IP Code

The IP Code, International Protection Marking, IEC standard 60529, sometimes interpreted as Ingress Protection Marking, classifies and rates the degree of protection provided against intrusion (body parts such as hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact, and water by mechanical casings and electrical enclosures. It is published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The equivalent European standard is EN 60529.

The standard aims to provide users more detailed information than vague marketing terms such as waterproof. The digits (characteristic numerals) indicate conformity with the conditions summarized in the tables below. Where there is no data available to specify a protection rating with regard to one of the criteria, the digit is replaced with the letter X. The digit 0 is used where no protection is provided.

A rating of X for one or more of the protection criteria can be erroneously misinterpreted as "no protection". To illustrate, a piece of electronic equipment rated IPX7 will almost certainly demonstrate a robust resistance to the ingress of particles, even though a rating for ingress of solids hasn't been formally assigned. Hence, an X designation shouldn't be automatically misconstrued as a lack of protection.

For example, a cellular phone rated at IP58 is "dust resistant" and can be "immersed in 1.5 meters of freshwater for up to 30 minutes". Similarly, an electrical socket rated IP22 is protected against insertion of fingers and will not be damaged or become unsafe during a specified test in which it is exposed to vertically or nearly vertically dripping water. IP22 or 2X are typical minimum requirements for the design of electrical accessories for indoor use.

The ratings for water ingress are not cumulative beyond IPX6. A device which is compliant with IPX7, covering immersion in water, need not be compliant with IPX5 or IPX6, covering exposure to water jets. A device which meets both tests is indicated by listing both tests separated by a slash, e.g. IPX5/IPX7.

There are no hyphens in a genuine IP code. IPX-8 (for example) is thus a false IP code.

IP codes with the letter "K" are from ISO 20653:2013 Road Vehicles-Degrees of protection (IP code), which states that it is in accordance with IEC 60529 except for the "K" tests, which describe special requirements for road vehicles. ISO 20653 has replaced DIN 40050-9. By 2013, IEC/EN 60529 was updated to include the IPX9 water ingress test. This test appears to be identical to the IP69K test from ISO 20653.

This page contains a combination of IEC 60529 (also EN 60529) and other standards, such as ISO 20653. The original documents are available for purchase, and have important and specific requirements that cannot be fully reprinted due to copyright restrictions. This often includes drawings specifying the required test equipment, such as the shape of water nozzles used for water jet testing. Additional standards are often referenced that may contain important information. It's important to refer to the latest revision of the required standard when conducting tests for agency certification.

Code breakdown

This table shows what each digit or part of the IP code represents.

IP indication
Solid particle protection
Liquid ingress protection
Other protections
Single numeral: 0–6
Single numeral: 0–9
Single letter
used Optional

First digit: Solid particle protection

The first digit indicates the level of protection that the enclosure provides against access to hazardous parts (e.g., electrical conductors, moving parts) and the ingress of solid foreign objects.

Level sized
Effective against
No protection against contact and ingress of objects.
1>50 mm
Any large surface of the body, such as the back of a hand, but no protection against deliberate contact with a body part.
2>12.5 mm
Fingers or similar objects.
3>2.5 mm
Tools, thick wires, etc.
4>1 mm
Most wires, slender screws, large ants etc.
5Dust protected
Ingress of dust is not entirely prevented, but it must not enter in sufficient quantity to interfere with the satisfactory operation of the equipment.
6Dust tight
No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact (dust tight). A vacuum must be applied. Test duration of up to 8 hours based on air flow.

Second digit: Liquid ingress protection

The second digit indicates the level of protection that the enclosure provides against harmful ingress of water.

Protection against
Effective against

1Dripping water
Dripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no harmful effect on the specimen when mounted in an upright position onto a turntable and rotated at 1 RPM.

Test duration: 10 minutes.

Water equivalent to 1 mm rainfall per minute

2Dripping water when tilted at 15°
Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect when the enclosure is tilted at an angle of 15° from its normal position. A total of four positions are tested within two axes.

Test duration: 2.5 minutes for every direction of tilt (10 minutes total)

Water equivalent to 3 mm rainfall per minute

3Spraying water
Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical shall have no harmful effect, utilizing either:( a) an oscillating fixture, or (b) A spray nozzle with a counterbalanced shield.Test (a) is conducted for 5 minutes, then repeated with the specimen rotated horizontally by 90° for the second 5-minute test. Test (b) is conducted (with shield in place) for 5 minutes minimum.

For a Spray Nozzle:Test duration: 1 minute per square meter for at least 5 minutes

Water volume: 10 litres per minute Pressure: 50–150 kPa

For an oscillating tube:Test duration: 10 minutes

Water Volume: 0.07 l/min per hole

4Splashing of water

Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect, utilizing either: (a) an oscillating fixture, or (b) A spray nozzle with no shield. Test (a) is conducted for 10 minutes.Test (b) is conducted (without shield) for 5 minutes minimum.

Oscillating tube: Test duration: 10 minutes, or spray nozzle (same as IPX3 spray nozzle with the shield removed)
5Water jets
Water projected by a nozzle (6.3 mm) against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.

Test duration: 1 minute per square meter for at least 3 minutes.

Water volume: 12.5 litres per minute.

Pressure: 30 kPa at distance of 3 m.

6Powerful water jets
Water projected in powerful jets (12.5 mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.

Test duration: 1 minute per square meter for at least 3 minutes.

Water volume: 100 litres per minute.

Pressure: 100 kPa at distance of 3 m.

7Immersion, up to 1 m depth
Ingress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time (up to 1 m of submersion).

Test duration: 30 minutes - ref IEC 60529, table 8.

Tested with the lowest point of the enclosure 1000 mm below the surface of the water, or the highest point 150 mm below the surface, whichever is deeper.

8Immersion, 1 m or more depth
The equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions which shall be specified by the manufacturer. However, with certain types of equipment, it can mean that water can enter but only in such a manner that it produces no harmful effects. The test depth and/or duration is expected to be greater than the requirements for IPx7, and other environmental effects may be added, such as temperature cycling before immersion.

Test duration: Agreement with Manufacturer

Depth specified by manufacturer, generally up to 3 m.

Additional letters

Further letters can be appended to provide additional information related to the protection of the device:

HHigh voltage device
MDevice moving during water test
SDevice standing still during water test
Weather conditions

ISO. (International Organization for Standardization). ISO 20653:2013 .

Available from: https://www.iso.org/standard/58048.html [Accessed 16 April 2017]

IEC. (International Electrotechnical Commission)

Available from: https://www.iec.ch/ [Accessed 20 April 2017]

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