IP Rating Guide: Introduction to IP Codes, IP Rating Tables


  • Guide to IP Ratings
  • Solid Ingress Protection
  • Liquid or Water Resistance Ingress
  • Description of IP Rating

Guide to IP Ratings

Consumers in Europe use IP ratings to identify an electrical enclosure’s level of protection. The level of protection pertains to its performance against environmental conditions. IP is the short term for Ingress Protection. An individual needs to know where and how to use an IP rating to order the correct one.

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is a worldwide organization that creates the IP rating system to promote standardization and cooperation on questions concerning electrical and electronic fields. The commission also collaborates with the Internationational Organization for Standards, known as ISO. The IEC Publication 529 contains a complete description of the IP ratings and other IP-relevant tests in this article.

Initially, the IP rating was developed as a way to categorize enclosures. Today, this guide is also used to give engineers a convenient and practical method to compare levels of sealing. Adopting this standardization promotes international cooperation in describing the level of protection provided by the enclosure.

There are various degrees of protection, as described by the IP rating. The chart below shows the ratings of relative protection provided by electrical enclosures.

An IP rating usually has two, and sometimes 3, numbers. The first number indicates its level of protection from solid objects and materials. The second number pertains to its level of protection from liquids. Lastly, the third number states the level of protection against mechanical impacts, but commonly the third number is sometimes not part of IEC 60529.

A general overview of each IP level is below. If you want a more specific and detailed description of what each level can do for an electronic enclosure, you may refer to IEC 60529.

Solid Ingress Protection

Level 1

A size greater than 50mm protects the enclosure against a solid object.

Level 2

The enclosure’s level of protection is up against a solid object with a size greater than 12.5 mm.

Level 3

With this level, the enclosure can be protected against a solid object greater than 2.5 mm.

Level 4

The enclosure’s level of protection is at a solid ingress level that protects against an object greater than 1mm.

Level 5

Enclosures in solid ingress level 5 consider dust protection. This means a limited ingress of dust can enter the enclosure. However, the operation will not interfere.  This dust protection might last from two to eight hours.

Level 6

On the other hand, enclosures with solid ingress level 6 are dust-tight. No ingress of dust can permit enter for two to eight hours. In other words, the enclosure is fully dust-tight.

Liquid or Water Resistance Ingress

Level 1

Enclosures with level 1 water resistance ingress protect against drops of water falling vertically. However, it only permits limited ingress.

Level 2

With level 2 liquid ingress protection, the enclosure can protect against vertically falling drops of liquid, and the enclosure can tilt up to 15 degrees. Limited ingress permitted.

Level 3

With this, the enclosure is protected against sprays of water up to 60 degrees vertically with level 3 liquid ingress protection. For three minutes, limited ingress is permitted.

Level 4

With level 4 liquid ingress protection, the enclosure is protected against water splashed in all directions.

Level 5

The enclosure can withstand against jets of water with limited ingress permitted.

Level 6

Water projected in powerful jets will not enter the enclosure.

Level 7

With level 7 liquid ingress protection, the enclosure can withstand the effects of water immersion between 15 centimetres and one meter for 30 minutes.

Level 8

The enclosure is protected against the effects of water immersion in water under pressure for long periods.

Description of IP Rating

As described by the IP rating chart, the first, second, and third number indicated in the code has their own meaning. The first number pertains to the enclosure’s protection against solid objects. The second number describes the enclosure’s protection against water or liquid.

For instance, an IP rating of 56 has a solid protection ingress of 5 and liquid protection of 6. If there is only one class of protection, the letter “X” can be used in place of the class omitted.

It is important to be aware of what a product enclosure’s IP rating stands for. Furthermore, determining the correct IP rating for an electrical enclosure can save you time and money from investing in the right item. When purchasing, always check the IP rating of the item. As an industrial expert in today’s needs of warehouse and inventory management systems, Qbasis gained experience in selecting the correct IP rating for an item’s electrical enclosure. Boosting productivity and efficiency on your management systems is not only limited to the right software but also to the right hardware compatible with the system. Contact Qbasis to know more about your warehouse management system procurement needs.

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