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Ingress Protection and IP Ratings

What is Ingress Protection (IP)?

The level of protection afforded by an electrical device or component against different environmental factors, such as dust and water, is classified using the Ingress Protection (IP) rating system.

The IP rating is a two-digit code, the first digit indicating the level of protection against solid objects (such as: dust). The second digit indicating the level of protection against liquids (such as: water).

The range of protection from dust is represented by the first digit in the IP rating, and can range from 0 (no protection) to 6 (completely dust tight).


Levels Of Dust Protection

0: No protection against dust entry.

1: Protection from objects larger than 50 mm in diameter, like accidental touch by hands

2: Protection against objects that are solid and larger than 12.5 mm, like fingers

3: Protection against solid objects larger than 2.5 mm, such as tools and wires

4: Protection from solid objects bigger than 1 mm, like wires and nails

5: Partial protection against dust ingress, not completely dust tight

6: Complete protection against dust ingress


Levels Of Water Protection

The IP rating’s second digit indicates the level of water protection, which can vary from 0 (no protection) to 9K. (protection against close-range, high pressure, and high temperature spray downs).

0: No protection

1: Protection against water drops falling vertically

2: Protection from direct water sprays up to 15 °from the vertical

3: Protection from direct water sprays that are 60 ° off vertical

4: Protection from water splashes coming from all angles, limited ingress permitted

5: Protection from jets of water with low pressure from all directions

6: Protection against powerful water jets and rough seas

7: Protection from temporary immersion in water

8. Protection against pressure immersion for a prolonged amount of time

9K: Protection against high-pressure, high temperature spray downs at close range



A minimum IP65 rating is advised for dust and water protection. This indicates that the object or component is completely protected from the ingress of both water and dust projected from a nozzle, e.g. a jet of water.

An IP rating of IP66 and higher is considered as more dust and water resistant. IP66 identifies that the device is protected from heavy seas or strong water jets, while IP67 identifies that the device is protected from immersion for a specific amount of time and depth.


It is important to remember that IP ratings are simply recommendations and not assurances. Depending on the use and surroundings for the device, different devices may have different water and dust protection requirements.

Read more: Circuit Breaker Types & Usage

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