What are IP codes?

What are IP codes?

IP code (International protection rating or Ingress protection rating) is an IEC standard to classify and rate the degree of protection provided against intrusion (body parts such as hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact, and water by mechanical casings and electrical enclosures. The standard aims to provide users more detailed information than vague marketing terms such as waterproof.

The IP code consists of the letters IP followed by two digits and an optional letter. The digits (characteristic numerals) indicate conformity with the conditions summarized in the tables below. For example, an electrical skateboard rated IP65 is completely protected against contact (dust tight) and will not be damaged or become unsafe if water projected by a nozzle (6.3 mm) against enclosure from any direction.

Where there is no data available to specify a protection rating with regard to one of the criteria, the digit is replaced with the letter X. The digit 0 is used where no protection is provided.

A rating of X for one or more of the protection criteria can be erroneously misinterpreted as “no protection”. To illustrate, an electric skateboard rated IPX4 will almost certainly demonstrate a robust resistance to the ingress of particles, even though a rating for ingress of solids hasn’t been formally assigned. Hence, an X designation shouldn’t be automatically misconstrued as a lack of protection.

First digit: Solids

LevelObject size protected againstEffective against
0Not protectedNo protection against contact and ingress of objects
1>50mmAny large surface of the body, such as the back of the hand, but no protection against deliberate contact with a body part.
2>12.5mmFingers or similar objects.
3>2.5mmTools, thick wires, etc.
4>1mmMost wires, screws, etc.
5Dust ProtectedIngress of dust is not entirely prevented, but it must not enter in sufficient quantity to interfere with the satisfactory operation of the equipment; complete protection against contact.
6Dust TightNo ingress of dust; complete protection against contact.

Second digit: Liquids

LevelObject size protected againstEffective against
0Not protected
1Dripping waterDripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no harmfull effect.
2Dripping water when tilted up to 15°Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect when the enclosure is tilted at an angle up to 15° from its normal position.
3Spraying waterWater falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical shall have no harmful effect.
4Splashing waterWater splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect.
5Water jetsWater projected by a nozzle (6.3mm) against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
6Powerful water jetsWater projected in powerful jets (12.5mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
7Immersion up to 1mIngress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time (up to 1 m of submersion).
8Immersion beyond 1mThe equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions which shall be specified by the manufacturer. Normally, this will mean that the equipment is hermetically sealed. However, with certain types of equipment, it can mean that water can enter but only in such a manner that it produces no harmful effects.


Please also watch the video below for a great explanation of the concept IP Codes.