Facts You Should Understand About IP Ratings for Gadgets


People often misunderstood the IP code in gadgets or electronic equipments for Internet Protocol, which is an address, but this IP stands for Ingress Protection and it indicates the degree of protection against solid or liquid ingression. A thorough understanding of the codes is essential for the right purchase of any electronic goods, which the manufacturer claims to have protection for ingression. In order to avoid confusion while buying for waterproof, shock proof, and dustproof speakers, smartphones, watches, or other electronic goods, make sure that you know the ratings.

The IP coding is indicated in two digits for two different degrees of protection: against solid particles and liquid intrusion. The first IP digit indicates the degree of protection against intrusion of solid particles ranging from zero to six levels and the second IP digit indicates protection against intrusion of liquids ranging from zero to nine. Say, if a speaker is IP68 rated, it means the product is totally dust proof and waterproof. The higher the digits the better is the level of protection in both cases.

When there are no specific data available on the levels of protection on any of the two criteria, it is indicated by an X. However, it would be wrong to assume that there is no protection when a gadget has an IP rating marked X.

Let’s have a closer look at the tables given below for a better understanding of the ratings.

IP Rating For Solids

Level Object size  Level of protection
0 N/A There is zero protection from any ingression or physical contacts
1 Larger than 50 mm Protection from physical contacts with body parts like our hands unless deliberated.
2 Larger than 12.5 mm Save from infiltration with fingers and the likes.
3 Larger than 2.5 mm Safe from intrusion of tools or thick wires
4 Larger than 1mm Different sizes of wires and screws cannot intrude into the equipment
5 Dust protected Maximum protection from intrusion of dust though not entirely so that it does not directly interfere in the satisfactory functioning of the equipment
6 Dust proof Total protection from ingression of dust

IP Rating For Liquids

Level Protected from IPX test Duration of test
0 Zero or no protection N/A N/A
1 Dripping water or rainfall at 1mm/minute Does not have effects. Ten minutes.
2 Dripping water at 15 degree Dripping water has no effect on the equipment when it is tilted at 15 degree from its normal position. Ten minutes.
3 Water spray Water sprayed vertically from any angle at 60 degree does not have effects on the equipment. Five minutes with water volume of 0.7 liters/minute at 80 to 100 kPa.
4 Water splash Water splashed from any direction to the enclosure shall have no effects. Five minutes with water volume of 10 liters at 80 to 100 kPa.
5 Water jets Jets of water coming from any angle through a nozzle, 6.3mm, does not have effects on the enclosure. Three minutes12.5 liters/minute at 30 kPa at a distance of three meters.
6 Powerful jets Water projected from a powerful nozzle, 12.5mm from any angle does not have effects on the enclosure. Three minutes with water volume of 100 liters/minute at a distance of 3 meters at 100 kPa.
6K Powerful jets with enhanced pressure Water projected from a powerful nozzle 6.3mm with enhanced pressure from any direction does not have effect on the enclosure. Three minutes with water volume of 75 liters/minute at 1000 kPa from a distance of 3 meters.
7 Total immersion up to 1 meter Total immersion in water up to 1 meter does not have harmful effect on the enclosure within a limited time frame. 30 minutes of immersion in water between 1 meter and 15 cm.
8 Total immersion beyond 1 meter of water The equipment can be immersed continuously in water under certain conditions specified by the manufacturer. In certain equipments, there may be partial entry of water but not up to the degree that can damage the equipments. Continuous immersion but generally within a depth of 9 meters as specified by most manufacturers.
9 High temperature water jets Close range jets of high temperature water or sprays.  

Most manufacturers don’t specify the digits 6k and 9 in case of liquid ingression but the digits zero to eight are common among them. One cannot simply give the rating without qualifying the standards of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), which is shown in the table above. Finally, there is no hyphen or dash in between the digits. If there is such sign, you should understand that it is a fake IP rating and therefore you are not encouraged to buy it.

Now you know that the digits are codes, which indicates different levels of protection for different equipments, and therefore, it would be much easier for you to shop for any waterproof or dust proof gadgets.

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