Ingress Protection (IP) ratings have been developed by the European Committee for Electro Technical Standardisation (CENELEC) (NEMA IEC 60529 Degrees of Protection Provided by Enclosures - IP Code), specifying the environmental protection an electrical device provides.

The IP rating consists of two numbers after the lettering 'IP' (e.g IP65).

First Number: Protection from solid foreign objects

Level

Object size protected against

Effective against

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, 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 (dust proof)

6

Dust tight

No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact (dust tight)

Second Number: Protection against harmful ingress of water

Level

Protected against

Testing for

Details

0

Not protected

1

Dripping water

Dripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no harmful effect.

Test duration: 10 minutes
Water equivalent to 1 mm rainfall per minute

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.

Test duration: 10 minutes
Water equivalent to 3 mm rainfall per minute

3

Spraying water

Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical shall have no harmful effect.

Test duration: 5 minutes
Water volume: 0.7 litres per minute
Pressure: 80–100 kPa

4

Splashing of water

Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect.

Test duration: 5 minutes
Water volume: 10 litres per minute
Pressure: 80–100 kPa

5

Water jets

Water projected by a nozzle (6.3 mm) against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.

Test duration: at least 3 minutes
Water volume: 12.5 litres per minute
Pressure: 30 kPa at distance of 3 m

6

Powerful water jets

Water projected in powerful jets (12.5 mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.

Test duration: at least 3 minutes
Water volume: 100 litres per minute
Pressure: 100 kPa at distance of 3 m

Example: An electrical product rated at IP65 is protected against:

  • Complete protection against dust contact (dust tight)
  • Water projected by a nozzle (6.3 mm) from any direction

In this example, an IP65 rated product would be the only product suitable for use in dusty areas and/or areas that require washdown or areas of high humidity.