IP Ratings

IP (or “Ingress Protection”) ratings are used to define levels of sealing effectiveness of electrical enclosures against intrusion from foreign bodies and moisture.

The numbers that follow IP each have a specific meaning. The first indicates the degree of protection (of people) from moving parts, as well as the protection of enclosed equipment from foreign bodies. The second defines the protection level that the enclosure enjoys from various forms of moisture (drips, sprays, submersion etc). The tables below should help make sense of it.

Need to compare to NEMA ratings? Click here.

NEMA-Rating vs. IP Rating

NEMA ratings and IP ratings both define degrees of protection against substances such as water and dust, but use different test methods and parameters to define their enclosure types.

NEMA ratings are geared towards industrial applications, primarily used in North America, unlike IP ratings which cover a broad set of applications worldwide.

NEMA and IP Equivalent:

NEMA enclosureIP Code
1IP20
2IP22
3, 3X, 3S, 3SXIP55
3R, 3RXIP24
4, 4XIP44, IP66, IP65
5IP53
6IP67
6PIP68
12, 12K, 13IP54

IP Code Breakdown

Code lettersFirst characteristic numeral: Solid particle protectionSecond digit: Liquid ingress protectionAdditional letter: Other protectionsSupplementary letter: Other protections
IP (Ingress Protection)Single numeral: 0–6 or letter XSingle numeral: 0–8 or letter XSingle letterSingle letter
MandatoryMandatoryMandatoryOptionalOptional

First Digit: Solid particle protection

Level sizedEffective againstDescription
XX means there is no data available to specify a protection rating with regard to this criterion.
0No protection against contact and ingress of objects
1> 50 mm
2.0 in
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
0.49 in
Fingers or similar objects
3> 2.5 mm
0.098 in
Tools, thick wires, etc.
4> 1 mm
0.039 in
Most wires, slender screws, large ants etc.
5Dust protectedIngress of dust is not entirely prevented, but it must not enter in sufficient quantity to interfere with the satisfactory operation of the equipment.
6Dust-tightNo ingress of dust; complete protection against contact (dust-tight). A vacuum must be applied. Test duration of up to 8 hours based on airflow.

Second Digit: Liquid ingress protection

LevelProtection againstEffective againstDetails
XX means there is no data available to specify a protection rating with regard to these criteria.
0NoneNo protection against ingress of water
1Dripping waterDripping 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.Test duration: 10 minutes

Water equivalent to 1 mm (0.039 in) rainfall per minute

2Dripping 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.Test duration: 2.5 minutes for every direction of tilt (10 minutes total)

Water equivalent to 3 mm (0.12 in) rainfall per minute

3Spraying waterWater 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.

For a spray nozzle:

Test duration: 1 minute per square meter for at least 5 minutes[5] Water volume: 10 liters per minute (0.037 impgal/s) Pressure: 50–150 kPa (7.3–21.8 psi)

For an oscillating tube: Test duration: 10 minutes Water volume: 0.07 liters per minute (0.00026 impgal/s) per hole

4Splashing of waterWater 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. b) is conducted (without shield) for 5 minutes minimum.

Oscillating tube: Test duration: 10 minutes, or spray nozzle (same as IPX3 spray nozzle with the shield removed)
5Water jetsWater projected by a nozzle (6.3 mm (0.25 in)) against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.Test duration: 1 minute per square meter for at least 3 minutes

Water volume: 12.5 litres per minute Pressure: 30 kPa (4.4 psi) at distance of 3 meters (9.8 ft)

6Powerful water jetsWater projected in powerful jets (12.5 mm (0.49 in)) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.Test duration: 1 minute per square meter for at least 3 minutes

Water volume: 100 liters per minute (0.37 impgal/s) Pressure: 100 kPa (15 psi) at distance of 3 meters (9.8 ft)

6KPowerful water jets with increased pressureWater projected in powerful jets (6.3 mm (0.25 in) nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction, under elevated pressure, shall have no harmful effects. Found in DIN 40050, and not IEC 60529.Test duration: at least 3 minutes

Water volume: 75 liters per minute (0.27 impgal/s) Pressure: 1,000 kPa (150 psi) at distance of 3 meters (9.8 ft)

7Immersion, up to 1 meter (3 ft 3 in) depthIngress 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 meter (3 ft 3 in) of submersion).Test duration: 30 minutes.

Tested with the lowest point of the enclosure 1,000 mm (39 in) below the surface of the water, or the highest point 150 mm (5.9 in) below the surface, whichever is deeper.

8Immersion, 1 meter (3 ft 3 in) or more depthThe 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.Test duration: agreement with manufacturer

Depth specified by the manufacturer, generally up to 3 meters (9.8 ft)

9KPowerful high-temperature water jetsProtected against close-range high pressure, high-temperature spray downs.

Smaller specimens rotate slowly on a turntable, from 4 specific angles. Larger specimens are mounted in the intended position when being used, no turntable required, and are tested freehand for at least 3 minutes at a distance of 0.15–0.2 meters (5.9 in–7.9 in).

The specific requirements for the test nozzle are shown in figures 7, 8, & 9 of IEC (or EN) 60529.

This test is identified as IPx9 in IEC 60529.

Test duration: Fixture: 30 sec. in each of 4 angles (2 min. total), Freehand: 1 min/m2, 3 min. minimum

Water volume: 14–16 liters per minute (0.051–0.059 impgal/s) Pressure: 8–10 MPa (80–100 bar) at distance of 0.10–0.15 meters (3.9 in–5.9 in) Water temperature: 80 °C (176 °F)

Additional Letter (Optional)

LetterMeaning
ABack of hand
BFinger
CTool
DWire

Supplementary Letter (Optional)

LetterMeaning
FOil resistant
HHigh voltage apparatus
MMotion during water test
SStationery during water test
WWeather conditions