Understanding IP
(Ingress Protection) Ratings

IP Ratings

By Tom Burden, Last updated: 2/27/2018

What does the term “waterproof” really mean? In our product presentations, we use an international standard (IEC 60529) that measures how effectively devices are protected from intrusion by foreign solid objects or liquids. Ingress Protection (IP) Ratings (for example, IP65) use two numbers, rated on a scale from zero to eight. The first digit deals with solids, the second with liquids, and the letter X is used where there is no rating for one of these indices. IPX7, the most common rating in our catalog, means that the device is not rated for protection against solid objects, and is rated with a seven against liquids. Remember that these ratings are made by the manufacturer, not some impartial group like Underwriters Laboratories (UL). They’re useful for comparison purposes, however, in showing how manufacturers rate their products. The table below shows the IP Rating standards:

First Number:
Solid Objects
DefinitionSecond Number:
0No protection0No protection
1Protected against solid objects over 50mm (accidental touch by hands)1Protected against vertically falling drops of water
2Protected against solid objects over 12mm (such as fingers)2Protected against direct sprays up to 15° from vertical
3Protected against solid objects over 2.5mm (such as tools and wires)3Protected against direct sprays up to 60° from vertical
4Protected against solid objects over 1mm (tools, wires and small wires)4Protected against sprays from all directions. Limited ingress permitted.
5Protected aganist dust. Limited ingress (no harmful deposit)5Protected against low-pressure jets of water from all directions. Limited ingress permitted.
6Totally protected against dust6Protected against strong jets of water (for use on ship decks). Limited ingress permitted.
7N/A7Protected against the effects of immersion at depth between 15cm and 1 meter. 30 minute test.
8N/A8Protected against long periods of immersion. Depth (more that one meter) specified by manufacturer.