IP Ratings Explained

An IP rating stands for Ingress Protection mark, sometimes known as International (or Internal) Protection mark. It typically consists of two digits and is assigned to the enclosure of a mechanical or electrical device, providing users with a clear understanding of the item's resistance to different types of unwanted intrusion.

The term "intrusion" within the context of an IP rating encompasses three aspects: it indicates the level of protection to users (such as hands and fingers) from mechanical or electrical components; it denotes the enclosure's ability to shield these crucial parts against dust, dirt, and other harmful foreign particles; and it represents the overall resistance of the device to moisture. The IP Rating table bellow will explain everything you need to know to help you get familiar with your product.

The First Digit
Depending on how the number increases or decreases, the first digit of the rating tells you how it will be protected from physical objects such as screw drivers or rocks. The maximum value is 6, which means that there's no ingress of dust.

The Second Digit
The second number tells you the level of water resistance the electrical appliance has. This varies from water condensation, drip, water jets and total immersion. The maximum value is 9, which means that its protected against close range, powerful and high temperature water jets.

First Number

0 - (or X): Not rated (or no rating supplied) for protection against ingress of this type.
1 - Protection against solid objects larger than 50mm (accidental hand contact with open palm), but not against deliberate body contact
2 - Protection against solid objects larger than 12mm
3 - Protection against solid objects larger than 2.5mm
4 - Protection against solid objects larger than 1mm
5 - Partial protection against dust and other particulates, such that any ingress will not damage or impede the satisfactory performance of internal components
6 - Full protection against dust and other particulates, including a vacuum seal, tested against continuous airflow

Second Digit

0 (or X) - : Not rated for protection against ingress of this type
1 - Protection against vertically falling droplets, such as condensation.
2 - Protection against vertically dripping water when enclosure is tilted up to 15° off vertical.
3 - Protection against direct moisture spray at angles up to 60° off vertical.
4 - Protection against splashing water from any direction, tested for a minimum of 10 minutes with an oscillating spray.
5 - Protection against low-pressure jets from any angle.
6 - Protection against powerful jets from any direction.
7 - Protection against full immersion for up to 30 minutes at depths between 15cm and 1 metre.
8 - Protection against extended immersion under higher pressure i.e. greater depths.
9 - Protection against high-pressure, high-temperature jet sprays, wash-downs or steam-cleaning procedures.