Using Weight for Water Calibration and Missing Data

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I have seen the video for calibrating the 5-in-1 rain gauge and read the advice for running water through the gauge if it didn't report due to power outage.  The common advice is to pre-measure the amount in inches and then transfer it to a paper cup and let it drip into the 5-in-1.  However, it seems to me that unless you have a science beaker / graduated test tube that measuring the exact inches at a kitchen sink would be tough.  That got me to wondering.....

My wife has a kitchen scale that is accurate to 3 decimal points.  I know "city" water tends to way a teeny tiny bit more than well water, but it seems that and easy way to measure water is by weight, and then use an online calculate to covert to inches of rainfall.  THEN put it in a paper cup and let it drip into the 5-in-1 gauge.  

Am I missing something?
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Posted 2 years ago

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George D. Nincehelser

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You don't want to measure the test water in inches, but as a volume, such as fluid ounces, which are easily measured with a common measuring cup.

If you drip a known volume of water slowly (to avoid over-flooding of the tipping buckets), it will translate to a particular number of inches on the display.
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AcuRite Jennifer

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Hi LeeBo337,

George is correct. You want to do the drip test with 8 ounces of water in a cup with a small hole in the bottom of the cup to let the water drip through for an accurate calibration. There is a video on that you can watch for the drip test. The link is: I have also attached the instructions below.  Please let us know if there is anything further we can assist you with. Have a great day!

  1. First, make sure the 5-in-1 sensor is perfectly level using the built-in bubble level.
  2. Place the display unit close by so you can monitor it during the calibration process.
  3. Make a pin hole in the bottom of a plastic cup. Hold the cup over the rain gauge and fill it with exactly 1 cup (8 oz.) of water, allowing the water to drip into the rain gauge. You should hear the internal buckets tip and see the water drain through the rain gauge.
  4. A few seconds after each bucket tip, the display console will display rainfall in approximately 0.01" or more increments.
  5. The cup of water should take more than 20 minutes to empty; a quicker period will result in an inaccurate calibration. (We’re trying to simulate a normal steady rainfall.) When the cup is completely empty of water, the display console should register 1.06"
If the rain gauge doesn't register close to 1.06" after the cup is empty of water, then you should make an equal adjustment to the two calibration screws on the bottom of the 5-in-1 sensor. Be sure to adjust both screws the same amount. Turning screws clockwise will increase rainfall amount. Turning screw counter clockwise will decrease it.

To adjust the rainfall reading by 2% turn both screws 1/8  of a turn.
To adjust the rainfall reading by 4% turn both screws 1/4 of a turn.
To adjust the rainfall reading by 8% turn both screws 1/2 of a turn.
  • There should be nearly an equal number of water drops between bucket tips. If not, then adjust the calibration screws on the bottom of the 5-in-1 sensor until an equal number of water drops are tipping the buckets. Then, restart the calibration procedure.
  • If you don't hear the buckets tipping and see water dripping alternately out of each drain, there may be an issue with the rain gauge or it's adjustment.
Enjoy your weekend!

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Yep, I get it. I think it's likely my science teacher taught volume vs. mass a few years after my English teacher taught way vs. weigh. *facepalm*

Somehow I got thrown off with 8 fluid ounces amounting to 1.06", especially while overlooking how shallow the tipping buckets must be.

Thanks nonetheless.