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NEMA Ratings & IP Equivalent Conversion Chart

This post is the third in a series on NEMA enclosure types and the IP code. For more information, read post 1 and post 2.

NEMA and IP rated enclosures protect equipment from the elementsBoth NEMA and IP rated enclosures provide protection for electrical components. However, the two different systems are quite different. This conversion chart illustrates this fact.

As stated in earlier posts, there is no clean way to convert from IP to NEMA or vise versa. Their vocabulary is just different. Each is more specific in different areas, making exact conversion impossible.

However, with a solid understanding of your application, you can successfully make a conversion without adversely affecting enclosure performance. As with anything, it depends on the application, and the reasons behind the rating specification.

To help, we bolded the parts of the NEMA definitions that are not specified in the IP code. This chart also excludes IP code definitions in reference to human access to electrical parts inside the enclosure.

Definitions in the following chart have been paraphrased. Conversions are estimates, and should only be used as a guide.

NEMA Enclosure Type IP Code

NEMA Definitions

IP Definitions

Solids Protection Liquids Protection
1 IP10 For indoor use. Protects personnel from incidental contact with enclosed equipment. Protects from falling dirt. 1 = 50mm in diameter & greater 0 = Not Protected
2 IP11 For indoor use. Protects personnel from incidental contact with enclosed equipment. Protects from falling dirt, and dripping/light splashing of liquids. 1 = 50mm in diameter & greater 1 = Vertically falling water drops
3 IP54 For either indoor or outdoor use. Protects personnel from incidental contact with enclosed equipment. Protects from falling dirt, rain, sleet, snow, & windblown dust, & external formation of ice. 5 = Protected against dust - Limited ingress permitted. 4 = Water sprayed from all directions - Limited ingress permitted.
3R IP14 For indoor or outdoor use. Protects personnel from incidental contact with enclosed equipment. Protects from falling dirt, rain, sleet, & snow, & external formation of ice. 1 = 50mm in diameter & greater 4 = Water sprayed from all directions - Limited ingress permitted.
3S IP54 For indoor or outdoor use. Protects personnel from incidental contact with enclosed equipment. Protects from falling dirt, rain, sleet, snow, & windblown dust. External mechanism(s) remain operable when ice laden. 5 = Protected against dust - Limited ingress permitted. 4 = Water sprayed from all directions - Limited ingress permitted.
4 IP 56 For indoor or outdoor use. Protects personnel from incidental contact with enclosed equipment. Protects from falling dirt, windblown dust; rain, sleet, snow, splashing water, hose-directed water; & external formation of ice. 5 = Protected against dust - Limited ingress permitted. 6 = Strong jets of water from all directions - Limited ingress permitted.
4X IP56 For indoor or outdoor use. Protects personnel from incidental contact with enclosed equipment. Protects from falling dirt, windblown dust; rain, sleet, snow, splashing water, hose-directed water; corrosion; & external formation of ice. 5 = Protected against dust - Limited ingress permitted. 6 = Strong jets of water from all directions - Limited ingress permitted.
5 IP52 For indoor use. Protects personnel from incidental contact with enclosed equipment. Protects from falling dirt; settling airborne dust, lint, fibers, flyings; & dripping/light splashing of liquids. 5 = Protected against dust - Limited ingress permitted. 2 = Direct sprays of water up to 15° from the vertical.
6 IP67 For indoor or outdoor use. Protects personnel from incidental contact with enclosed equipment. Protects from falling dirt; hose-directed water, occasional temporary submersion at a limited depth; & external formation of ice. 6 = Totally protected against dust 7 = Temporary immersion between 15cm & 1m. Duration of test: 30 minutes.
6P IP68 For indoor or outdoor use. Protects personnel from incidental contact with enclosed equipment. Protects from falling dirt; against hose-directed water & prolonged submersion at a limited depth; & external formation of ice. 6 = Totally protected against dust 8 = Continuous immersion beyond 1m.
12 & 12K IP52 Enclosures constructed without knockouts for indoor use. Protects personnel from incidental contact with enclosed equipment; Protects from falling dirt, circulating dust, lint, fibers, & flying; & dripping/light splashing of liquids. 5 = Protected against dust - Limited ingress permitted. 2 = Direct sprays of water up to 15° from the vertical.
13 IP54 For indoor use. Protects personnel from incidental contact with enclosed equipment. Protects against falling dirt, circulating dust, lint, fibers, & flyings; & spraying, splashing, seepage of water, oil, & noncorrosive coolants. 5 = Protected against dust - Limited ingress permitted. 4 = Water sprayed from all directions - Limited ingress permitted.

Do you disagree with these estimations? Why or why not? Let us know your thoughts. If you have questions, we’re happy to help. Just reach out to our application engineers.

Chart source: siemon.com

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