- Keeps people from accessing hazardous parts inside the enclosure
- Prevents the ingress of solid objects
- Protects against the ingress of water
In a nutshell, an IP rating protects a digital sensor from its biggest threats. So what does it mean if your digital pressure gauge is missing this critical protection rating? What are the risks of going with a cheaper gauge that doesn’t protect itself from dust and water?
The risk is simple: failure. If you purchase a digital pressure gauge without an IP rating, any dust or water present can work its way into the electronics of your gauge. Unfortunately, digital gauges are often used in pretty dirty and damp environments.
Of course, if you install your gauge in a clean and dry area, you probably don’t need to worry about IP ratings at all. Like everything else, the application is king.
Interpreting An IP Rating
There are two digits in an IP rating. The first digit represents the level of protection against the ingress of solid objects. The second digit represents the level of protection against water.
The first digit ranges from 0 (not protected) to 6 (dust-tight). The second digit ranges from 0 (not protected) to 8 (suitable for continuous immersion). Click here to see a full IP rating table.
For example, our PG7 digital pressure gauge is rated IP 67. The six, as you now know, means it’s dust-tight, while the 7 means it can be temporarily immersed in water without ingress. We test the PG7 in 3 ft. of water for 30 minutes.
On the other hand, our PG10 has an IP65 rating. Like the PG7, it’s dust proof. But is not able to withstand immersion in water. It can handle a direct hit at any angle from a water jet (6.3mm), but is not designed for higher-powered water jets from larger nozzles.
Our PG5 doesn’t have an IP rating. It’s designed for those relatively clean and dry applications.
Evaluating Your Application
To determine what IP rating you need, if any, you need to look past the obvious sources of dust and moisture. Ask yourself:
- Is dust and moisture a concern where your gauges will be installed?
- Are there leaky pipes and pumps?
- Is there a possibility of a spill or an overflow?
- Will the area be cleaned regularly?
You need to take a look at all the possibilities. If there are any concerns, you should play it safe and get a digital pressure gauge with an IP rating that’s up to par.
This doesn’t mean you should always buy a fully protected sensor at the slight possibility of an accident or a leak, but you should at least understand the risks and rewards of your decision.
Pressure measurements are important. Pressure has to be maintained at safe levels that are sufficient to keep things moving efficiently. Using pressure gauges to take a differential reading on a pump, a length of pipe, or a filter is a common practice that is critical to system health and reliability.
The cost of an IP rated pressure gauge is too small to gamble reliability and risk failure.
Let us know if you have any questions about digital pressure gauges or IP ratings. We’re happy to help sort it all with you!
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