SCALES & METERS

ENSURING FAIR COMPETITION IN THE MARKETPLACE
San Diego County has over 32,900 commercial weighing and measuring devices that Weights and Measures inspects annually. Inspectors verify that each device is approved for its intended use and test it for accuracy. If the scale or meter passes, inspectors place a paper seal on the device. State law and San Diego County Ordinance require that businesses register these devices and pay an annual fee.

 

Jewelry Scale-NC12_Small

ACCURACY IN WEIGHT
Consumers are familiar with seeing the Weights and Measures seal on grocery store scales and gas pumps. 

Weights and Measures inspectors also test the following types of scales:

  • Grocery check-out and deli scales
  • Coffee shop scales
  • Jewelry scales
  • Shipping scales
  • Airport luggage scales
  • Recyclers’ scales
  • Truck scales
  • Livestock scales at the County Fair
Cordage Meter-GB04_Small

GAS PUMPS AND OTHER METERS
Inspectors annually inspect over 19,800 retail fuel meters (gas pumps) thus protecting consumers at the pump, but meters also include:

  • Gas pumps
  • Fabric, wire, & cordage meters
  • Water vending machines
  • Liquid petroleum gas (propane) meters
  • Taxi meters and ambulance odometers
  • Private water, gas, and electric submeters
Submeter Electric-AK05_Small

PRIVATE SUBMETERS
Weights and Measures also has jurisdiction over 168,400 private water, gas, and electric submeters that are located in mobile home parks, condominiums, apartments, and marinas.

Businesses must register these devices, pay an annual fee, and bring each meter to our Weights and Measures meter lab for testing every 10 years. Meters dropped off must be contained in boxes.

Replacement meters may be substituted at the master-meter location during testing provided that they are type-approved for commercial use and bear a valid County Weights and Measures seal prior to installation.

 

WHAT INFORMATION IS REQUIRED ON A SUBMETER UTILITY BILL?
The operator shall provide each customer with an invoice for each billing period containing:

  • Opening and closing meter readings with dates
  • Baseline rate and use
  • Over baseline rate and use
  • Total charges for the billing cycle
  • Days in the billing cycle

CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS:
Please provide the following information to enable our inspectors to accurately investigate the complaint:

  • Business name, address, and city
  • Date and time of occurrence
  • Scale or meter location in the store (check stand #4, deli, etc.)
  • Product or items purchased or sold
  • Specific complaint information (cannot see scale indicator, purchased 2 lb. oranges & charged for 2 ½ lb., brought in 10 lb. of cans and paid for only 9 lb.)
  • Pump number and grade of gasoline (gas station complaints)
  • Address, space number, type of meter (private submeters)

Include your name and telephone number, or name and e-mail address, to allow us to contact you with the results of our investigation. This information is kept confidential from the business location.

File your complaint using one of the methods below:
General Consumer Complaint Form     Submeter Complaint Form   

Email: se.awm@sdcounty.ca.gov          Submeter Complaint Form (spanish)