IP Ratings: What Do They Mean?

What Do IP Ratings Mean?

IP ratings, or Ingress Protection ratings, are standardised and globally recognised ratings of the degree of protection provided by mechanical casings and electrical enclosures against the entry of solid particles (from body parts to dust) and liquids into the object.


Many products are often used in dirty and wet environments, so it’s important to know that they’re built to handle it!


IP ratings are made up of two numbers. The first indicates the degree of protection against solid particle ingress, and the second is the degree of protection against liquid ingress.


First digit: solid particle ingress protection

The first digit of IP ratings indicates the level of protection against ingress of solid objects and particles.


NumberProtection LevelDetails
XN/ANo data availabile to specify a rating
0NoneNo protection against solid particle ingress
1>50mmLarge body parts
2>12.5mmSmall body parts (e.g. fingers) or similar-sized objects
3>2.5mmTools (e.g. screwdrivers, spanners), thick wires, most larger insetcs tec
4>1mmScrews, thin wires, most small insects etc
5Dust ProtectedSome dust can enter, but not enough to interfere with the satisfactory performance of the equipment
6Dust-TightNo dust can enter; complete protection

Second digit: liquid ingress protection

The second digit of the IP rating shows the level of protection against the ingress of liquids, particularly water.


NumberProtection LevelDetails
XN/ANo data availabile to specify a rating
0N/ANo protection against liquid ingress
1Dripping WaterNo harmful effect on the object when mounted upright and subjected to dripping water at 1mm per minute equivalent for 10 minutes
2Dripping Water (15° Angle)No harmful effect on the object when mounted at 15° angle (4 angles) and subjected to dripping water at 3mm per minute equivalent for 10 min (2.5 min per angle)
3Water SprayNo harmful effect on the object when hit with water falling as a spray at 50-150kPa pressure from any angle up to 60° from vertical.
4Water SplashNo harmful effect on the object from water splashing the enclosure from any direction.
5Water JetsNo harmful effect on the object from water projected against the enclosure from any direction by a 6.3mm nozzle at 30kPa from a distance of 3m for at least 3 minutes.
6Powerful Water JetsNo harmful effect on the object from water projected against the enclosure from any direction by a 12.5mm nozzle at 100kPa from a distance of 3m for at least 3 minutes.
6KPowerful Water Jets - Higher PressureNo harmful effect on the object from water projected against the enclosure from any direction by a 6.3mm nozzle at 1,000kPa from a distance of 3m for at least 3 minutes.
7Immersion Up To 1M DepthNo harmful effect on the object from complete, continuous immersion in water for 30 minutes. The bottom of the object must be 1m below the surface or the top of the object must be 0.15m below the surface, whichever is the deeper.
8Immersion Up To 3M DepthNo harmful effect on the object from complete, continuous immersion in water for 30 minutes. The test depth is specified by the manufacturer, but the bottom of the object is generally expected to be 3m below the surface.
9KPowerful high Temperature Water JetsNo harmful effect on the object from water projected against the enclosure from any direction by a 6.3mm nozzle at 8-10MPa from a distance of 0.10-0.15m for at least 2 minutes. The water temperature must be 80°C.

The IP Code is published by the International Electrotechnical Commission. The standard number is IEC 60529.