Understanding IEC IP Ratings: Your Guide to Enclosure Protection

IEC Ingress Protection (IP) Rating Guide

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has created its Ingress Protection ratings to grade the resistance of an enclosure against the intrusion of solids (dust and small particles) and liquids. The IP system is similar to the NEMA system more commonly known in America, however, the NEMA system is considerably more complicated and confusing than the IP system. You can read our blog, NEMA Ratings Explained, to learn more about the NEMA ingress protection rating system. 

The IEC IP system is composed of two numerals. Usually, when detailing an enclosure, it will be written as IPXX – with the XX replaced by numerals. The first numeral refers to the protection against solids, from 0 to 6. The zero represents no protection, while the 6 represents no dust ingress.

The second numeral represents the protection against liquids and rates from 0-9. Zero represents no protection, while 9 represents impervious to even high-pressure water from all different angles. To further define the ratings, see below:

IEC Ingress Protection (IP) Rating Guide


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