IP and NEMA Rating Systems: What is the Difference?

The NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) and IP (Ingress Protection) rating systems are used to describe the degree to which a product is protected from water or dust, among other things. The product in question could be a gas detector, a central gas detection controller, or a simple electrical outlet.

The NEMA rating system (NEMA Standard 250) is primarily used in the United States and Canada, whereas the IP rating system (IEC Standard 60529) is used throughout the rest of the world.

Unlike temperature conversion between Celsius and Fahrenheit, there is no direct formulaic correspondence between NEMA ratings and IP codes. The IP rating system only covers protection against the ingress of water and solid objects, whereas the NEMA Rating system also includes corrosion resistance and use in atmospheres containing explosive agents.

The table below is provided for general reference only and should not be used for the conversion of NEMA ratings or IP codes.




NEMA Rating Description Equivalent IP rating
1 Enclosures are intended for indoor use. Provide a degree of protection against a limited amount of falling dirt. IP10
2 Enclosures are intended for indoor use. Provide a degree of protection against limited amounts of falling water and dirt. IP11
3 and 3S Enclosures are intended for outdoor use. Provide a degree of protection against windblown dust, rain, and sleet; undamaged by the formation of ice on the enclosure. IP54
3R Enclosures are intended for outdoor use. Provide a degree of protection against falling rain, and sleet; undamaged by the formation of ice on the enclosure. IP14
4 Provide a degree of protection against windblown dust and rain, splashing water, and hose-directed water; undamaged by the formation of ice on the enclosure. IP54
4X Provide a degree of protection against corrosion, windblown dust and rain, splashing water, and hose-directed water; undamaged by the formation of ice on the enclosure. IP56
6 and 6P Provide a degree of protection against hose-directed water and occasional temporary (NEMA6) or prolonged (NEMA 6P) submersion, limited depth; undamaged by the formation of ice on the enclosure. IP67
12 and 12K Enclosures are intended for indoor use. Provide a degree of protection against dust, falling dirt, and dripping noncorrosive liquids. IP52
13 Enclosures are intended for indoor use. Provide a degree of protection against dust, spraying of water, oil, and noncorrosive liquids. IP54

Note : IEC 60529 has no equivalents to NEMA enclosure Types 7, 8, 9, 10 or 11.