IP Ratings

THE IP CODE (or International Protection Rating, sometimes also interpreted as Ingress Protection Rating) consists of the letters IP followed by two digits and an optional letter. As defined in international standard IEC 60529, it classifies the degrees of protection provided against the intrusion of solid objects (including body parts like hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact, and water in electrical enclosures. The standard aims to provide users more detailed information than vague marketing terms such as waterproof.

The digits (characteristic numerals) indicate conformity with the conditions summarised in the tables below. For example, an electrical socket rated IP22 is protected against insertion of fingers and will not be damaged or become unsafe during a specified test in which it is exposed to vertically or nearly vertically dripping water. IP22 or 2X are typical minimum requirements for the design of electrical accessories for indoor use.

 

FIRST DIGIT: SOLIDS

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 Object size protected against Effective against
0 Not Protected No protection against contact and ingress of objects
1 >50mm Any large surface of the body, such as the back of the hand, but no protection against deliberate contact with a body part.
2 >12.5mm Fingers or similar objects
3 >2.5mm Tools, thick wires, etc.
4 >1mm Most wires, screws, 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; complete protection against contact.
6 Dust Tight No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact.

 

SECOND DIGIT: LIQUIDS

Protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against harmful ingress of water

Level Object size protected against Effective against
0 Not protected  
1 Dripping water Dripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no harmful effect.
2 Dripping water when tilted up to 15° Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect when the enclosure is tilted at an angle up to 15° from its normal position.
3 Spraying water Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical shall have no harmful effect.
4 Splashing water Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect.
5 Water jets Water projected by a nozzle (6.3mm) against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
6 Powerful water jets Water projected in powerful jets (12.5mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects
7 Immersion up to 1m 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 1m of submersion).
8 8 Immersion beyond 1m The equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions which shall be specified by the manufacturer. Normally, this will mean that the equipment is hermetically sealed. 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.



THIRD DIGIT: IMPACT

 

The third digit describes the degree of protection against a mechanical impact and is not usually specified.