Ohio Department of Agriculture Division of Weights & Measures
- The County Auditor serves as the Sealer of Weights & Measures for the entire county. According to ORC§319.55 “The Auditor shall see that all state laws relating to weights and measures are strictly enforced throughout his county, and shall assist generally in the prosecution of all violations of such laws.”
- Some Ohio cities have also implemented Weights and Measures programs as part of their city services.
- The County Auditor is responsible for testing the accuracy of weighing and measuring devices used in the purchase and sale of commodities.
- The Director of Agriculture is the State Sealer of Weights and Measures.
- The Ohio Department of Agriculture is the custodian of the Ohio primary standards of Weights and Measures, which are traceable to U.S. standards of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The International standards are kept in Paris, France.
- According to the 2015 Annual Activities Summary for all jurisdictions in Ohio, inspectors testing approximately 61,733 scales and 134,086 gas pumps. This number is steadily increasing.
- As consumers, the products we buy are sold by weight, volume, length, count, or measure.
- The time-tested methods of verifying weight, volume, and pricing are being replaced by computerized devices.
- There are positives, as well as cautions, involved with the advances in technology. As U.P.C. pricing and computers are replacing price stickers, consumers receive faster service, but they cannot visually verify each item’s price.
- Therefore, Weights and Measures officials and merchants must work harder to provide customers with pricing and measuring confidence.
When buying an item by count, such as prescription drugs, make sure the label indicates the amount you are to receive.
When buying firewood, be sure to request a receipt which has the name, and the address of the vendor, as well as the delivery date, amount delivered, quantity upon which the price is based and the total price of the amount delivered.
When purchasing gas, be sure to multiply the price per gallon by the number of gallons so you are sure the price is correct and that the pump should always start on zero.
When purchasing merchandise on a counter scale, remember that the height of the person can cause a difference when reading the indicator on scales that are not electronic.
When purchasing merchandise by weight make sure the scale starts on zero and that tare is taken correctly.
Look for all current year Weights and Measures seals on all weighing devices.
Error rates vary within each of Ohio’s 88 counties.
Ohio jurisdictions are very responsive to calls. Upon receiving a complaint a Weights and Measures official will usually inspect the site within 24 to 48 hours.
If an error is found, the facility’s equipment may be temporarily shut down or the operators may be fined. Records are maintained for all reported complaints.
All commodities must be marked with a statement declaring net contents. Net weight does not include the weight of the bag, wrapper or container of any kind in which a commodity may be packaged. This is called the tare weight, which must be accounted for before the product is weighed.
Inspectors from the State and County periodically check the accuracy of these pre-packaged items.
Fuel is sold by volume in gallons or liters. A computer in the gasoline pump (retail motor fuel dispenser) calculates what you owe based on the amount and unit price of the gasoline.
Weights and Measures officials post a seal to show that the equipment was tested and found to be accurate.
Annually more than 1.400 retail motor fuel dispensers are tested.
In Ohio, the legal method of sale for fire wood is the cord or fraction of a cord.
A “cord” is defined as 128 cubic feet. Fire wood must be labeled in cubic feet or cubic inches.
Complaints can be emailed to the county auditor at firstname.lastname@example.org or you may leave a message at 419-354-9150 or 1-877-860-4140.
Please include the following details in your message:
- Refer to “weights and measures” in your subject line
- Indicate the date, time, and description of incident.
- Be specific with regard to type of incident to include one of the following:
- Propane & Fuel Delivery Trucks
- Gas & diesel Pumps
- Short Packages
- Ag-Chemical Meters
- U.P.C. Scanners