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IP Rating - Ingress Protection

The IP rating is used to specify the environmental protection of the electrical enclosure which contains the components and control equipment, often stated when panels are likely to be placed outside or when there may be contact with water, dust or other particles

Ingress Protection (IP) ratings are developed by the European Committee for Electro Technical Standardization (CENELEC) (NEMA IEC 60529 Degrees of Protection Provided by Enclosures - IP Code), specifying the environmental protection the enclosure provides.

The IP rating normally has two (or three) numbers:

  • Protection from solid objects or materials
  • Protection from liquids (water)
  • Protection against mechanical impacts (commonly omitted, the third number is not a part of IEC 6052

Example - IP Rating

With the IP rating IP 54 - 5 describes the level of protection from solid objects and 4 describes the level of protection from liquids.

An "X" can used for one of the digits if there is only one class of protection, i.e. IPX1 which addresses protection against vertically falling drops of water e.g. condensation.

IP First number - Protection against solid objects

0 No special protection.
1 Protected against solid objects over 50 mm, e.g. accidental touch by persons hands.
2 Protected against solid objects over 12 mm, e.g. persons fingers.
3 Protected against solid objects over 2.5 mm (tools and wires).
4 Protected against solid objects over 1 mm (tools, wires, and small wires).
5 Protected against dust limited ingress (no harmful deposit).
6 Totally protected against dust.

IP Second number - Protection against liquids

0 No protection.
2 Protection against vertically falling drops of water e.g. condensation.
3 Protection against direct sprays of water up to 15o from the vertical.
4 Protection against water sprayed from all directions - limited ingress permitted.
5 Protected against low pressure jets of water from all directions - limited ingress.
6 Protected against temporary flooding of water, e.g. for use on ship decks - limited ingress permitted.
7 Protected against the effect of immersion between 15 cm and 1 m.
8 Protects against long periods of immersion under pressure.