How to Set a Bathroom Scale

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
Don't add extra pounds to your weight by stepping onto a scale that reads more than zero pounds.

If you want your bathroom scale to give you an accurate measurement of your weight, you must properly set it to zero before you step onto it. Whether your scale is analog or digital, you will need to set it periodically, particularly after you've moved it into a new house, or even into a new corner of your bathroom.

Analog Scale

Step 1

Place the scale on a flat surface in your bathroom, preferably not carpet. Adjust the four corners to make them even if your model has adjusters at each corner.

Step 2

Turn the knob at the base of the scale until the needle points directly to zero. Press down on the scale with your hand and release several times; the needle should return to zero once your hand is off.

Step 3

Step onto the scale until the needle comes to rest at your weight. Then, step off and verify that the needle returns to zero.

Digital Scales

Step 1

Check your scale's batteries. If they are not working, your scale will not activate when you step on it, or you may get an error message, depending on the particular model.

Step 2

Set the scale on an even surface. If the corners have adjustment knobs, use those to even out the scale. Check the evenness with a level if necessary.

Step 3

Depress the scale lightly with your foot, and then remove your foot. The scale should show zero. If the scale shows a different weight, consult your owner's manual. Some models feature a resetting function with a button on the scale that will let you adjust the readout to zero. Other models simply identify this discrepancy as a defect and recommend return.


Leslie Renico

Leslie Renico's grant-writing career began in 2006 and her grants have brought in millions of dollars for nonprofits serving the poor and providing medical care for the needy. Renico has appeared on television and her articles have appeared in various online publications. She graduated from Saginaw Valley State University with a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice in 1997.