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Weights and Measures
Bob Marcum - Inspector
125 Courthouse Square • Frankfort , IN 46041
Phone:765-652-2282 • Fax:
By Appointment
 


The Weights and Measures Program seeks to ensure that consumers receive full measure when they purchase a product sold by weight, measure, or count, and that any statements on packaging which declares a weight or measure are accurate.  Accurate weights and measures are the basis for any quality control process used in industry.  Weights and Measures also regulates the manufacture, renovation, sterilization, and processing of bedding products, to protect consumers from unsanitary bedding, and to assure that they know what kind of material is utilized as fill.

All Inspection Activities Require the Use of and Compliance with:

Handbook 44 - Specifications, tolerances, and other technical requirements for weighing and measuring devices.
Handbook 130 - Requirements for the Method of Sale of Commodities
Handbook 133 - Checking the net contents of package goods.
State of Indiana - Weights and Measures Enforcement Guidelines {IC 24-6-3-16}.
National Type Evaluation (NTEP)

Special Police Enforcement Powers

Weights and Measures Inspectors are Special Police empowered to conduct an inspection at any time and without notice during the company's normal opening hours. Weights and Masures Officials may condemn or confiscate any equipment on the premises that does not comply with required standards.

A Weights and Measures Official may also show up to conduct an inspection outside of normal operating hours.

Compare Products & Prices

Food is a large part of a family budget. To make the best choices and to get the most for your money, it is important to compare the price, amount, and quantity of similar products. Unit pricing can help. The unit price tells you the costs per "unit" (such as per ounce, per pound, per sheet) to buy the product. To figure the unit price, divide the price by the number of units. In this case the number of the units is "ounces." In this example using a 20-ounce package, $3.00 / 20 = 15 cents per ounce.

Check the price

Many stores use electronic scanners to figure the price at the check-out counter. These scanners are linked to a computer that reads the price of the item. Some scanners are hand-held and the clerk runs the scanner over the price tag. Other scanners are on a counter and the items are passed over an electronic reading device. The scanner reads a code on the product or the tag and the computer computes the price. Many Weights and Masures Officials inspect scanners to make sure you are charged the correct price. If the scanners are inaccurate, consumers and businesses can both lose money.

What you can do:

      •Watch as the price of the item shows on the check-out register
      •Ask the clerk to check the price if you think the scanned price is incorrect
      •If the scanned price does not agree with the posted price, ask the store manager to correct it
      •Save the cash register receipt in case you have questions or a problem later on
      •If the problem is not resolved, contact your local weights and measures office for help

Volume & Weight

Read the label

Package labels give consumers helpful information. The amount of the product or the net quantity in the package is marked on the label. The quantity is shown as a weight, measure, or count, such as ounces, pounds, quarts, liters, or square feet.

Pay only for the product, not the packaging

When you buy apples in a plastic bag, you should only pay for the weight of the apples. If you buy potato salad at the deli counter, you should pay only for the salad, not for the weight of the container.
In many stores, the electronic or computerized scales used at the check-out counter are set to automatically deduct the weight of the packaging. On other scales, the sales clerk must adjust the scale to deduct the packaging materials.
Scales must be placed so you can see the weight. If you have a question, ask to have the package weighed again before you buy. Ask if the weight of the packaging has been deducted.

What you can do:

      •Watch the scale and the amount registered
      •The scale should be placed so you can see the weight, price and other information displayed
      •Make sure the scale shows a zero or a minus sign before anything is weighed
      •Pay ONLY for the product, NOT for the packaging
      •If you have questions about how a store weighs or measures products, ask the manager for information first. He or she should answer your questions
      •If the problem is not resolved, contact your local Weights and Measures official for advice or assistance

Look for the County Seal

Consumer and businesses both benefit and can help their local Weights and Measures Officials enforce the law and help to keep a fair marketplace.  Weights and Measures Officials test weighing and measuring devices such as gasoline pumps and scales. A seal is usually put on the device to show that the equipment was tested and found correct.  The seal may vary in form, but always look for a seal. If you do not see one, ask the store manager. Contact your Weights and Measures office if seals are missing.

Do Your Part

If you have a problem with a weights and measures issue:
      •Talk with the store manager or owner.
      •Give the manager or owner a chance to correct the problem.
If the manager can't or won't resolve the problem or answer questions to your satisfaction, contact your local Weights and Measures office.

When buying gasoline

Good measurement is also important when you buy gasoline and motor fuel. These fuels are sold by volume in gallons. The price you pay for gasoline will depend upon:
      •the octane level which may affect the performance of your car;
      •the amount you buy; and
      •any discounts offered

A computer in the gasoline pump calculates what you owe based on the amount and the unit price of the gasoline. When comparing prices, be sure to compare gasoline with the same octane rating. Usually, the higher the octane rating, the higher the price. Compare the price of a gallon of gasoline at one station to the price of a gallon of the same octane at another station.

Pay attention to gasoline purchases

Pay close attention to the type of gasoline you put in your automobile. Diesel fuel is sometimes offered in the same island that contains the regular, blended, and premium gasoline. Expensive damage can occur to many non-commercial vehicles if diesel fuel is used.

Advertised price vs. pump price

The price per gallon posted on the billboard must agree with the price per gallon shown on the gasoline dispenser. When a price change occur, some stations cannot make the change on the billboard and the gasoline dispenser simultaneously. Make sure you check both prices before you begin your purchase.

What you can do:

          •Be sure the attendant or you are using the correct pump. The octane rating and the price per gallon should be clearly marked on each pump.
          •Be sure the pump is set at zero before any gasoline is pumped
          •Figure the cash discount, if any. Check that you are charged the right amount
           •If using a credit card, check your receipt to be sure the amount billed is the amount on the pump. Take your card and any carbon paper from the credit slip.
          •If you have a problem or question that is not resolved with the gas station, contact your weights and measures office for advice

When buying heating fuel

Home heating fuel and propane are also sold by volume or weight. When these products are delivered to your home, the seller must give you a 'delivery ticket' showing the name and address of the buyer and the seller, the delivery date, the amount and type of fuel delivered. The unit price of the fuel should also be on the delivery ticket unless you have a special arrangement with the seller.

When buying firewood

Firewood is sold by a measurement called a cord which is 128 cubic feet of firewood. To be sure you have a cord, you can stack and measure the wood. For example, a cord of firewood, when stacked, could be a pile for example:
  •4 feet wide, 4 feet high and 8 feet long (4 x 4 x 8 =128); or 2 feet wide, 4 feet high and 16 feet long (2 x 4 x 16 = 128)
A seller may not use terms such as "truckload," "face cord," "rack" or "pile."

What you can do:

     •When you buy firewood, ask the seller to stack the wood (you may have to pay extra for this service) or stack the wood yourself.
      •Get a receipt which shows the seller's name, address, phone number, the price amount, and kind of wood purchased. Write down the
       license number of the delivery vehicle.
      •Take a picture of the stack if you think there is less than a cord
      •If you feel you have a problem, contact the seller before you burn any wood
      •If the problem cannot be resolved, contact your Weights and Measures office before you burn any wood.

Devices Inspected

Each state has a metrology laboratory that has a set of standard weights and measures.  These are used to check the accuracy of the equipment used by weights and measures officials.

Required Weights & Measures Devices Inspections

•Aluminum Recycling Systems•Mass Flow Meters
•Belt Conveyor Scales•Monorail Scales
•Bench and Counter Scales•Parking Meters
•Bulk Weighing Systems•Private Postal Scales (United Parcel, Fed Ex, Etc.)
•Computing Scales•Prepackaging Scales
•Crane Scales•Prescription Scales
•Data Processing Systems•Printers
•Dry Measures•Railroad Track Scales
•Fabric Measuring Devices•Retail Motor Fuel Dispensers
•Field Standards•Retail Motor Fuel Registers
•Floor Scales•Retail Motor Fuel Systems
•Graduates•Service Station Consoles/ECR
•Grain Test Scales•Taximeters
•Hanging Scales•Vehicle Scales
•Hopper Scales•Vehicle Tank Meters
•Indicating Elements•Weighbeams
•Jewelers' Balances•Wheel Load Weighers
•Liquid Propane Gas Meters•Wholesale Meters
•Livestock Scales•Wire and Cordage Devices
•Load Cells

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