What is the difference between NEMA and IP ratings?
To determine the difference between IP ratings to NEMA ratings, it is important to be knowledgeable in both enclosure rating standards. The most common IP ratings are:
IP Standard Ratings
IP54 – it has limited dust-tight protection and it protects equipment from water spray in any direction.
IP65 – this enclosure is dust tight and it gives protection from water sprayed from a nozzle.
IP67 -this enclosure is dust tight and can be submerged in water between 15 cm and 1 meter in water depth.
IP68 – this enclosure is dust tight and can be totally submerged in water.
For more information about IP ratings, please read the article here (insert an article about IP ratings)
NEMA Ratings Information Summary
NEMA 1: Main use – indoors
NEMA 1 is generally intended for the majority of indoor use or application, it gives a level of protection from solid ingress and it gives protection for electrical enclosures from contact coming from personnel using it.
NEMA 2: Drip proof from water or dirt – indoors
NEMA 2 is designed to give protection for equipment used in indoor applications, it is primarily intended to give protection from water dripping and dust ingress.
NEMA 3: Dust & rain tight, resistant to sleet & ice formation – indoor and outdoor use
NEMA 3 enclosures are intended to be used for any indoor & outdoor application that requires protection on equipment from dust & water ingress, and sleet and ice formation. These enclosures will be undamaged even with the presence of ice formation.
NEMA 3R: Rain, ice/sleet proof – indoors/outdoors
NEMA 3R are generally used for outdoor purposes, this gives protection for equipment from rainwater and ice formation on the enclosure.
NEMA 4: Watertight and dust tight – indoors/outdoors
These are the enclosures built for both indoor and outdoor use. NEMA 4 provides a level of protection for enclosures from having incidental contact with the equipment housed inside the enclosure. It also provides protection for the electronic equipment against dirt, rain, sleet, snow, dust, splashing & hose-directed water from all angles. Rest assured that this enclosure will be undamaged if there is an ice formation present.
NEMA 4X: Watertight and dust tight, corrosion resistant – indoors/outdoors
Same as NEMA 4 with added protection from corrosion
NEMA 5: Dust-tight enclosures
Generally designed for both indoor and outdoor protection – it gives protection from dust ingress and is provided by gaskets.
NEMA 6: Water & dust tight, ice & sleet resistant, submersible enclosures – indoors/outdoors
NEMA 6 is designed for indoor &outdoor use for applications that present the need for temporary submersion of an enclosure in the water at a limited depth. The enclosure will be remained undamaged if there is an ice formation present.
NEMA 7: Explosion – proof – indoors
NEMA 7 enclosures are intended for indoor use for locations classified as Class I, Groups A, B, C, or D, in theNational Electrical Code. These enclosures are capable of resisting the pressures coming from an internal explosion of categorized & specified gases that can result in the explosion. There will be no ignition that will happen outside the enclosure from the gas-air mixture surrounding the enclosure.
Enclosed devices that are heat-generating will not make the external surfaces of the enclosure reach to a certain point where there will be an increase in temperature that will result in igniting the gas-air mixtures surrounding the atmosphere. With this in mind, NEMA 7 should pass the explosion, hydrostatic, and temperature design tests.
NEMA 8: Explosion proof – indoors
Almost the same with NEMA 7 enclosure – the only difference is the NEMA 8 enclosure is oil-immersed
NEMA 9: Special-purpose indoor use
NEMA 9 enclosures are for applications in special-purpose indoor use where it is used in hazardous locations (Class II, Groups E, F, and G) as classified in the National Electric Code. This enclosure is also capable of preventing dust ingress. There will be no ignition that will happen outside the enclosure from the dust-air mixture in the surrounding atmosphere and there will be no discoloring of the dust in the enclosure. NEMA 9 enclosures should pass the penetration and temperature design tests.
NEMA 11: Oil immersed enclosures with corrosion resistant & drip-proof qualities
NEMA 12: Indoor enclosures for industrial use – dust & drip tight
These enclosures are made to prevent incidents stemming from close contact of personnel to the enclosed equipment -these are manufactured without knockouts. Generally intended for industrial indoor use, and these enclosures are generally made to protect the equipment from dust ingress, falling dirt or dripping non-corrosive fluids.
NEMA 13: Indoor enclosures with oil & dust tight qualities
Generally manufactured and designed for indoor industrial use. NEMA 13 are used to give a level of protection from dust ingress, liquid ingresses such as water sprays, oil, and non-corrosive coolant.