IP & NEMA Ratings Explained

Learn What the Codes for Sealed Monitors Mean

IP Ratings

IP Rating Code ChartThe IP Code (International Protection, also known as Ingress Protection) classifies and rates—for mechanical and electrical enclosures—the degree of protection provided against intrusion from solid objects (e.g, body parts, hardware, wires, dust, dirt, etc.) and freshwater. The equivalent European standard is EN 60529, which is specified by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

The digits indicate conformity with the conditions summarized in the tables below. The digit 0 is used where no protection is provided. The digit is replaced with the letter X when insufficient data has been gathered to assign a protection level.

Refer to the latest revision of the required standard when conducting tests for agency certification.

 

NEMA Ratings

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association defines NEMA enclosure types in NEMA standard number 250. Ratings between the two standards are not directly equivalent: NEMA ratings also require additional product features and tests (such as functionality under icing conditions, enclosures for hazardous areas, knock-outs for cable connections, etc.) not addressed by IP ratings.

IP Code Breakdown

First digit: Solid particle protection

The first digit indicates the level of protection that the enclosure provides against access to hazardous parts (e.g., electrical conductors, moving parts) and the ingress of solid foreign objects.

Level Effective against... Description
0 No protection against contact and ingress of objects
1 >50 mm Any large surface of the body, such as the back of a hand, but no protection against deliberate contact with a body part
2 >12.5 mm Fingers or similar objects
3 >2.5 mm Tools, thick wires, etc.
4 >1 mm Most wires, slender screws, large ants etc.
5 Dust protected Ingress of dust is not entirely prevented, but it must not enter in sufficient quantity to interfere with the satisfactory operation of the equipment
6 Dust tight No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact (dust tight); a vacuum must be applied; test duration of up to 8 hours based on air flow

 

Second digit: Liquid Ingress protection

The second digit indicates the level of protection that the enclosure provides against harmful ingress of freshwater. 

Level Protection against... Effective against...
0 None
1 Dripping water Dripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no harmful effect on the specimen when mounted in an upright position onto a turntable and rotated at 1 RPM.
2 Dripping water when tilted at 15° Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect when the enclosure is tilted at an angle of 15° from its normal position. A total of four positions are tested within two axes.
3 Spraying water Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical shall have no harmful effect, utilizing either:
a) an oscillating fixture, or
b) A spray nozzle with a counterbalanced shield.

Test a is conducted for 5 minutes, then repeated with the specimen rotated horizontally by 90° for the second 5-minute test. Test b is conducted (with shield in place) for 5 minutes minimum.

4 Splashing of water Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect, utilizing either:
a) an oscillating fixture, or
b) A spray nozzle with no shield.

Test a is conducted for 10 minutes. Test b is conducted (without shield) for 5 minutes minimum.

5 Water jets Water projected by a nozzle (6.3 mm) against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
6 Powerful water jets Water projected in powerful jets (12.5 mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
6K Powerful water jets with increased pressure Water projected in powerful jets (6.3 mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction, under elevated pressure, shall have no harmful effects. Found in DIN 40050, and not IEC 60529.
7 Immersion, up to 1 m depth Ingress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time (up to 1 m of submersion).
8 Immersion, 1 m or more depth The equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions which shall be specified by the manufacturer. However, with certain types of equipment, it can mean that water can enter but only in such a manner that it produces no harmful effects. The test depth and duration is expected to be greater than the requirements for IPx7, and other environmental effects may be added, such as temperature cycling before immersion.
9K Powerful high temperature water jets Protected against close-range high pressure, high temperature spray downs.

This test is identified as IPx9 in IEC 60529.

Notes:
1) The ratings for water ingress are not cumulative beyond IPX6. A device which is compliant with IPX7, covering immersion in water, need not be compliant with IPX5 or IPX6, covering exposure to water jets. A device which meets both tests is indicated by listing both tests separated by a slash, e.g., IPX5/IPX7.
2) All tests with the letter "K" are defined by ISO 20653 (replacing DIN 40050-9) and are not found in IEC 60529, except for IPx9 which is the same as the IP69K water test.

Complete IP Rating Code Reference

IP Code First Digit – Solids Second Digit – Water
IP00 Not protected from solids. Not protected from liquids.
IP01 Not protected from solids. Protected from condensation.
IP02 Not protected from solids. Protected from water spray less than 15 degrees from vertical.
IP03 Not protected from solids. Protected from water spray less than 60 degrees from vertical.
IP04 Not protected from solids. Protected from water spray from any direction.
IP05 Not protected from solids. Protected from low pressure water jets from any direction.
IP06 Not protected from solids. Protected from high pressure water jets from any direction.
IP07 Not protected from solids. Protected from immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter in depth.
IP08 Not protected from solids. Protected from long term immersion up to a specified pressure.
IP10 Protected from touch by hands greater than 50 millimeters. Not protected from liquids.
IP11 Protected from touch by hands greater than 50 millimeters. Protected from condensation.
IP12 Protected from touch by hands greater than 50 millimeters. Protected from water spray less than 15 degrees from vertical.
IP13 Protected from touch by hands greater than 50 millimeters. Protected from water spray less than 60 degrees from vertical.
IP14 Protected from touch by hands greater than 50 millimeters. Protected from water spray from any direction.
IP15 Protected from touch by hands greater than 50 millimeters. Protected from low pressure water jets from any direction.
IP16 Protected from touch by hands greater than 50 millimeters. Protected from high pressure water jets from any direction.
IP17 Protected from touch by hands greater than 50 millimeters. Protected from immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter in depth.
IP18 Protected from touch by hands greater than 50 millimeters. Protected from long term immersion up to a specified pressure.
IP20 Protected from touch by fingers and objects greater in size than 12 millimeters. Not protected from liquids.
IP21 Protected from touch by fingers and objects greater in size than 12 millimeters. Protected from condensation.
IP22 Protected from touch by fingers and objects greater in size than 12 millimeters. Protected from water spray less than 15 degrees from vertical.
IP23 Protected from touch by fingers and objects greater in size than 12 millimeters. Protected from water spray less than 60 degrees from vertical.
IP24 Protected from touch by fingers and objects greater in size than 12 millimeters. Protected from water spray from any direction.
IP25 Protected from touch by fingers and objects greater in size than 12 millimeters. Protected from low pressure water jets from any direction.
IP26 Protected from touch by fingers and objects greater in size than 12 millimeters. Protected from high pressure water jets from any direction.
IP27 Protected from touch by fingers and objects greater in size than 12 millimeters. Protected from immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter in depth.
IP28 Protected from touch by fingers and objects greater in size than 12 millimeters. Protected from long term immersion up to a specified pressure.
IP30 Protected from tools and wires greater in size than 2.5 millimeters. Not protected from liquids.
IP31 Protected from tools and wires greater in size than 2.5 millimeters. Protected from condensation.
IP32 Protected from tools and wires greater in size than 2.5 millimeters. Protected from water spray less than 15 degrees from vertical.
IP33 Protected from tools and wires greater in size than 2.5 millimeters. Protected from water spray less than 60 degrees from vertical.
IP34 Protected from tools and wires greater in size than 2.5 millimeters. Protected from water spray from any direction.
IP35 Protected from tools and wires greater in size than 2.5 millimeters. Protected from low pressure water jets from any direction.
IP36 Protected from tools and wires greater in size than 2.5 millimeters. Protected from high pressure water jets from any direction.
IP37 Protected from tools and wires greater in size than 2.5 millimeters. Protected from immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter in depth.
IP38 Protected from tools and wires greater in size than 2.5 millimeters. Protected from long term immersion up to a specified pressure.
IP40 Protected from tools and small wires greater in size than 1 millimeter. Not protected from liquids.
IP41 Protected from tools and small wires greater in size than 1 millimeter. Protected from condensation.
IP42 Protected from tools and small wires greater in size than 1 millimeter. Protected from water spray less than 15 degrees from vertical.
IP43 Protected from tools and small wires greater in size than 1 millimeter. Protected from water spray less than 60 degrees from vertical.
IP44 Protected from tools and small wires greater in size than 1 millimeter. Protected from water spray from any direction.
IP45 Protected from tools and small wires greater in size than 1 millimeter. Protected from low pressure water jets from any direction.
IP46 Protected from tools and small wires greater in size than 1 millimeter. Protected from high pressure water jets from any direction.
IP47 Protected from tools and small wires greater in size than 1 millimeter. Protected from immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter in depth.
IP48 Protected from tools and small wires greater in size than 1 millimeter. Protected from long term immersion up to a specified pressure.
IP50 Protected from limited dust ingress. Not protected from liquids.
IP51 Protected from limited dust ingress. Protected from condensation.
IP52 Protected from limited dust ingress. Protected from water spray less than 15 degrees from vertical.
IP53 Protected from limited dust ingress. Protected from water spray less than 60 degrees from vertical.
IP54 Protected from limited dust ingress. Protected from water spray from any direction.
IP55 Protected from limited dust ingress. Protected from low pressure water jets from any direction.
IP56 Protected from limited dust ingress. Protected from high pressure water jets from any direction.
IP57 Protected from limited dust ingress. Protected from immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter in depth.
IP58 Protected from limited dust ingress. Protected from long term immersion up to a specified pressure.
IP60 Protected from total dust ingress. Not protected from liquids.
IP61 Protected from total dust ingress. Protected from condensation.
IP62 Protected from total dust ingress. Protected from water spray less than 15 degrees from vertical.
IP63 Protected from total dust ingress. Protected from water spray less than 60 degrees from vertical.
IP64 Protected from total dust ingress. Protected from water spray from any direction.
IP65 Protected from total dust ingress. Protected from low pressure water jets from any direction.
IP66 Protected from total dust ingress. Protected from high pressure water jets from any direction.
IP67 Protected from total dust ingress. Protected from immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter in depth.
IP68 Protected from total dust ingress. Protected from long term immersion up to a specified pressure.
IP69K Protected from total dust ingress. Protected from steam-jet cleaning.

 

REFERENCES

1. IEC 60529, “degrees of Protection Provided by Enclosures (IP Codes),” Ed. 2.1 (Geneva: International Electrotechnical Commision, 2011)

2. IEC 60529 (Ed. 2.1), clause 4.1.

NEMA Enclosure Types

NEMA Type Description
1 General-purpose. Protects against dust, light, and indirect splashing but is not dust-tight; primarily prevents contact with live parts; used indoors and under normal atmospheric conditions.
2 Drip-tight. Similar to Type 1 but with addition of drip shields; used where condensation may be severe (as in cooling and laundry rooms).
3 Weather-resistant. Protects against falling dirt and windblown dust, against weather hazards such as rain, sleet and snow, and is undamaged by the formation of ice. Used outdoors on ship docks, in construction work, and in tunnels and subways.
3R As 3, but omits protection against windblown dust.
3S As 3, but also operable when laden with ice.
3X, 3RX, 3SX X indicates additional corrosion protection; commonly used near salt water.
4, 4X Watertight. Must exclude at least 65 GPM of water from a 1 in nozzle delivered from a distance not less than 10 ft for 5 min. Used outdoors on ship docks, in dairies, in wastewater treatment plants and breweries. X (as 4X) indicates additional corrosion resistance.
5 Dust-tight. Provided with gaskets or equivalent to exclude dust; used in steel mills and cement plants.
6, 6P Submersible. Design depends on specified conditions of pressure and time; submersible in water or oil; used in quarries, mines, and manholes. 6 is temporarily submersible, 6P withstands occasional prolonged submersion. Neither are intended for continuous submersion.
7 Certified and labelled for use in areas with specific hazardous conditions: for indoor use in Class I, Groups A, B, C, and D environments as defined in NFPA standards such as the NEC.
8 Certified and labeled for use in areas with specific hazardous conditions: for indoor and outdoor use in locations classified as Class I, Groups A, B, C, and D as defined in NFPA standards such as the NFPA 70.
9 Certified and labelled for use in areas with specific hazardous conditions: for indoor and outdoor use in locations classified as Class II, Groups E, F, or G as defined in NFPA standards such as the NEC.
10 MSHA. Meets the requirements of the Mine Safety and Health Administration, 30 CFR Part 18 (1978).
11 General-purpose. Protects against the corrosive effects of liquids and gases. Meets drip and corrosion-resistance tests.
12, 12K General-purpose. Intended for indoor use, provides some protection against dust, falling dirt, and dripping non-corrosive liquids. Meets drip, dust, and rust resistance tests.
13 General-purpose. Primarily used to provide protection against dust, spraying of water and non-corrosive coolants. Meets oil exclusion and rust resistance design tests.

Note:
NEMA enclosure ratings are similar to IEC IP Codes and can offer the same protections, but cannot be mapped directly.

 

The following table outlines which IEC 60529 IP code each respective NEMA rating meets.

NEMA Enclosure IP Code
1 IP20
2 IP22
3, 3X, 3S, 3SX IP55
3R, 3RX IP24
4, 4X IP66
5 IP53
6 IP67
6P IP68
12, 12K, 13 IP54

 

Read the complete definintions of NEMA Enclosure Types.

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