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Ingress Protection IP Ratings (IP Codes)

Ingress of liquid and/or solid particles into electrical equipment can not only be harmful to the equipment, it can be dangerous to the operator. Therefore when buying electrical equipment whether it be an electric motor, a light fiiting or an instrument, it is essential to know what degree of "ingress protection" or as it is sometimes called IP class, or IP rating the item offers.
The applicable European standards for ingress protection are:
- BS EN 60529 Specification of Degrees of Protection Provided by Enclosures
- IEC 529 Specification of Degrees of Protection Provided by Enclosures
Both of these provide a numerical code to help classify the degree of protection offered, as shown below:
 
Ingress Protection Classification
First NumberSecond Number
IPProtection ProvidedIPProtection Provided
0No Protection0No Protection
1Protected against solid objects up to 50mm e.g. accidental touch by hands1Protected against vertically falling drops of water e.g. condensation
2Protected against solid objects up to 12mm e.g. fingers2Protected against direct sprays of water up to 15 deg from the vertical
3Protected against solid objects over 2.5mm e.g. tools3Protected against direct sprays of water up to 60 deg from the vertical
4Protected against solid objects over 1mm e.g. wires4Protected against water sprayed from all directions - limited ingress permitted
5Protected against dust - limited ingress (no harmful deposit)5Protected against low pressure jets of water from all directions - limited ingress permitted
6Totally protected against dust6Protected against strong jets of water e.g. for use on shipdecks - limited ingress permitted
  7Protected against the affects of immersion between 15cm and 1m
  8Protected against long periods of immersion under pressure

 

European and North American Comparison

In North America, the NEMA classification is used in preference to the IEC codes shown above.
The IEC and NEMA degrees of protection can not be fully compared as equivalent ratings - see below. The NEMA Standard includes tests for environmental conditions such as mechanical damage, corrosion, rusting, ice formation, etc.
Further information can be found about the North American classification scheme in NEMA Standard Publication 250 and UL 40 Standard Publication.
NEMA Enclosure
Type Number
Approximate
IEC Classification
1IP 10
2IP 11
3IP 54
3RIP 14
3SIP 54
4 and 4XIP 56
5IP 52
6 and 6PIP 67


IEE On-site Guide
IEE On-site Guide; BS 7671 : 2008 IEE Wiring Regulations 17th Edition
 




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