# Imperial vs Metric

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<offtopic>

!!! Fahrenheit makes perfect sense. 32'F is the temperature in which water freezes, in metric, 0' is the temperature at which water freezes. Creating a temperature scale based entirely on what temperatures water both boils and freezes at, is what makes no sense.

Anyway, Fahrenheit is much better, in the HVAC trade that is. First off, you can't get to certain temperatures in Celsius that you can in Fahrenheit. Such as, 72'F (Average room temperature), it is 22.222222'C. So, that's no good because then thermostats would have to have more digits on the display, and that would probably drive the cost up on them. Plus, it would look stupid to see 22.2222'C as your setpoint on your thermostat, wouldn't you agree? I'd rather see 73 on my display, than 22.77777777777778

Secondly, Celsius is geared to water, which makes no sense. Fahrenheit is a much better scale of temperature in the HVAC trade. Also, another big thing with it, America still uses the imperial system, and since most of Canada's HVAC parts are manufactured there, it makes no sense for the Americans to use the metric system.

Metric system = tool of the devil

</offtopic>

I've decided to make a new topic for this, since I find it interesting, but don't want to dirty down the other thread.

Why should we all refer to what the HVAC trade considers the best temperature scale? I'm curious as to why you seem to think that it's universally better. You say 72F is average room temperature, while I prefer my room to be at 20-21C - slightly lower than your "average". Different people have different preferences. Most metric digital thermostats will show one decimal place, not really a big deal if you ask me. Showing more than that isn't necessary for day to day usage.

Celsius is based on the freezing and boiling points of water. It makes sense to most people, since water is a commonly found substance in most parts of the world. It's also much easier to teach people that water freezes at 0 degrees and boils at 100, as opposed to 32F and 212F. The funny thing about the Fahrenheit scale is that nobody's really sure as to how Fahrenheit came up with the zero-point. Some say it was a salt-water mix, others say it was the coldest temperature he could find outside, and so forth. 96F was what he considered to be his body temperature, although he was wrong about that... it's actually supposed to be 98.6F for a healthy adult.

Furthermore, 0 degrees Celsius is very close to the triple point of water, which dials in at about 0.01C. The triple point is a somewhat universal reference in science, since it's easily reproducable, and allows us to calibrate our temperature readings very easily and very accurately. I'd rather read 0.01C than 32.018F.

America is pretty much the only place in the world that still consistently uses the Imperial system. I'd rather know that there are 1000 meters in a kilometer (just like there are 1,000,000 bytes in a megabyte - mebibytes are different), than there are 5280ft in a mile. The way the mile is defined confuses me... paces, farmers, and furlongs...

Not to incite any hostilities or anything of the sort, but it's interesting to note some of the bases of the differences between imperial and metric systems. Imperial systems are based more on human measurements (96F = body temperaure, 1 mile = 1000 paces), while metric systems are based on the world around us (freezing/boiling points of water, 1/10,000,000th distance from Paris to North Pole).

Another thing that America uses, which, I'm sorry to say, I simply can't stand is the Philips screwdriver. I can't tell you how many Philips screws I've stripped the heads off because they're made of soft metals, and they come in different depths, sizes and angles. Robertson screws make much more sense. There's no guesswork about the size and depth. It fits or it doesn't. I think I've stripped two Robertson screws in my life, and those were both because I didn't push the screwdriver in all the way.

Let the discussion begin.... hehe

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Another thing that America uses, which, I'm sorry to say, I simply can't stand is the Philips screwdriver. I can't tell you how many Philips screws I've stripped the heads off because they're made of soft metals, and they come in different depths, sizes and angles. Robertson screws make much more sense. There's no guesswork about the size and depth. It fits or it doesn't. I think I've stripped two Robertson screws in my life, and those were both because I didn't push the screwdriver in all the way.

Gotta agree with you on that, Philips screws suck. Robertson are the best. Unfortunately in the trade I'm in, theres very few Robertson screws, it's mostly 5/16 hex heads and Philips or Slot screws.

Anyway, you prefer to keep your house at 20/21? That's 68/70. I hope that's in the winter and not the summer, if it's the summer, then your wasting a lot of energy, not to mention it's bad on your A/C unit because you can freeze the Evaporator coil doing that. 70'F is a more realistic temperature however, but you should goto 73'F and not setback in the night time as that is the hardest thing on a residential A/C unit. To try and recover the house during the day with the sun load on the house I mean.

Anyway, if you worked in the trade I am in, you'd understand why the Imperial system is used so much, therefore better for the people like me. Everything is in Inches and Feet, every temperature is in Fahrenheit (just look at the Ambient outside air temperature sensors, or the controllers for the economizers, or the main control boards for the rooftop units or the make up air units. Everything is in imperial, therefor the scale is much better for a person such as me.

The reason I posted that message you quoted before, was because, in a way, you were calling the majority of the Tradesmen (and other people who use the system) idiots. I merely replied to tell you that there are people who use it, and believe that it is better. Do my job for a few days, and you will understand (and not the residential stuff, because residential isn't nearly as good a line of work as commercial). Another thing I hate, are metric socket sets. Automechanics go out of their minds because the majority of vehicles switch back and forth between metric and imperial, on the same vehicle

Anyway, I don't feel like wasting my hard earned weekend on this stuff, so, I pretty much retract the reply I made in the other post. It seems as though that no one can have an opinion on this forum, which is why I feel like leaving it and staying at WinCert.net.

Have a nice day

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Anyway, I don't feel like wasting my hard earned weekend on this stuff, so, I pretty much retract the reply I made in the other post. It seems as though that no one can have an opinion on this forum, which is why I feel like leaving it and staying at WinCert.net.
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96F was what he considered to be his body temperature, although he was wrong about that... it's actually supposed to be 98.6F for a healthy adult.

I've read bits and pieces of info over the years and one bit I remember is that the original average temperature for an adult is 98.6 degrees and that was measured on someone's assistant who happened to be ill at the time.

America is pretty much the only place in the world that still consistently uses the Imperial system.

I have family in England and when I visit, rarely does anyone use metric other than retailers. And a pint doesn't taste anywhere near as good when ordered in any other form.

Prior to my most recent visit, a retailer used Imperial per his customers' request. I bureaucratic weenie fined him 500 Pounds. That's enough to drive a really small business under.

than there are 5280ft in a mile. The way the mile is defined confuses me... paces, farmers, and furlongs...
Isn't history interesting? I like farmers. They make things I like.
Not to incite any hostilities or anything of the sort, but it's interesting to note some of the bases of the differences between imperial and metric systems. Imperial systems are based more on human measurements (96F = body temperature, 1 mile = 1000 paces), while metric systems are based on the world around us (freezing/boiling points of water, 1/10,000,000th distance from Paris to North Pole).
Human and the duodecimal system. It's just unfortunate that we only have ten fingers because that is apparently what we use to count with. (only half kidding!)

Ummm, not to insult the French, but Paris has nothing to do with the natural world around us. The vibrations per second of some element does.

Another thing that America uses, which, I'm sorry to say, I simply can't stand is the Philips screwdriver. I can't tell you how many Philips screws I've stripped the heads off because they're made of soft metals, and they come in different depths, sizes and angles. Robertson screws make much more sense. There's no guesswork about the size and depth. It fits or it doesn't. I think I've stripped two Robertson screws in my life, and those were both because I didn't push the screwdriver in all the way.
Not all of us. I do prefer the square drive for general applications but the Philips is intended to strip so as not to overtorque something like when installing drywall. Unfortunately, it is used in places it shouldn't be. The only information I ever found on the dimensions on square drives mentioned using wire guage for the width of the drives. Anybody got anything specific? The reason that the Philips drive is more common here is that Robertson refused to lease his patent.

My Dad was doing some work for a German company that produced a machine with almost all metric components. They went on and on about metric. My Dad asked them about the connections on some of the lines used for liquids. They were using Whitworth. It was the profile that would provide the seal needed.

I'm biased because I use standard measures day to day. I can use metric but it just doesn't feel right. I also use hours, minutes, seconds...degrees, minutes and seconds. How about you Zxian?

I can understand the need for a standard system of measures but the metric system has starched underwear.

@prx984-what jcarle and Zxian said.

DL

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Another thing that America uses, which, I'm sorry to say, I simply can't stand is the Philips screwdriver. I can't tell you how many Philips screws I've stripped the heads off because they're made of soft metals, and they come in different depths, sizes and angles. Robertson screws make much more sense. There's no guesswork about the size and depth. It fits or it doesn't. I think I've stripped two Robertson screws in my life, and those were both because I didn't push the screwdriver in all the way.

Gotta agree with you on that, Philips screws suck. Robertson are the best. Unfortunately in the trade I'm in, theres very few Robertson screws, it's mostly 5/16 hex heads and Philips or Slot screws.

Anyway, you prefer to keep your house at 20/21? That's 68/70. I hope that's in the winter and not the summer, if it's the summer, then your wasting a lot of energy, not to mention it's bad on your A/C unit because you can freeze the Evaporator coil doing that. 70'F is a more realistic temperature however, but you should goto 73'F and not setback in the night time as that is the hardest thing on a residential A/C unit. To try and recover the house during the day with the sun load on the house I mean.

Anyway, if you worked in the trade I am in, you'd understand why the Imperial system is used so much, therefore better for the people like me. Everything is in Inches and Feet, every temperature is in Fahrenheit (just look at the Ambient outside air temperature sensors, or the controllers for the economizers, or the main control boards for the rooftop units or the make up air units. Everything is in imperial, therefor the scale is much better for a person such as me.

The reason I posted that message you quoted before, was because, in a way, you were calling the majority of the Tradesmen (and other people who use the system) idiots. I merely replied to tell you that there are people who use it, and believe that it is better. Do my job for a few days, and you will understand (and not the residential stuff, because residential isn't nearly as good a line of work as commercial). Another thing I hate, are metric socket sets. Automechanics go out of their minds because the majority of vehicles switch back and forth between metric and imperial, on the same vehicle

Anyway, I don't feel like wasting my hard earned weekend on this stuff, so, I pretty much retract the reply I made in the other post. It seems as though that no one can have an opinion on this forum, which is why I feel like leaving it and staying at WinCert.net.

Have a nice day

@prx984 - I in no way intend to call anyone an id*** with this debate. I'm just trying to argue my point of view that the Imperial system confuses me. A lot of the bases for the imperial system seem vague at best, but we're still forced to learn them (the 5280ft/mile vs 1000m/km for example). I understand that many trades use Imperial for their measurements and such - all I'm trying to say is that the system seems strange to me. You as a tradesperson didn't choose to use the Imperial system, but it's what the trade uses, so you use it. Simple. Nothing wrong or stupid done on your part. You're using the tools that are available to you, just like I do in my research.

I think what you hate is the mixed systems. If we all had just one or the other for our projects, then we'd never run into difficulties.

I keep my thermostat at 20-21C all the time, but I don't have AC at all. Fortunately, my suite is half underground, so it stays quite cool in the summer. No AC for me to blow... I'll keep it in mind though if I do get it for my next place.

@DL - I just finished my engineering undergrad, and in the research that I'm doing (nanoelectronics and molecular dynamics), nobody uses imperial anywhere. Size scales are fractions of metres, and temperatures are Kelvin (same scale as C, just shifted). We computer geeks see the metric system in this industry all the time - what are the size scales of transistors measured in? Nanometres. What temperature scale do most people on forums use when reading a program like SpeedFan? Celsius.

Like you, I can use Imperial, but it doesn't feel right for me when I do my work. When I'm talking to friends about height and weight, we use feet, inches, and pounds here, but when I tell people how far to drive, I'll tell them in kilometers.

I think my main point was that many of the conversions in the Imperial system are vague or difficult to remember. Another pet peeve of mine, is when people say that they weigh so many kilos. You don't weigh a certain amount of kilos. You have that much mass. Your weight should be described in Newtons, which you can get by multiplying your mass by approximately 9.8 (depending on where you stand on Earth).

Everyone has their opinion, and nobody has the right to say you don't. If I've offended you, prx984, I'm sorry. I just like good civilized debate. I hope that you continue with this discussion.

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I can't STAND using metric for half the things I do. When I measure, it's in feet and inches (even with a desk ruler). When I draw, it's in feet and inches. When I talk about dimensions of any kind, it's in feet and inches. The only time I talk about kilometers is when I talk about speed or long distances (mostly on the road).

I use ounces, pints and gallons for liquid, the only time I refer to litres is when I pump gas, calculate L/100 KM or buy juice.

I weigh things in pounds too. Wtf is a Kilo?

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(nanoelectronics and molecular dynamics), nobody uses imperial anywhere.
I'm fully aware that the more technical fields use metric and why.
Like you, I can use Imperial, but it doesn't feel right for me when I do my work.
And why should it be otherwise? For you metrics is the 'lingua franca'.
I think my main point was that many of the conversions in the Imperial system are vague or difficult to remember.
Yes, that's true. <deleted blithering nonsense> I think my main point is that even though standard measures (phrased that way for a little needling ) is more difficult to learn and remember is that it revolves around us and our tangible world. Even when someone is describing a new chip and the circuits are xx nanometers wide, they will say 'that is about 1/100th the width of a human hair' and they are not talking to only us standard people. It is fully understandable as to why metrics came about as the definitive scale in the sciences. Different people, different countries, they all had different methods and who's was the most important? Not going to get a consensus that way. It's just unfortunate that it wasn't worked a** backwards and made to fit human scale so to speak. "How long is a foot?" "Oh, you know. About this long [holds up hands to show the distance], ya know? Like a big foot" "How long is 304.8mm?" "Oh, you know. About this long [holds up hands to show distance], ya know? Like a big foot"

Another unfortunate thing is the name Imperial. I could well imagine a lot of people would be put off that system just by it's name.

Another pet peeve of mine, is when people say that they weigh so many kilos. You don't weigh a certain amount of kilos. You have that much mass. Your weight should be described in Newtons, which you can get by multiplying your mass by approximately 9.8 (depending on where you stand on Earth).
Ok, I'll let you have that one without any fig Newton jokes.
Everyone has their opinion, and nobody has the right to say you don't. If I've offended you, prx984, I'm sorry. I just like good civilized debate. I hope that you continue with this discussion.
And my jokes don't seem to come out the way I thought they did. I have a propensity for 'yanking on someone's chain'. No offenses intended.
Wtf is a Kilo?
Heh.
I just finished my engineering undergrad
Last but not least. Congratulations.

Mark

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It's just unfortunate that it wasn't worked a** backwards and made to fit human scale so to speak. "How long is a foot?" "Oh, you know. About this long [holds up hands to show the distance], ya know? Like a big foot" "How long is 304.8mm?" "Oh, you know. About this long [holds up hands to show distance], ya know? Like a big foot"

Now that's funny....

And my jokes don't seem to come out the way I thought they did. I have a propensity for 'yanking on someone's chain'. No offenses intended.
No offence taken. I think you and I have similar humour styles. I like it.
Last but not least. Congratulations.
Thank you.
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Metric all the way.

The hole globe uses it, it's international, just like the ICAO standards. I don't know why the 3 countries in the world won't follow it.

Metric system is logical,

As people said, 1000 miligrams = 100 centigrams = 10 decigram = 1 gram = 0,1 decagram = 0,01 hectogram = 0,001 kilogram, (we were doing these lists in first grade).

Same for lenghts, 100 milimeters = 10 centimeters = 1 meters = 0,1 decameter = 0,01 hectometer = 0,001 kilometer

What's logical in 1 feet = 12 inch = whatever else it's in imperial, following a full list like the one above starting from the smalest (inch?) to longest (mile). And how long is a feet? is it a child feet? adult feet? female, male? It's debatable.

Degrees have already been explained, reffering to 0c as freezing and 100c as boiling, again logical numbers. It's also very compatible with the kelvin measurment, which measures the absolute zero at 0, being shifted compared with celcius with 273 units. (So there you go, you have 2 measurment units)

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Same for lenghts, 100 milimeters = 10 centimeters = 1 meters = 0,1 decameter = 0,01 hectometer = 0,001 kilometer

100 milimeters = 10 centimeters = 0.1 meters = 0.01 decameters = 0.001 hectormeters = 0.0001 kilometers.

What you probably meant was:

1000 milimeters = 100 centimeters = 10 decimeters = 1 meters = 0.1 decameters = 0.01 hectormeters = 0.001 kilometers.

Edited by jcarle
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Ye, missed the decimetre there

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imperial sucks! metric is easy to understand and easy to use .

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• 4 weeks later...

Guess its what ya grew up with & what your used to. I grew up in the 70's here in Aus & being a Fridgee myself for 25Yrs are quite used to both. I do at time talk in feet & inches compared to MM & M though. May be a naming issue??

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Philips screws may not be the best but are alot better than flat-heads because at least you can get torque. I prefer using Torx (star drivers) etc, but usually use posidrive (most people refer to them as philips too) when building something for someone else.

Also most countries dont actually sell pints of beer. In Ireland and England you get a pint, in Europe you get a half litre. Its not that much of a difference but us Irish like the extra 64ml

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The units you choose to measure distance, volume etc in are fairly arbitrary. One system is no more accurate than another. However, I think it's fair to say that Metric is more intuitive than Imperial. Imperial is a mixture of number bases, whereas Metric is pure base-10 (which has less to do with the number of fingers or toes and more to do with the fact that we have 10 unique digits in our counting system).

The only property that cannot be "Metricised" (if there's such a word) is time. The time for the Earth to revolve around the Sun isn't a nice, convenient multiple of 10. Bugger!

Just my 2p worth (for what it's worth).

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