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Testing Dial Pressure Canner Gauges

Deb Botzek-Linn

Today's pressure canner may have a dial gauge for indicating the pressure or a weighted gauge, for indicating and regulating the pressure.

Weighted gauges will either keep rocking gently or make a frequent jiggling noise to indicate that the correct pressure is being maintained. Read the manufacturer's instructions to know how a particular weighted gauge should rock or jiggle. Weighted gauges do not require testing.

Check dial gauges for accuracy before use each year. Gauges that read high cause under-processing and may result in unsafe food. Low readings cause over-processing. Pressure adjustments can be made if the gauge reads up to 2 pounds high or low. Replace gauges that differ by more than 2 pounds.

Presto will test gauges at no charge. For more information, phone Presto Customer Service: 1-800-877-0441 or Their address is: Test Pressure Canner Gauges, National Presto Industries, 3925 North Hastings Way, Eau Claire, WI 54703-2209. You can also check with your local Extension office to see if the testing is done locally.

Replacement gauges and other parts (e.g. gasket, safety plugs) for canner are often found at stores that sell food preservation equipment or from canner manufacturers. When ordering parts, be sure to provide your canner model number and describe the parts you need.

Related Resources

Canning Basics Series

Revised by Deb Botzek-Linn 2011

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