Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from George, a student:

A basement with dimensions 68 ft long by 42 ft wide by 10 ft deep is flooded to the ceiling calculate the number of gallons of water in the basement.


What I remember is that there are 231 cubic inches in a gallon so I am going to change the dimensions to inches. There are 12 inches in a foot so the length is 68 × 12 = 816 inches. Convert the other two dimensions to inches.

The volume of a rectangular box, like this basement, is the length times the width times the depth. Hence multiply the three dimensions in inches to calculate the volume of the basement in cubic inches. Use the fact that there are 231 cubic inches in a gallon to convert the volume to gallons.


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