Testing Pressure Canner Dial Gauges

Take the time now to check the various parts of your pressure canner for safety, usability, and accuracy. This will save you from having to find canner parts at the last minute. 

Your pressure canner may have a dial gauge for indicating and regulating the pressure. It is important that dial gauges be checked for accuracy each year before use.  Weighted gauges on pressure canners do not require testing. 

The USDA’s Complete Guide to Home Canning recommends that dial gauges be replaced if they read high or low by more than 2 pounds at 6, 11, or 15 pounds of pressure (USDA, 2009, Revised 2015). Every pound of pressure is very important to the temperature needed inside the canner for producing safe food, so accurate gauges and adjustments are essential when a gauge reader is higher or lower than it should be. 

Dial gauge testing 

UNH Extension will test gauges at no charge using a Presto® Dial Gauge tester. Presto® gauges can be checked for accuracy as well as some older models of canners from National, Magic Seal, Maid of Honor, and Kook-Kwick. We do not test All-American dial gauges. 

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.  Parts for All-American canners can be found at this link

Steps to send in your pressure gauge: 

  1. Carefully remove dial gauge from canner and package in foam and bubble wrap. Pack tightly as possible to avoid shipping damage. 

  1. Ship the gauge only. If you cannot remove the gauge from the canner lid, send the canner lid with the gauge attached. 

  1. Please include your name, mailing address, email address, and phone number on this form, sign and place in the package.

  1. Include a check made out to "UNH Cooperative Extension" to cover the cost of return postage. This should be an equivalent dollar amount to the cost of shipping the gauge to us via USPS. We do not charge for the gauge testing service itself. 

  1. Gauges are checked within three working days of receipt and shipped for return. 

Ship to: 
UNH Extension Education Center 
329 Mast Road, Suite 115 
Goffstown, NH 03045 
For more information, call the UNH Extension Education Center at 1-877-398-4769 or answers@unh.edu .  

Replacement parts 

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

Parts for Presto® canners can be found at this link. Parts for All-American canners can be found at this link

UNH Extension follows all USDA researched-based recommendations. 

Inclusion or exclusion of commercial names, logos, products, or services does not equate or imply endorsement by Cooperative Extension or the University of New Hampshire. 


Food Safety Field Specialist
Extension Field Specialist, Food Safety
Phone: (603) 447-3834
Office: Cooperative Extension, Taylor Hall, Durham, NH 03824