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Testing Dial Pressure Canner Gauges

Updated February 14, 2019

Curtis Braun

SDSU Extension Food Safety Field Specialist

From gardens to pantries, home canning is a healthy mainstay in American lives. Canning allows an economical way to preserve important vitamins and nutrients from fresh quality, locally grown fruits and vegetables while maintaining control over food additives such as sugar and salt. Pressure canning is used to can foods with low acid levels such as red meats, seafood, poultry, and low acid vegetables. The USDA endorses pressure canning as the only safe method for canning these low acid foods.

Two types of pressure canners exist, weighted gauge pressure canners and dial gauge pressure canners. Weighted gauge canners will either keep rocking gently or make a frequent jiggling noise to indicate if 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.

Dial Gauge Testing Services

Dial gauge pressure canners use dial gauges to indicate if the correct pressure is being maintained. For accuracy before use, it is recommended that dial gauges get tested 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.


Brands Tested

Presto will test gauges at no charge. Presto will only test gauges from these brands:

  • Magic Seal
  • National
  • Maid of Honor
  • Kook-Kwick
  • Presto

Mailing Instructions

Steps to send in your pressure gauge:

  1. Carefully remove dial gauge from canner and package in foam, bubble wrap or newspaper to avoid shipping damage.
  2. Ship gauge only to the address below. If you cannot remove the gauge from the canner lid, send canner lid with the gauge attached.
  3. Gauges are checked within three working days of receipt and shipped for return.

National Presto Industries Inc.
3925 North Hastings Way
Eau Claire, WI 54703-3703
Phone: 1.715.839.2121

More Information

For more information, contact Presto Customer Service: 1.715.839.2121 or 1.800.877.0441

NOTE: Only the above mentioned gauges can be checked by Presto. For specifics on other models of pressure canner gauges, please check with the manufacturer. All American for example, has been selling their pressure canners with both a dial and weighted gauge for each unit. Weighted gauges do not need to be tested.

Dial Gauge Testing Locations

Nyberg’s Ace Hardware
330 W. 41st St.
Sioux Falls, SD 57105
Phone: 605.336.6467

Do It Best Center
25 N Broadway
Watertown, SD 57201
Phone: 605.886.3151

Martin Calibration
18 8th Ave SE
Watertown, SD 57201
Phone: 605.882.1528

Newkirk Ace West Rapid
1724 W Main St.
Rapid City, SD 57702
Phone: 605.342.5678

Newkirk Ace East Rapid
1602 E Saint Patrick St.
Rapid City, SD 57703
Phone: 605.343.9797

Replacement Gauges & Parts

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. Here are additional resources where you can find replacement gauges and other parts:

Reference: Testing dial pressure canner gauges, University of Minnesota Extension

Related Terms

Canning, Food Safety, Fruit, Vegetable