Often, manufacturers describe their products as water-resistant, weathertight, dust-resistant, and dustproof. To be more precise, standardized IP ratings (or IP code) could be used here. So what does it mean?

What is IP Ratings

The waterproof IP ratings describe how water-resistant an item is. IP ratings, the abbreviation for “ingress protection”, consists of the letters IP followed by two digits, such as IP67, and IP68, which rates the degrees of protection against the intrusion of solid objects and liquids like hands and fingers, dust, and water. The first digit tells us how well an item is protected from solid objects and the second one is about resistance to water. The higher the rating, the better a product is protected.

The following is a clear picture of what IP rating is. If there is no protection rating with regard to one of the criteria, the digit is replaced with a letter “X”, for example, IPX7 and IP4X. However, you cannot grant an IP rating to your product yourself because it feels like it without undergoing any testing by a certified company.

Protection Against Solid Objects

The first six digits stand for the degree of protection from solid objects

  • IP0X: unprotected against any physical contact or objects.
  • IP1X: Protected from objects over 50 mm, for example, touch by hands.
  • IP2X: Protected from any objects over 12mm, such as fingers
  • IP3X: Protected from objects over 2.5 mm, which includes most tools and thick wires.
  • IP4X: Protected from objects bigger than 1 mm like wires and nails
  • IP5X: Dust resistant. Some dust may get through, but it won’t be enough to cause damage.
  • IP6X: Totalled protected against dust

Protection Against Liquids or Water

The second eight digits stand for the degree of protection from liquids

  • IPX0: Unprotected from liquids.
  • IPX1: Protected against water that drips vertically onto the product.
  • IPX2: Protected against water sprays 15° from the vertical
  • IPX3:  Protected against water sprays of up to 60° from the vertical
  • IPX4: Resistant to water splashes from all directions.
  • IPX5: Resist a sustained, low-pressure water jet spray.
  • IPX6: Resist high-pressure, strong jets of water.
  • IPX7: Subject to submersion between 15cm and 1m for 30 minutes.
  • IPX8: Subject to long-term submersion over 1mm up to a specified pressure specified by the manufacturer.

Note: For IP ratings, X doesn’t mean “0”, but just means the manufacturer doesn’t test their products from solids or liquids.

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