What is an IP Rating?

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Editorial Team - everything RF

May 22, 2019

IP (or "Ingress Protection") Ratings define the sealing effectiveness of electrical enclosures against intrusion from foreign bodies (tools, dirt etc.) and moisture. These ratings are according to international standard EN 60529 (British BS EN 60529:1992, European IEC 60509:1989).

Each number that follows IP, have a specific meaning - IP XY, where X gives the degree of protection (of people) from moving parts, as well as the protection of enclosed equipment from foreign bodies. And Y defines the degree of protection level against various forms of moisture (drips, sprays, submersion etc.).

First Digit (Intrusion Protection)

Protected Against
Effective Against
0Not ProtectedNo protection against contact and ingress of objects
1> 50 mmProtection from a large part of the body such as a hand (but no protection from deliberate access); from solid objects greater than 50mm in diameter.
2> 12.5 mmProtection against fingers or other objects not greater than 80mm in length and 12mm in diameter.
3> 2.5 mmProtection from entry by tools, wires etc., with a diameter of 2.5 mm or more.
4> 1 mmProtection against solid bodies larger than 1mm (e.g. fine tools/small etc.).
5Protected from DustIngress 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.
6Completely Protected from DustCompletely Protected from Dust

Second Digit (Moisture Protection)

LevelProtected AgainstEffective Against
0Not ProtectedNo Protection
1Dripping WaterDripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no harmful effect or protection against condensation
2Dripping Water when tilted up to 15°Protection against water droplets deflected up to 15° from vertical
3Spraying WaterProtection against spray up to 60° from vertical
4Splashing WaterWater splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect.
5Water JetsProtection against low pressure water jets, 6.3mm nozzle (all directions)
6Powerful Water JetsProtection against strong water jets, 12.5mm nozzle and waves (all directions)
7Immersion up to 1 meterProtection against immersion in water under defined conditions of pressure and time (up to 1 m of submersion)
8Immersion beyond 1 meterProtected against prolonged effects of immersion under conditions which shall be specified by the manufacturer.

Common IP Ratings:

  • IP 65 Enclosure: Dust tight and protected against low pressure water projected from a nozzle.
  • IP 66 Enclosure: Dust tight and protected against strong waves or powerful jets of water.
  • IP 67 Enclosures: Dust tight and protected against immersion up to 1 m deep.
  • IP 68 Enclosures: Dust tight and protected against prolonged immersion in water more than 1m deep.