Home generalIndoor / Outdoor IP Protection Classes - Table + PDF

Indoor / Outdoor IP Protection Classes - Table + PDF

  • Definition of the degree of protection
  • Basics
    • Protection coding
    • IP numbers
      • 1st code number of the IP number
      • 2. Identification number of the IP number
  • Overview of protection ratings - PDF
  • Typical applications
  • How to select the installations
  • Tips for quick readers

Basic knowledge of electrical work - The IP degrees of protection indicate how an electrical component is protected. Based on the protection classes, the user can choose the suitable components for the respective installation situation. This avoids failures or serious consequential damage. "IP Code" means translated "International Protection Codes". In English-speaking countries, "Ingress Protection" is also used, which means "protection against intrusion". In this text you will learn everything you need to know about IP protection classes.

If the fuse is constantly flying ...

Electrical installation is so easy: connect a few wires to the terminals provided, the lights are already on, the motion sensor switches on or the garage door can be opened. But unfortunately, as is so often the case, the devil is in the details: a wrong installation not only causes annoying failures, but can also lead to dangerous situations. Components that are suddenly under power or a permanent fire hazard are the usual consequence of a lack of expertise in installation. That is why it makes a difference where you connect which electrical component to the building services. The environmental factors that affect the operation of a switch, socket, or lamp can vary widely. For example, the brew, which is produced while cooking, easily bring a socket to burn out. Here only helps to proceed systematically with each project.

Definition of the degree of protection

A distinction is made between the "electrical protection equipment" and "protection classes". The protection classes have the typical IP designations. They range from IP00 to IP 69K. The protection classes are divided from I to III.

The IP protection classes are designed primarily for protection against direct contact and the ingress of foreign bodies. The protection classes, on the other hand, specify the contact voltages. Here you can read all about protection classes in electrical engineering: Protection classes in electrical engineering


... for the types of protection and protection classes

Degrees of protection and protection classes are not chosen arbitrarily, but are specified in an internationally recognized list of standards. This standardization is translated into the respective national standards. These are:

DIN EN 6459 2014-09: This standard, which is also written in VDE 0470-1, names all types of protection by housing.

ISO 20653: 2013 This list specifies the degrees of protection that apply when installing electrical equipment in road vehicles.

Protection coding

The IP coding is always denoted by the two letters IP with a double-digit suffix. The coding of the first and second numbers indicates how a housing is protected against the entry of a foreign body (first number) or a liquid (second number).

Since the "zero" also serves as a classifying digit, an "X" is provided in case of an undefined or unnecessary delimitation. Overall, the IP number indicates what protection a housing offers from an electrical device when in contact - and can provide protection against the ingress of foreign bodies and moisture.

IP numbers

The IP number always consists of the two letters IP and the number of digits connected directly to it. The absence of the space is also a useful way to identify product piracy. A space between IP and two-digit number indicates lack of expertise, which in turn is only to be expected from non-certified manufacturers.

1st code number of the IP number

ISO 20653 and DIN EN specify how indicators are to be read. The first code of protection classes describes the protection against contact. However, the protection classes 5 and 6 are described differently. ISO 20653 adds an additional "K" for these protection classes.

0 = The housing does not provide protection

1 = The housing provides protection against foreign objects larger than 50 mm in diameter. This includes, for example, the back of the hand or balls of all kinds.

2 = The housing provides protection against foreign objects larger than 12.5 mm in diameter. These include, for example, fingers.

3 = The enclosure provides protection against foreign objects larger than 2.5 millimeters in diameter. These include, for example, needle nose pliers, knitting needles, knife tips and similar pointed tools.

4 = The enclosure provides protection against foreign objects larger than 1 millimeter in diameter. These include, for example, needles, wire, nails, pen refills and similar nail-like tools.

5 / 5K = The housing provides protection against dust when discharged in significant quantities. This type of protection is recommended, for example, in workshops of all kinds in which grinding takes place. Even mineral dust can be dangerous for electronics when it gets wet. For this, the normal ambient humidity is sufficient.

6 / 6K = The housing is completely protected against contact and ingress of dust.

In addition to the diameter of the penetrating object, the kinetic energy is also defined in the standards for enclosure protection classes. However, this is not indicated by the IP code, but by the IK code. The corresponding standard is DIN EN 62262. It provides for the following kinetic impact energies. :

00 = No protection against punches
01 = 0.15 Joule
02 = 0.2 joules
03 = 0.35 Joule
04 = 0.5 joules
05 = 0.7 joules
06 = 1 joule
07 = 2 joules
08 = 5 joules
09 = 10 joules
10 = 20 joules

For comparison: A simple hammer drill, with which a hole for a dowel can be hit in brick wall, has approx. 1.5 to 3 Joule. In order to "crack" a 10-gauge case, ie 20 joules of resistance, you need a real hammer that is used for house demolition or road construction.

Nevertheless, the specification of the IK number is quite rare. For normal use is waived. However, if requested, it will be placed after the IP number as a second indication.

2. Identification number of the IP number

The second code number describes the resistance of the housing to penetrating water. The water resistance also includes the protective capability of the housing against vapors.

Here, ISO 20653 has introduced an additional K in classes 4 and 6.

0 = The enclosure provides no protection against water penetration or diffusing or condensing moisture. The electronics are unprotected. These include, for example, normal sockets in the living room.

1 = The housing provides protection against dripping water. Dripping water always comes from above. The housing is therefore equipped with a small shield, which dissipates dripping water.

2 = The housing provides protection against dripping water, even when the housing is tilted up to 15 °.

3 = The housing provides protection against falling water spray, even if the housing is tilted between 60 ° and 90 °. Important in this category is the difference between "dripping water" and "water spray". The term "water spray" also includes larger amounts of water.

4 = The housing is protected on the opposite side against water spray. It is suitable, for example, for installation under a canopy.

4K = special form of ISO 2065. This second digit includes protection against spraying water on the sides, which is sprayed against the housing with increased pressure.

5 = The housing provides protection against jet water, which splashes on the housing from any angle. This protection class can be expected, for example, in car washes.

6 = The housing provides protection against heavy jets of water. However, it still does not endure a direct jet of high pressure cleaner.

6K = This class is identical to class 6, but is particularly applicable to road vehicles. For example, headlights of vehicles must be classified in class 6K.

7 = The housing provides protection against temporary submersion. It provides protection on the opposite side, but is not pressurized or immersion proof.

8 = These housings are in the "pool or diving class". They provide adequate protection against continuous submersion. However, the permissible immersion depth is again not defined and must be specified in the documentation of the electrical device.

9 = This is the "high pressure cleaner class". It was developed for agriculture and offers special protection for hard cleaning with a high pressure or steam cleaner.

9K = This is the application of Class 9 to road vehicles.

Somewhat confusing is the information about which class includes the others. As a rule of thumb, you can stick to the following:

Up to IPX6K, all subclasses are included. What is waterproof to IPX6K, it is also IP0-IP6.

As of IP / IPK7, however, this no longer applies. Here you can stick to the IP9K. If a housing is IPX9K submersible and watertight, it also includes classes IP7 and IP8. If both tightness classes are required, both must also be indicated on the unit. That may look like this: IP46K / IP59K

Overview of protection ratings - PDF

For overview you can download the indexes as PDF here:

IP protection types - codes as PDF

Typical applications

Unless specifically required, electrical applications in industrial and production plants are classified by default in IP54. This means: "Well protected against penetrating dust and additionally sufficiently dense against splashed water on the other side" This is sufficient for most applications. In environments where metals and especially CFRP are machined, it should be 6 or 6K. Above all, the still quite new material CFRP - these are carbon fiber reinforced plastics - is not yet treated with due care in many companies. CFC dusts are, in contrast to GRP dusts, electrically conductive. In addition, they dust extremely fine, so that with a too low protection class, the short circuits are almost inevitable.

Installations on vehicles are designed as standard in IP55. That means "on both sides jet water and dust protected. For normal cars and trucks that's enough. Off-road vehicles should also use a higher classified installation here. This is especially interesting for additional equipment: An overly cheap additional headlight should therefore be examined before its purchase on his IP number. If it is classified only in IP44 or below, it is useless for the car.

Construction machinery such as concrete mixers, excavators, compressors or construction vehicles usually has the high IP6K6K rating. The same is used in military technology.
In trams or buses you can often find highly rated installations. This should prevent vandalism damage.

How to select the installations

For household use, the application of the IP classes is especially important if the outside of the house or in wet rooms something to be installed: outdoor lamps with motion sensor, sockets and switches in the bathroom, installations in the kitchen should always be oversized at least one class. So you get a sufficient protection and can be sure of a long and safe operating time.

In bathrooms, laundry rooms and also in the normal home kitchen, the installation of sockets with spring-loaded protective flaps is a sensible measure. For this purpose, retailers are now offering solutions that are very smart and that allow the installations to be perfectly integrated into the existing tile mirror. The advantages of the protective flaps are that no brew can settle in them. This happens, for example, when using lying multiple sockets, often completely unnoticed. The broth settles in the socket and forms a film until the current has found its creepage distance. As a rule, the socket burns through and has to be replaced. Regular inspection and cleaning prevents it. But please switch off the fuse beforehand and switch it on again when the socket is dry. A hair dryer is helpful.

Tips for quick readers

  • Always over-dimension protection classes
  • Adapt protection classes to the application case
  • get advice from specialist dealers
  • Check sockets in damp rooms regularly for contamination
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