Low Price, High Cost: Fiberglass Enclosures Are Built to Fail

Everyone wants to get the most value from their investments, whether it’s in the market, in real estate or in the ways they add value to their property. It’s tempting to look at the low cost of a fiberglass enclosure and consider your backflow or waterworks problem solved. Looking at their track record in the field, though, it's clear that fiberglass enclosures are built to fail, turning that investment into a sunk cost.

Let’s look at some of the major disadvantages of a fiberglass enclosure:

Fiberglass brokenFirst, there’s a reason fiberglass is inexpensive to produce and buy – it’s simply not durable. Fiberglass deteriorates over time, particularly when exposed to extreme weather. When fiberglass erodes, chips or brittles, it takes specialized labor and tools to repair, immediately eating into those short-term gains from buying low. In fact, repairing a fiberglass enclosure costs more than it would to purchase a replacement Safe-T-Cover panel for a damaged modular enclosure!

An enclosure should be able to withstand not just heat and cold, but all-season sun. Fiberglass is particularly vulnerable to ultraviolet rays. Why would a reasonable person invest in anything that can’t handle sustained daylight, especially when it comes to protecting critical waterworks equipment like a water pump or backflow preventer?

Fiberglass is often manufactured in preset dimensions, meaning that, in many cases, customizing a solution to your project’s parameters is a non-starter, if not exceedingly cost-prohibitive. Additionally, fiberglass may not be easy to customize for pipe penetrations or airflow. Your equipment may have a level of protection, but that protection may also lend itself to equipment overheating and failure.

It’s not just an impermanent solution, but fiberglass enclosures also lack strength. If you’ve driven down any major thoroughfare and looked on the shoulder, you’ve undoubtedly seen pedestals and utility boxes knocked over and/or damaged. Many of those were likely fiberglass. Fiberglass enclosures are unsightly enough; a damaged or dislodged one at that busy intersection is an eyesore.

fiberglass-enclosure-weed-eater-damageIf damage from cars seems like a stretch, we’ve seen fiberglass enclosures destroyed by the humble weed wacker!

There simply isn’t a use case where fiberglass enclosure is an adequate solution. They will fade, they will fail. That low-price solution comes at a much higher long-term cost.

Make Your Investment Count

On the other hand, a Safe-T-Cover modular aluminum enclosure is a true investment with lasting value. Marine-grade, ASSE 1060-certified materials that are customizable for any situation, easy to access, easily adaptable and worthy of additional features like alarms, slab-mounted heaters, exhaust fans and louvers, pipe penetrations and our patented MUNI-LOK vault key solution.

Don't spend all your money on a pump system or backflow preventer only to outfit it with a cheap fiberglass box. Make a total investment in your waterworks, as well as your peace of mind. Start by speaking with a Safe-T-Cover design professional today.

aluminum enclosure

Related Posts

From the Field: The Benefits of Genuine California Redwood Bracing in Safe-T-Cover Enclosures

Winterize Your Backflow In Eight Steps (or One)

Aluminum Enclosures and Concrete Pads: Total Security and Confidence

Choosing a Pump Cover: Clamshell Fiberglass vs. Aluminum Pump Covers

LEEDing the Way: Enclosures and How LEED Can Benefit You

Built to Prevent Enclosure Color Fading: The Science of Safe-T-Cover

Beyond Aluminum Enclosures: Our Commitment to Corporate Responsibility

Protection from Sound and Fury: Safe-T-Cover Enclosures and Noise Dampening

Aluminum Pump Enclosures vs. Pump Packages

Standing out by blending in: Safe-T-Cover enclosures made to order

Selecting the Right Heater for a Backflow Cover

How To Ensure Your Insulated Backflow Enclosure Stays Warm

When You Should Use Backflow Theft Prevention Cages

What Made Fiberglass Backflow Enclosures So Popular?

Enclosures: Wear, Tear, and Fiberglass Repair

Can Wooden Storage Sheds Work as Waterworks Equipment Enclosures?

Fiberglass Shelters vs Aluminum Shelters - What's the Life Cycle Cost?

Which Do You Need - A Cage or Enclosure For A Backflow Preventer?

When Is A Backflow Enclosure Cage No Longer Enough?

How to design & Buy a Pump Enclosure

Get the free, editable checklist.



Have a question about a backflow preventer enclosure?
Click the contact us button below and one of our experts will be able to help with your specific enclosure needs.