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What is an IP rating?

February 22, 2019 Paul

Ingress protection ratings determine the level of effectiveness an electrical product is against foreign bodies and liquids affecting its inner-workings. The higher the IP rating the more resistant the instrument is against intrusion.

IP ratings are important because they are necessary to understand if an electrical instrument is at risk of causing danger. For example, some heaters are appropriate for heating a shower or wet room: a towel rail has a high IP rating of 44.

The first number indicates the degree of protection for dirt, dust and intrusion protection.

0 - No special protection
1 - Protection from a large part of the body such as a hand (but no protection from deliberate access); from solid objects greater than 50mm in diameter.
2 - Protection against fingers or other object not greater than 80mm in length and 12mm in diameter.
3 - Protection from entry by tools, wires etc, with a diameter of 2.5 mm or more.
4 - Protection against solid bodies larger than 1mm (e.g. fine tools/small etc).
5 - Protected against dust that may harm equipment.
6 - Totally dust tight.

The second number defines the level of protection against moisture.

0 - No protection.
1 - Protection against condensation.
2 - Protection against water droplets deflected up to 15° from vertical
3 - Protected against spray up to 60° from vertical.
4 - Protected against water spray from all directions.
5 - Protection against low pressure water jets (all directions)
6 - Protection against string water jets and waves.
7 - Protected against temporary immersion.
8 - Protected against prolonged effects of immersion under pressure.

When an IP rating has an X figure in part, this means that the protection rating has no significance to the product.

Our range of heaters most commonly includes IP ratings of 44 and 24:

  • IP44: Protected against 1mm solid bodies and water spray
  • IP24: Protected against fingers and 80mm objects and water spray

Please check the products IP ratings in its specifications tab before purchase.

The larger the value of each digit, the greater the protection. As an example, a product rated IP65 would be better protected against environmental factors than another similar product rated as IP42.