Should We use a Steel or FRP Industrial Water Softener?

The first question you should ask yourself when deciding between an industrial steel water softener and a fiberglass reinforced polyester (FRP) water softener is “How critical are our water quality and industrial water softening needs?”

For critical water quality requirements that rely upon softened water for the process, steel industrial water softeners are often the better choice. This is because steel water softeners typically have advantages in water softener size, durability, and configuration variety. That said, industrial fiberglass or FRP water softener systems are also high-quality options that may have advantages where corrosion is a concern.

While you will want to make your final decision with an engineering consultation from Nancrede Engineering, let’s take a closer look at the factors that will help you decide between industrial steel water softeners and industrial FRP water softeners.


Industrial Water Softener Tank Size

Industrial steel and fiberglass water softeners have some overlap in the size that they can be configured for. However, the industrial steel softeners come in bigger sizes and can process larger quantities of water. The industrial steel water softener systems can be configured to produce up to 5,000 gallons per minute (GPM) while the FRP fiberglass softeners can produce up to  1,000 GPM. Nancrede Engineering offers free industrial water softener sizing calculators that will help you choose the correct water softener.


Industrial Water Softener Longevity and Corrosion

Depending on the profile of the water supply that is being softened and the air quality in the softener room, a fiberglass-based system could be a good choice if corrosion is a concern. Steel can react to certain minerals, such as iron, but overall has more durability and longevity than fiberglass tanks.


Industrial Water Softener Durability

Though FRP tanks are often rated for 150 psi, they have a very minimal vacuum (or negative pressure) tolerance.  Caution needs to be used if there are pumps following the softener tanks, such as with a reverse osmosis system or a booster pump system.  These tanks can easily implode without vacuum breakers or if vacuum breakers malfunction.


Industrial Water Softener Configuration Flexibility

Because steel tanks are typically used for large, industrial facilities, they have more configuration options and can meet a wider range of needs. See our industrial steel water softener systems to learn about the options for industrial water softener configurations.


Industrial Water Softener MRG Series: A Good Compromise

The MRG series is an industrial water softener system that offers the possibility of using industrial characteristics from our steel softener systems and pairing them with fiberglass FRP tanks. This mixes the benefits of fiberglass (corrosion resistance) with the main benefits of steel tanks (configuration options, industrial controls and redundancy).


Industrial Water Softeners for Critical Applications

If you have a critical process that requires only the best water quality, then you should consider the steel Zero Hardness™ Failsafe Water Softener system. This patent-pending industrial water softener design from Nancrede Engineering greatly reduces chances of failure and salt waste, reducing risk and increasing your bottom line. The Zero Hardness™ Failsafe Water Softener does this by sending water through two water softeners in series. This minimizes damaging hardness to your processes, production, critical equipment, reverse osmosis, and boilers by eliminating offline water softener tanks and the resulting water quality loss.


Healthcare and Hotel Water Softeners for Legionella Control

If you have patients or visitors who may have compromised immune systems, then you should use the steel Legionella Dominator™ water softener systems that reduce the opportunity for Legionella and other harmful pathogens to grow. The patent-pending water softener design does this by eliminating stagnant water in offline industrial water softener tanks and minimizing dead legs in the water softener system. When health considerations are important, the Legionella Dominator™ industrial water softener delivers because it greatly reduces the three primary risks for Legionella growth in water: age, temperature, and low disinfectant levels.


Which Industrial Water Softener is Right for You?

There are many options for industrial water softeners for manufacturing, healthcare, hotels, and other demanding environments. With so many options, it is important that you consult an expert, independent water engineering company. Nancrede Engineering can create a cost-effective solution that is suited to your specific requirements.