Converting IP Ratings and NEMA codes

NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) has established a range of standards for electrical equipment enclosures.  NEMA codes tend to be used by countries outside of Europe, including the USA. NEMA codes use a number to describe the level of protection afforded by electrical equipment enclosures

European countries use the European Union IP Rating system from CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization), the IP standards numerically rate an electrical product on the level of protection its enclosure provides. By assigning different number codes, the product’s degree of protection can be identified quickly and easily. In the code IP 54, for example, IP identifies this standard, the 5 describes the level of protection from solid objects, and 4 describes the level of protection from liquids.

Although the two systems are based are based on different approaches and direct comparisons can’t be made. Similar protection from the different rating systems can be made here are examples of some of the main NEME and IP types and how they offer similar protection:

IP Rating  IP56:
NEMA 4 –(and Nema 4 x with anti-corrosion properties) enclosures intended for indoor or outdoor use primarily to provide a degree of protection against windblown dust and rain, splashing water, and hose-directed water; and to be undamaged by the formation of ice on the enclosure. They are not intended to provide protection against conditions such as internal condensation or internal icing.

IP Rating IP 65
NEMA 6 – Type 6 enclosures are intended for use indoors or outdoors where occasional submersion is encountered. They shall protect the enclosed equipment against a static head of water of 6 feet for 30 minutes, dust, splashing or external condensation of non corrosive liquids, falling or hose-directed water, lint and seepage. They are not sleet- (ice-) proof. They shall have conduit hubs or equivalent provision for watertight-connection at the conduit entrance and mounting means external to the equipment cavity.

IP Rating IP52:
NEMA 12 – Type 12 enclosures are intended for indoor use primarily to provide a degree of protection against circulating dust, falling dirt, and dripping none corrosive liquids. They are not intended to provide protection against such conditions as internal condensation.

IP Rating IP54:
NEMA 13 -Type 13 enclosures are intended for indoor use primarily to provide a degree of protection against lint, dust, spraying of water, oil and none corrosive coolant. They are not intended to provide protection against conditions such as internal condensation.

This post was written by Richard N Williams

Richard N Williams

Richard N Williams is a writer and journalist based in Birmingham, UK. He has many years of experience writing about all aspects of the internet and digital technology. He is the author of several technology related books and his articles have appeared in various publications, trade magazines and online journals. Richard N Williams Google+

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