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How to convert between NEMA Ratings and their IP Equivalents

All Electrical enclosures are rated based on their ability to withstand a varying degree of environmental elements, in both solid and liquid form. And just to make this confusing, there are two common rating types used interchangeably between the United States and the wider world creating a bit of an issue when it comes to converting between the two.

So to get it clear, NEMA ratings were born in the US, and developed by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association as a method of classifying the levels of protection. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) however, developed an alternative rating system, known as the IP (Ingress Protection) standard, and these ratings are perhaps more commonly used and more widely understood, particularly in NZ.  Importantly, an IP rating considers only protection against the ingress of solid foreign objects and liquids while NEMA ratings consider both these and other specifics such as corrosion and construction details.

Therefore, there is actually no direct correlation between NEMA ratings and IP ratings. The table below, however, provides an approximate conversion that is able to be used to help determine the IP rating that best fits, a particular NEMA rating, as well as a brief explanation of the corresponding level of protection against solids and liquids, so that you never have to be confused again.

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It can be helpful to also understand how to tell which ratings are sufficient for your needs. Essentially, with IP ratings, the higher the number is, the greater the level of protection. For instance, an enclosure with a rating of IP54 would offer greater protection than an enclosure that is rated at IP10.

Our Ulti products are typically specified using IP ratings however if you’re confused about what any of the ratings mean, don’t hesitate to reach out and talk to one of the friendly experts – we’d love to help!

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