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Old March 18, 2006   #5
Tomatovillian™ Honoree
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Wynndel, BC, CANADA
Posts: 78
Default Purchasing a pressure canner:

A bell gauge is a weighted gauge which rocks back an forth when the canner gets up to the pressure the gauge is set for. As it rocks back and forth it looses a wee bit of steam. They have a tendency to be slightly more "cranky" about keeping the pressure even, at least in my experience. During the year I usually can about 1200 jars of all sorts of food, so when canning season starts, I really don't have time to stand beside the stove and keep a hawk eye on the gauge every second. With my dial gauge, I get it up to pressure, set my timer and go on to the preparation of the next batch. As for having the gauge checked every year - after faithfully doing that for 5 years and finding that it ran true each time I now have it done every 2 to 3 years. It still hasn't needed adjustment after 16 years. If you knock it on something or fail to clean it from time to time, then it might be wise to check it annually. Hope this helps.
grungy is offline   Reply With Quote