Commissioner Troxler: National Weights and Measures Week

Gas pump

The NCDA&CS Standards Division ensures accuracy in trade by inspecting such tools of commerce as commercial scales, price scanners, gas pumps and the volume of packaged products. So if you ever buy gas or shop at a grocery store, you come in contact with the work of our Standards Division inspectors. March 7 wraps up National Weights and Measures Week, highlighting the efforts of inspectors’ work.


  • March 1 through 7 is National Weights and Measures week, which gives us the opportunity to highlight the work of our weights and measures employees that work behind-the-scenes inspecting retail scales, gas pumps and other products for accuracy.


  • The first weights and measures law was signed in the United States on March 2, 1799. These laws protect both consumers and businesses by ensuring accuracy.


  • Most people wouldn’t see weights and measures as a natural fit for the agriculture department. But the services that the Standards Division of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services offers touches everyone in the state at least once a day.


  • Our inspectors check scales at farmers markets, restaurants, grocery stores, scrap metal facilities and tobacco warehouses. In fact, any scale that is used for commerce should be inspected.


  • Inspectors also check gas pumps to make sure that consumers are getting the amount of gas they pay for. So we make sure when you pump a gallon of gas, the dispenser is also delivering you a gallon of gas.


  • Last year, the Standards Division inspected 107,147 gas dispensers, completed 7,144 inspections on gas facilities and trucks, calibrated 22,245 weights at the Metrology lab and inspected 31,251 small and medium scales. The division also inspected 276 grain moisture meters.


  • They also inspect some less well-known items such as the weight and diameter of lottery balls, taxi cab meters, the accuracy of bags of fertilizer and mulch, the amount of liquid in a container of oysters and others.


  • Think about it, if you bought a container of oysters and the weight of it was right, but it was mostly liquid with just a couple of oysters, you probably wouldn’t be happy.


  • Our inspectors place an inspection sticker on gas dispensers, price scanners and scales noting that the device has been inspected. Our phone number, 919-707-3225 is listed on each of those stickers and consumers can call if they think a device isn’t working properly.


  • On any given day, North Carolinians make dozens of purchase decisions. We want consumers to trust the accuracy of what they weigh, buy or pump.


  • If you see a weights and measures inspector while out and about in your community, please thank them. They protect the marketplace for consumers and businesses, whether that be at a grocery store, gas stations or other retail locations.