Weights and measures officials throughout New York routinely inspect a wide range of commercial devices and packaged commodities. These inspections aim to eliminate devices and packages that do not provide an accurate measure of the commodities or services that are exchanged.
Look for the weights and measures seal on all devices that you use while shopping. The seal indicates that that device has been inspected by the Department and was performing correctly and within the applicable tolerances.
Foods make up the majority of the packaged consumer commodities inspected for accurate net contents. Commodities like cleaning agents, paints, and yard and garden products are also inspected. Wholesale packages and commodities are routinely inspected to protect businesses.
Not all weighing or measuring devices are under the jurisdiction of the Department. For example, industrial scales, volumetric standards, and meters that are not used for sale (or custody transfer) are not covered. Public utility gas and electric meters are regulated by the Public Service Commission. Municipal water meters are regulated by the local water district.
Both state and local officials are empowered to conduct inspections. State officials have concurrent authority with the local officials, who only have authority within their municipality. State officials also conduct inspections on devices that may not be inspected by local officials such as vehicle scales, LPG truck meters, and terminal meters.
Devices and packages that pass inspection remain in commerce. Those that fail are ordered repaired or removed from commerce. Under extreme circumstances, incorrect or fraudulent devices may be seized.
In all inspections, officials use reference standard weights and measures that are certified as accurate relative to the New York State Standards, which are traceable to national standards.
Liquified Petroleum Gas or Propane Meters
Liquified petroleum gas (LPG) or propane gas is a common heating and cooking fuel that is widely used in New York. LPG is usually delivered from truck-mounted meters. These trucks operate in all parts of New York State except New York City. LPG is a very flammable liquid that is only liquid at room temperature while under pressure.
A pressurized liquid measure standard, or prover, is used to test these meters. The Department operates three LPG test units, each with a 100 gallon prover. A typical delivery truck meter will be tested by making three or more 100 gallon deliveries into the prover. These tests characterize the device performance over a range of operating conditions. A fee from $75 to $100 per meter (based on the meter size) is charged to recover the costs of operating the test unit.
If you break a security seal applied by a weights and measures official, add a new truck, or remove a truck from service, you must report that to the appropriate authority.
For trucks in Nassau or Suffolk County, contact Suffolk County Weights and Measures.
For trucks tested by New York State Specialists, complete and submit the “Broken Seal Report” below.