Ingress Protection (IP) Ratings

IP rating fittingIf you have bought an outside electrical switch, light, power point, or child proof power point, you may have seen it described with an IP rating. . . . but what does the IP numbers mean?

Understanding The Numbers

Well the IP rating (Ingress Protection Rating or International Protection Rating,) consists of two digits. These are defined by the International Electrotechnical Commission(IEC) Standard 60529.

  • The first digit is the degree of protection against the intrusion of a solid object (fingers, needle, screwdriver, or dust)
  • The second digit is the degree of protection against water.

Common Protection Levels

The following are the more common IP ratings encountered.

Penetration by Solid Objects

    • IP 3# – An access probe of 2.5mm diameter shall not penetrate.
    • IP4# – An access probe of 1.0mm diameter shall not penetrate.
    • IP5# – Limited ingress of dust permitted (no harmful deposit)
    • IP6# – Totally protected against the ingress of dust

Penetration By Water

    • IP#0 – No protection against water damage.
    • IP#1 – Protection against vertical falling water
    • IP#2 – Protected against sprays to 15°
    • IP#3 – Protected against sprays to 60°
    • IP#4 – Protected against water splashed from all directions.
    • IP#5 – Protected against jets of water.
    • IP#6 – Protected against strong jets of water.
    • IP#7 – Protected against the effects of temporary immersion in water to depth of up to 1m.
    • IP#8 – Protected against prolonged immersion in water

Although fittings with high IP Ratings are expensive remember they are keeping you safe!


See Electrical for more posts