how tp use a dead weight tester


What is a Dead Weight Tester?

A dead weight tester is a highly reliable and accurate instrument used for calibrating pressure-measuring devices. It is commonly employed in industries such as oil and gas, aviation, manufacturing, and research laboratories. This sophisticated piece of equipment allows technicians to verify and adjust the accuracy of pressure gauges, transmitters, and sensors.

Using a dead weight tester involves a systematic process to ensure precision and reliability. In this article, we will explore the detailed procedure step-by-step, along with important considerations and best practices.

Procedure for Using a Dead Weight Tester

A dead weight tester operates on the fundamental principle of Pascal's law, which states that the pressure applied to a confined fluid is transmitted equally in all directions. By utilizing calibrated weights, this device generates known pressures to calibrate pressure instruments. Let us take a closer look at the step-by-step procedure for using a dead weight tester.

Step 1: Assemble the Dead Weight Tester

Before starting the calibration process, ensure that you have all the necessary components of the dead weight tester assembled correctly. These typically include a piston-cylinder assembly, a graduated scale, a ball check valve, and a set of calibrated weights. Make sure that the piston-cylinder assembly is clean and free from any contaminants.

Step 2: Preparing the Test Equipment

Prepare the pressure instrument that you wish to calibrate. Ensure that it has been properly cleaned and there is no damage to any of its components. Connect the instrument to be tested securely to the dead weight tester using appropriate fittings and adapters. Make sure all connections are tight and leak-proof.

Step 3: Setting the Zero Pressure

Before proceeding with the actual calibration, it is essential to set the zero pressure point of the test equipment. This involves carefully adjusting the position of the base weight to ensure that no pressure is acting on the instrument under test. Make precise adjustments by slowly rotating the adjusting screw until the pressure reading on the gauge is effectively zero.

Step 4: Applying Known Pressure Values

Once the zero pressure has been established, start applying known pressure values to the instrument under test. This is done by adding calibrated weights one by one onto the piston assembly. Each weight adds a certain amount of pressure, and the corresponding reading is noted on the pressure gauge of the test equipment. Repeat this process for different pressure values, ensuring accurate measurements at each step.

Step 5: Interpreting the Results

After applying all the desired pressure values and noting down the readings, it is important to analyze and interpret the results obtained. Compare the readings obtained from the pressure instrument under test with the actual values generated by the dead weight tester. Any discrepancies between the measured and actual values indicate calibration errors. These errors can be used to make necessary adjustments to the instrument.

Considerations and Best Practices

To ensure accurate and reliable results while using a dead weight tester, it is important to consider the following points and follow best practices:

Maintaining Proper Conditions

To achieve accurate calibration, ensure that the dead weight tester and the pressure instrument under test are maintained under suitable environmental conditions. Factors such as temperature, humidity, and vibration can significantly affect the precision of the calibration process. Therefore, it is crucial to operate in a controlled environment.

Use Appropriate Fittings and Adapters

Using the correct fittings and adapters when connecting the dead weight tester to the pressure instrument is essential. Improper fittings can lead to leaks, which can result in inaccurate pressure readings. Always choose fittings that are compatible with both the tester and the instrument.

Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

Regular cleaning and maintenance of the dead weight tester are crucial to ensure its proper functioning. Keep the piston-cylinder assembly and the ball check valve clean and free from any debris or contaminants. Lubricate the moving parts at specified intervals to minimize friction and extend the life of the tester.

Accurate and Precise Weights

The weights on the dead weight tester are calibrated to generate specific pressure values. Ensure that the weights are properly calibrated and in good condition. Any damaged or inaccurate weights can lead to incorrect pressure readings and compromise the overall reliability of the calibration process.


In conclusion, a dead weight tester is a precise and reliable instrument used for calibrating pressure-measuring devices. It follows a systematic procedure involving assembly, preparation, zero pressure setting, applying known pressure values, and interpreting the results. By adhering to best practices and considering important factors, technicians can achieve accurate and reliable calibrations. Regular maintenance and the use of accurate weights further enhance the longevity and effectiveness of a dead weight tester. Ultimately, the precise calibration provided by this instrument ensures the accuracy and consistency of pressure measurements, contributing to the overall safety and efficiency of various industries.


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