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Information and discussion about canning and dehydrating tomatoes and other garden vegetables and fruits. DISCLAIMER: SOME RECIPES MAY NOT COMPLY WITH CURRENT FOOD SAFETY GUIDELINES - FOLLOW AT YOUR OWN RISK

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Old September 2, 2015   #1
Worth1
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Bastrop Texas Lost Pines Forest.
Posts: 35,257
Default How to test your canner at home.

I have read several times here where folks in other countries dont have a place to test canners.
Here I will submit to you a way to test your canner gauge with and without a test gauge and without removing the gauge.
I will also show you how to test the seal of the canner with a foot pump or air compressor.
None of this will require expensive tools or parts.

Test gauge without a test gauge.

What you will need to do is get a stand of pipe or hose in the air 34.5 feet or 10.5 meters.
I would use PVC pipe and it can be any size.
Now you need a tee in the pipe if you use pipe at 23 feet or 7 meters.
And another tee at 11.5 feet or 3.5 meters.

Here is the pictuer.
Hydro Gauge tester.1.jpg

Now you can get one of those pointed rubber ends they have for blowing air with an air compressor and figure out a way to get it connected to the pipe on the right.
Not hard to do.
Once you have done this you can crack the valves on the two pipes running down and let the water fill all the way to the top and run out.
Close the two valves. open the valve to the gauge and let water run out of it too.
Now that everything is full of water and no air put the gauge on the rubber tip I spoke of before.
Open the valve all the way.
Now with all of the pipe full of water you will get the high reading on the gauge.
Open the next to the highest valve and let water slowly run out.
You should see a steady drop in pressure till it gets to the next highest.
Now do the same with the last valve and repeat observing the gauge.
You will now have you lowest reading.
now that you have this operation figured out repeat the steps going up in pressure.

Make sure the gauge is level with the bottom of the pipe stand while reading the pressure.

You have now tested your gauge without a test gauge and very accurately too.

To do this with a compressor all you need to do it use the same rubber fitting I spoke of before.
And a test gauge.
You will need a regulator on the compressor so you dont over pressurize anything.
Set it at no pressure now use the rubber fitting on the bottom of the gauge as before and slowly turn up the pressure.
Test the gauge several times comparing it to the test gauge.

Now for the canner test.
You will need a squirt bottle of soapy water or the bubble stuff kids play with.

Put the lid on the pressure canner and put the rubber nozzle end on the vent pipe where the weight gauge goes.
Turn your regulator down and slowly build up presser till it gets to 18 psi or so.
Spray the soapy water around the cover and bottom and wait for foam to appear.
If not you are good to go.

While testing always make sure you are not in line with the over pressure plug.


Testing with rubber hose.
With this one all you have to do is get a rope and sling it over something high in the air.

Before you do it measure the hose on the ground and mark it at the proper intervals as stated before.
Just make the marks backwards from what they would normally be.
In other words make the 34.5 foot mark so you can see it at ground level with the hose all the way up in the air.
You will need a hose end Y connector to do this and the fittings to make the other connections to the gauge.
You simply raise and lower the hose with a rope to get your pressure readings.
you can let water run out at all times if you want.
You can also test the canner for leaks this way too.

So there you go if you are in the back woods or some place you dont have access to anything you can test your canner.

Worth
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