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NEMA Enclosure Type Ratings

The NEMA enclosure rating system is a method of classifying heavy duty electrical enclosures used in commercial and industrial applications established by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). The NEMA ratings indicated to what degree an enclosure is protected against certain environmental hazards (such as dust, water, oil, and gas, etc.).

When discussing the protection of a component, fixture, or enclosure, IP Ratings (ingress protection) is also often referenced. It's important to note that NEMA and IP ratings are two difference systems, established by different governing bodies. While NEMA standards are mostly used in the US and Canada, IP Ratings are used worldwide, which can lead to the confusion. And although the IP Rating system is wider in its adoption, it is primarily limited to measuring the ingress of water and solid particles. NEMA, on the other hand, goes much further and also looks at gas, corrosion resistance, and explosive environments.

Nonetheless, it is common to want to know the NEMA equivalent of a certain IP rating, or vice versa. So while the two rating systems have their differences, they are also similar in certain respects, and IP equivalents have been established for certain NEMA enclosure classifications.

The NEMA ratings for various enclosure types are listed below. If an IP-equivalent is available, it is also listed.

Non-Hazardous Locations

Ratings for outdoor and/or indoor environmental conditions apply only when the enclosure is fully and properly installed.

NEMA Type Definition IP Equivalent
Type 1 Enclosures constructed for indoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts and to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt). IP20
Type 2 Enclosures constructed for indoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt); and to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (dripping and light splashing). IP22
Type 3 Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and windblown dust); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (rain, sleet, snow); and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure. IP55
Type 3R Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (rain, sleet, snow); and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure. IP24
Type 3S Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and windblown dust); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (rain, sleet, snow); and for which the external mechanism(s) remain operable when ice laden. IP55
Type 3X Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and windblown dust); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (rain, sleet, snow); that provides an additional level of protection against corrosion and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure. IP55
Type 3RX Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (rain, sleet, snow); that provides an additional level of protection against corrosion; and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure. IP24
Type 3SX Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and windblown dust); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (rain, sleet, snow); that provides an additional level of protection against corrosion; and for which the external mechanism(s) remain operable when ice laden. IP55
Type 4 Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and windblown dust); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (rain, sleet, snow, splashing water, and hose directed water); and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure. IP66
Type 4X Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (windblown dust); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (rain, sleet, snow, splashing water, and hose directed water); that provides an additional level of protection against corrosion; and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure. IP66
Type 5 Enclosures constructed for indoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and settling airborne dust, lint, fibers, and flyings); and to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (dripping and light splashing). IP53
Type 6 Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (hose directed water and the entry of water during occasional temporary submersion at a limited depth); and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure. IP67
Type 6P Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (hose directed water and the entry of water during prolonged submersion at a limited depth); that provides an additional level of protection against corrosion and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure. IP68
Type 12 Enclosures constructed (without knockouts) for indoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and circulating dust, lint, fibers, and flyings); and to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (dripping and light splashing). IP54
Type 12K Enclosures constructed (with knockouts) for indoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and circulating dust, lint, fibers, and flyings); and to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (dripping and light splashing). IP54
Type 13 Enclosures constructed for indoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and circulating dust, lint, fibers, and flyings); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (dripping and light splashing); and to provide a degree of protection against the spraying, splashing, and seepage of oil and non-corrosive coolants. IP54


Hazardous Locations

Ratings for outdoor and/or indoor hazardous environments apply only when the enclosure is fully and properly installed and maintained.

NEMA Type Definition IP Equivalent
Type 7 Enclosures constructed for indoor use in hazardous (classified) locations classified as Class I, Division 1, Groups A, B, C, or D as defined in NFPA 70. Designed to contain an internal explosion without causing an external hazard. N/A
Type 8 Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use in hazardous (classified) locations classified as Class I, Division 1, Groups A, B, C, and D as defined in NFPA 70. Designed to prevent combustion through the use of oil-immersed equipment. N/A
Type 9 Enclosures constructed for indoor use in hazardous (classified) locations classified as Class II, Division 1, Groups E, F, or G as defined in NFPA 70. Designed to prevent the ignition of combustible dust. N/A
Type 10 Enclosures constructed to meet the requirements of the Mine Safety and Health Administration, 30 CFR, Part 18. Designed to contain an internal explosion without causing an external hazard. N/A