IP Rating

The IP (International Protection or Ingress Protection) code for electrical equipment enclosures consists of the letters IP followed by two digits and an optional letter. As defined in BS EN 60529: 1992, the IP rating system classifies the degree of protection provided against the intrusion of solid foreign objects (including body parts like hands and fingers), dust or water in electrical enclosures.

The aim of IP ratings is to provide users with more detailed information than that provided by vague terms such as waterproof.

IP Rating explained

First number of IP code – Protection against solid foreign objects or dust

Second number of IP code – Protection against water

1st No. Definition 2nd No. Definition
0 No protection 0 No protection
1 Protected against solid objects over 50mm diameter (e.g. accidental touch by hands) 1 Protected against vertically falling drops of water (e.g. condensation)
2 Protected against solid objects over 12.5mm diameter (e.g. fingers) 2 Protected against direct spray up to 15° from the vertical
3 Protected against solid objects over 2.5mm diameter (e.g. tools and wires) 3 Protected against direct spray up to 60° from the vertical
4 Protected against solid objects over 1mm diameter (e.g. tools, wires and small wires) 4 Protected against spray from any direction – limited ingress permitted
5 Dust protected – limited ingress (no harmful deposit) 5 Protected against low pressure jets of water from any direction – limited ingress permitted
6 Dust tight – no ingress of dust 6 Protected against strong jets of water e.g. for use on ship decks – limited ingress permitted
7 Protected against the effects of ‘temporary’ immersion between 15cm and 1m
8 Protected against ‘continuous’ immersion under pressure

Further details about IP ratings can be found in BS EN 60529: 1992 – ‘Specification for degrees of protection provided by enclosures (IP code)’.