View Poll Results: Should the USA adopt the International System of Units (SI)?

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  • Yes, the sooner the better

    48 59.26%
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Thread: Should the USA adopt the International System of Units (SI)?

  1. #161
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    Re: Should the USA adopt the International System of Units (SI)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quag View Post
    Yes houses tend to last longer as to cars 10 years is average so yeah half are still around go to 12 and well your down to like 1/4 or something like that. Only a very small percentage last to 20 and beyond. AS to household appliances every single place we go they say to expect 7-8 years from them nowadays regardless of manufacturer it is planned fail. Simple everyday things get replaced all the time. heck around here most houses over 60 years old get torn down when a new owner moves in simply because the older houses are very small for the land they are on and new much larger houses get built. Still metric wont really affect this much as when you renovate you tend to pull out all the old crap and replace with new. If you don't touch that screw for 40 years then you rip it out and replace it what difference does it make if it is metric or imperial?

    The cost is not prohibitive as shown by every country that has switched over, if it was they would not have done it. In fact some sectors already use metric in the USA, it is just not in general widespread use.
    I am well aware of some of the metric industries in the US. I've had both SAE and metric wrenches for decades - and there are still new cars that have SAE nuts and bolts on them, though I admit they are getting fewer. Still, to have them at all 25 years after they started converting is proof enough that it can't easily happen in a decade.


    It makes a BIG difference when you renovate, I've done that a couple of times in my life. Matching pre-WWII 2x4's - that were actual 2x4's - with modern lumber was a PITA! They'd sell a lot of reducers as people tied 15 & 22mm into 1/2" and 3/4" copper water lines. Same problems matching old drains to new. 1200x2400 mm sheets are 3/4" short for the standard 8' wall as are 50x100x2400 mm framing boards. Sure, simple enough for new housing but with old housing you're dead meat. I don't know where you live but around here (and I'd bet in most of the Midwest at least) there are plenty of pre-WWII houses. Very few old houses are torn down for new subdivisions.

    I guess you buy cheapie appliances, then. Our washer/dryer pair is 18 years old, we bought them when we moved into this house in '95. No overhauls or expensive repairs, though we did manage to get a quarter stuck in the interior drain hole, once, and that needed servicing big time because I couldn't figure out what was wrong with it. :-/ The dryer's drive belt needed replacing a few years ago. When we moved in here we were still using my parents old fridge from 1979 making it 24 years old when we replaced it - our daughter used it another year or two after that. My central A/C compressor has a 10 warranty and I expect it to last most likely 20+ years. The furnace has a 20 years warranty and it should last 30+ easy. They call this kind of stuff "durable goods" for a reason, you know - but you do get what you pay for.


    The countries that switched late did so when they were rebuilding after WWII. If we get invaded and have to rebuild half our country then it would be a great time to switch. Otherwise, it's going to cost lots of time and some extra money - or a decade of time and lots of money.
    Last edited by MoSurveyor; 07-27-13 at 08:58 AM.
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  2. #162
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    Re: Should the USA adopt the International System of Units (SI)?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoSurveyor View Post
    Not even close to enough time unless you want to spend a LOT of money.

    It's not that hard a system to learn for Pete's sake, Apprenticeship programs for the newbies in the trades and continuing education because people like their jobs and really want to keep them for everyone else...

  3. #163
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    Re: Should the USA adopt the International System of Units (SI)?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChezC3 View Post
    It's not that hard a system to learn for Pete's sake, Apprenticeship programs for the newbies in the trades and continuing education because people like their jobs and really want to keep them for everyone else...
    No kidding.

    It's child's play. Simpler than the SAE standard.

  4. #164
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    Re: Should the USA adopt the International System of Units (SI)?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChezC3 View Post
    It's not that hard a system to learn for Pete's sake, Apprenticeship programs for the newbies in the trades and continuing education because people like their jobs and really want to keep them for everyone else...
    I learned this stuff 40+ years ago so don't lecture me on what is and isn't easy to learn. I have no problem converting standard things without looking it up in some reference. What you fail to consider is it's not just a matter of teaching people the differences and how to convert. Parts in engineering have to fit together to work properly. As someone who's used both SAE and metric wrenches since the 80's I can guarantee that metric and SAE don't mix except for a few happenstance near-equals. As I noted before, a 1200x2400 mm sheet will not replace a 4x8' sheet on an existing wall. It leaves a 3/4" (19mm) gap that is not acceptable for fire codes in most buildings and houses. That's just one example of probably millions across American industries where metric and SAE just won't fit together - so when you change one part, like 1200x2400 building sheets, you have to change the other, like the wall studs just to use them in NEW construction. There will still be old construction projects that need old dimensions for decades to come and you can't just add 3/4" to a sheet of plywood or sheetrock, it has to be manufactured that way or it takes a lot of extra work - especially the sheetrock.


    But, hey, if you guys can't see the bigger part of this beyond the speedometer in your car then there's nothing more I can do to explain the problems involved.
    Last edited by MoSurveyor; 07-27-13 at 09:49 AM.
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  5. #165
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    Re: Should the USA adopt the International System of Units (SI)?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoSurveyor View Post
    I am well aware of some of the metric industries in the US. I've had both SAE and metric wrenches for decades - and there are still new cars that have SAE nuts and bolts on them, though I admit they are getting fewer. Still, to have them at all 25 years after they started converting is proof enough that it can't easily happen in a decade.


    It makes a BIG difference when you renovate, I've done that a couple of times in my life. Matching pre-WWII 2x4's - that were actual 2x4's - with modern lumber was a PITA! They'd sell a lot of reducers as people tied 15 & 22mm into 1/2" and 3/4" copper water lines. Same problems matching old drains to new. 1200x2400 mm sheets are 3/4" short for the standard 8' wall as are 50x100x2400 mm framing boards. Sure, simple enough for new housing but with old housing you're dead meat. I don't know where you live but around here (and I'd bet in most of the Midwest at least) there are plenty of pre-WWII houses. Very few old houses are torn down for new subdivisions.

    I guess you buy cheapie appliances, then. Our washer/dryer pair is 18 years old, we bought them when we moved into this house in '95. No overhauls or expensive repairs, though we did manage to get a quarter stuck in the interior drain hole, once, and that needed servicing big time because I couldn't figure out what was wrong with it. :-/ The dryer's drive belt needed replacing a few years ago. When we moved in here we were still using my parents old fridge from 1979 making it 24 years old when we replaced it - our daughter used it another year or two after that. My central A/C compressor has a 10 warranty and I expect it to last most likely 20+ years. The furnace has a 20 years warranty and it should last 30+ easy. They call this kind of stuff "durable goods" for a reason, you know - but you do get what you pay for.


    The countries that switched late did so when they were rebuilding after WWII. If we get invaded and have to rebuild half our country then it would be a great time to switch. Otherwise, it's going to cost lots of time and some extra money - or a decade of time and lots of money.
    Im in Canada we went metric years ago but NP with the piping or anything like that. The USA has never really pushed to go metric so the car industy not being 100% is not a surprise. I don't expect things to go suddenly metric there will be a period of both in use but new stuff all built in metric.
    As to appliances yours are 18 years old because you bought them 18 years ago. Buy one today top of the line best marque and the guy will tell you to your face expect 7-8years that's just how the new crap is built. My washing machine used to belong to my inlaws it has to be 20 years old she has changed hers 2x since she gave this to us 10 years ago. fridge we have changed 1x after 5 years (it was a top of the line item), dishwasher lasted 7 (dealership said we were lucky) just changed it all top of the line stuff, when re renovated the kitchen (well the 20 year old washing machine never was top of the line but it's lasted). Oven was still good when we junked it just old/ugly. dishwasher failed at right time for renovations and fridge went to the basement as extra.

    As to furnaces ours was 60 years old but we just junked it to go electric (basically a space saving thing the oil tank furnace took up a lot of our limited space) Again newer ones aren't expected to last nearly as long. expect 10-15 years according to people who sold my dad his very high end one 2 years ago. Hot water tanks are about 5 years nowadays. its all planned on purpose to keep consumers consuming.
    Point is the new stuff doesn't last and is designed that way
    Last edited by Quag; 07-27-13 at 09:54 AM.
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  6. #166
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    Re: Should the USA adopt the International System of Units (SI)?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoSurveyor View Post
    I learned this stuff 40+ years ago so don't lecture me on what is and isn't easy to learn. I have no problem converting standard things without looking it up in some reference. What you fail to consider is it's not just a matter of teaching people the differences and how to convert. Parts in engineering have to fit together to work properly. As someone who's used both SAE and metric wrenches since the 80's I can guarantee that metric and SAE don't mix except for a few happenstance near-equals. As I noted before, a 1200x2400 mm sheet will not replace a 4x8' sheet on an existing wall. It leaves a 3/4" (19mm) gap that is not acceptable for fire codes in most buildings and houses. That's just one example of probably millions across American industries where metric and SAE just won't fit together - so when you change one part, like 1200x2400 building sheets, you have to change the other, like the wall studs just to use them in NEW construction. There will still be old construction projects that need old dimensions for decades to come and you can't just add 3/4" to a sheet of plywood or sheetrock, it has to be manufactured that way or it takes a lot of extra work - especially the sheetrock.


    But, hey, if you guys can't see the bigger part of this beyond the speedometer in your car then there's nothing more I can do to explain the problems involved.
    What I don't think your catching is that by changing the emphasis on usage all new constructs would be under the new system. Yes, you'd have the old and heaven forbid we get hammerheads to know both but old constructs not withstanding the metric system should be the standard system used. Volume, length, weight, distance, etc. should all be in metric. You'd have to role reversal the standard.

    I was saying 10 years for everyone to get things sorted out as far as conversion and accepting the new system not anything having to do replacing entire infrastructures.

  7. #167
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    Re: Should the USA adopt the International System of Units (SI)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quag View Post
    Im in Canada we went metric years ago but NP with the piping or anything like that. The USA has never really pushed to go metric so the car industy not being 100% is not a surprise. I don't expect things to go suddenly metric there will be a period of both in use but new stuff all built in metric.
    As to appliances yours are 18 years old because you bought them 18 years ago. Buy one today top of the line best marque and the guy will tell you to your face expect 7-8years that's just how the new crap is built. My washing machine used to belong to my inlaws it has to be 20 years old she has changed hers 2x since she gave this to us 10 years ago. fridge we have changed 1x after 5 years (it was a top of the line item), dishwasher lasted 7 (dealership said we were lucky) just changed it all top of the line stuff, when re renovated the kitchen (well the 20 year old washing machine never was top of the line but it's lasted). Oven was still good when we junked it just old/ugly. dishwasher failed at right time for renovations and fridge went to the basement as extra.

    As to furnaces ours was 60 years old but we just junked it to go electric (basically a space saving thing the oil tank furnace took up a lot of our limited space) Again newer ones aren't expected to last nearly as long. expect 10-15 years according to people who sold my dad his very high end one 2 years ago. Hot water tanks are about 5 years nowadays. its all planned on purpose to keep consumers consuming.
    Point is the new stuff doesn't last and is designed that way
    I heard the same thing 40 years ago and it wasn't true then, either. Maybe you need to come South to buy your appliances?
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    After you learn quantum mechanics you're never really the same again. -Weinberg

  8. #168
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    Re: Should the USA adopt the International System of Units (SI)?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChezC3 View Post
    What I don't think your catching is that by changing the emphasis on usage all new constructs would be under the new system. Yes, you'd have the old and heaven forbid we get hammerheads to know both but old constructs not withstanding the metric system should be the standard system used. Volume, length, weight, distance, etc. should all be in metric. You'd have to role reversal the standard.

    I was saying 10 years for everyone to get things sorted out as far as conversion and accepting the new system not anything having to do replacing entire infrastructures.
    IF all you're talking about is teaching the masses then I'd agree - but the entire process will take decades.
    Mt. Rushmore: Three surveyors and some other guy.
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    Hear the echoes of the centuries, Power isn't all that money buys. -Peart
    After you learn quantum mechanics you're never really the same again. -Weinberg

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    Re: Should the USA adopt the International System of Units (SI)?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoSurveyor View Post
    IF all you're talking about is teaching the masses then I'd agree - but the entire process will take decades.
    Off the bat i wasn't looking at what you said but I agree with you, I had to replace an entire doorframe a couple years back because they didn't make that size door anymore. But yeah, my initial comments where just about making it the norm.

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    Re: Should the USA adopt the International System of Units (SI)?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoSurveyor View Post
    I do and I'm what YOU would call a liberal.
    You do what, kiss French ass?

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