Why Test Your Pressure Canner Dial Gauge?
Is your dial gauge accurate? There are several reasons the calibration of a dial gauge may become inaccurate…being bumped or dropped, stored in extreme temperatures – hot or cold, or just from use. Even new gauges, whether it is a replacement gauge or a new canner, need tested before use.
Dial gauges on pressure canners need to be tested every year to make sure the pressure is reading correctly. If your gauge is off by more than two pounds (psi) it is not accurate and needs to be replaced or you will put those that eat your home canned food at risk for a foodborne illness such as botulism. If the dial gauge is off by two pounds or less an adjustment can be made. Weighted gauges do not need to be tested.
Once we have checked the dial gauge for accuracy and inspect the condition of the gauge (broken, cracked, rusty, does not return to zero, interior moisture) we look over the condition of the canner and lid if available. In doing so we inspect the gasket for wear and tear, including the safety plug and may recommend one or both be replaced. We check the safety valve/petcock (run a pipe cleaner through it) for a clear airway, look at the condition of the handles, and view the overall condition of the canner. Once completed you receive a dated pressure canner inspection report for your records which includes storage instructions.
Now that you understand an accurate gauge is essential for safety schedule an appointment with OSU Extension-Morrow County to get yours tested!
*FREE for residents of Morrow County – provided by your levy funds
- Pressure Canner Dial Gauge Testing - By Appointment Only