assembly, a weight set, and a valve system. The piston-cylinder assembly serves as the reference pressure mechanism, while the weight set provides the required force to generate a precise pressure. By adjusting the weights on the piston, the tester can generate a range of pressures to calibrate a variety of pressure gauges accurately.

Benefits of Using a Dead Weight Tester:

Using a dead weight tester to calibrate pressure gauges offers several advantages over other methods:

1. Accuracy: Dead weight testers are considered the standard for accuracy in pressure calibration. They provide highly precise and reliable measurements, making them an ideal choice for critical applications.

2. Wide Measurement Range: Dead weight testers have a broad measurement range, allowing them to calibrate pressure gauges across various pressure scales, from low pressures to high pressures.

3. Long-Term Stability: Dead weight testers are known for their long-term stability. Once calibrated and properly maintained, they can provide accurate readings for many years, minimizing the need for frequent recalibration.

4. Traceability: Dead weight testers are traceable to national and international standards, ensuring the accuracy of their measurements.

Now, let's delve into the detailed process of calibrating a pressure gauge using a dead weight tester.

Gather the Necessary Equipment:

Before you begin the calibration process, make sure you have the following equipment readily available:

- Pressure gauge to be calibrated

- Dead weight tester

- Clean cloth or tissue

- Wrench or spanner (if necessary for removing the pressure gauge)

- Gloves and safety goggles (for personal protection)

- Calibration certificate (to ensure the dead weight tester is within its own calibration period)


1. Ensure you are working in a clean and organized environment, free from any potential sources of interference or contamination.

2. If necessary, remove the pressure gauge from the system. Use a wrench or spanner to disconnect the gauge carefully, ensuring not to damage any threads or connections.

3. Inspect the pressure gauge for any visible damage, such as cracks, dents, or bent needles. If you notice any significant issues, it might be necessary to replace the gauge before calibration.

4. Clean the pressure gauge using a cloth or tissue to remove any dirt, dust, or debris that could affect the accuracy of the calibration.

Calibration Procedure:

Follow these step-by-step instructions to calibrate your pressure gauge using a dead weight tester:

1. Setting up the Dead Weight Tester:

- Place the dead weight tester on a stable and leveled surface, ensuring it is not exposed to any external vibrations or disturbances.

- Check the calibration certificate of your dead weight tester to ensure it is within its calibration period. If it has expired, contact the manufacturer or a calibration service provider to arrange for its calibration.

- Attach the pressure gauge connector to the dead weight tester using the appropriate fittings. Ensure it is tightly secured to avoid any leaks during the calibration process.

2. Applying Initial Pressure:

- Start by adjusting the pressure weights on the piston-cylinder assembly to zero the gauge. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to set the weights properly.

- Slowly open the valve system to introduce pressure to the gauge. Monitor the pressure reading on the gauge and allow it to stabilize.

- Take note of the reading displayed on the pressure gauge, as it will be used as a reference point during the calibration process.

3. Calibrating at Different Pressure Points:

- Begin calibrating the pressure gauge at various pressure points within its range. Start with the lowest pressure point and work your way up.

- Adjust the pressure weights on the dead weight tester to generate the desired pressure. Allow the pressure to stabilize before noting the reading on both the pressure gauge and the dead weight tester.

- Repeat this process for multiple pressure points, ensuring you cover a representative range of pressures.

4. Comparing Readings and Making Adjustments:

- Compare the readings on the pressure gauge and the dead weight tester for each pressure point. Note any discrepancies between the two.

- If the pressure gauge reading deviates from the dead weight tester reading, make the necessary adjustments to the gauge. Most pressure gauges have a small adjustment screw at the back or side that can be rotated to align the readings.

5. Final Verification:

- Once you have calibrated the pressure gauge at various pressure points, go back and re-verify the initial pressure. Ensure the gauge returns to its original reading, confirming the calibration accuracy.

- If needed, make additional adjustments until the pressure gauge consistently matches the readings on the dead weight tester.


Calibrating pressure gauges with a dead weight tester is a precise and effective method to ensure accurate measurements and reliable readings. By following the step-by-step instructions provided in this article, you can successfully calibrate your pressure gauge, providing confidence in its performance. Remember to maintain a clean and controlled environment, regularly check your dead weight tester's calibration certificate, and perform periodic recalibrations to ensure ongoing accuracy. With proper calibration, your pressure gauges will continue to provide trustworthy data for your processes and systems.


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