Ingress Protection Rating Explained

What is IP Rating?

IP stands for Ingress Protection and was created by the IEC. Ingress Protection or IP Code rates how well electrical equipment is at being resistant to intrusion, dust, contact, and water. It's important to know the IP rating and how well the equipment you use is durable and protected to avoid damage.

IP ratings matter most if you're using your equipment where you could be exposed to water, like rain and condensation, or solids like dust.

 

What does my IP Rating Mean?

An Ingress Protection (IP) rating will be labeled with 2 numbers. The first number signifies the level of protection against solids and the second number signifies the level of protection against liquids.

The first digit ranges 0-6 and the second ranges from 0-8. Each digit represents the degree of protection against one of the two environmental factors, solids, and liquids. The higher you are in each of these two numbers, the better protection you'll get. 

For example, if my two-way radio has a rating of IP65, it means my radio is protected from the highest degree of solids and dust, making it pretty durable, and a rating of 5 on the protection to a certain degree against rain and water.

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Popular IP Rating Explanations

  • IP67 Rating means your equipment has the highest level of dust and solid protection and is protected against immersion in 1m of water for about 30 minutes.
  • IP68 Rating means your equipment has the highest level of dust and solid protection and is protected against water pressure for long periods of time.
  • IP65 Rating means your equipment has the highest level of protection from dust and particles and is slightly protected against water such as splashes, condensation, and mist.
  • IP54 Rating means your equipment inside may not be protected from all solids and dust particles but this won't interfere with the operation and is protected against some splashes of water.

What does X Represent in my IP Rating?

Sometimes, you'll find an X in place of one of these two numbers indicating there is only one class level of protection. For example, if your radio has a rating of IPX6, this indicates the radio has a water-resistant ingress rating of 6 with no resistance to solid ingress.

 

IP Rating Chart Table

Below is an IP rating chart showing you each code to help you determine the meaning of the digits on your two-way radio and accessories.

IP Rating Chart
  SOLIDS   WATER
1 Protected against a solid object greater than 50mm such as a hand 1 Protected against vertically falling drops of water. Limited Ingress permitted. 
2 Protected against a solid object greater than 12.5mm such as a finger. 2 Protected against vertically falling drops of water with enclosure titles up to 15 degrees from the vertical. Limited ingress permitted.
3 Protected against a solid object greater than 2.5mm such as a screwdriver. 3 Protected against sprays of water up to 60 degrees from the vertical. Limited ingress permitted for 3 minutes
4 Protected against a solid object greater than 1mm such as a wire 4 Protected against water splashed from all directions. Limited ingress permitted.
5 Dust protected. Limited ingress of dust permitted. Will not interfere with the operation of the equipment. Two to Eight hours. 5 Protected against jets of water. Limited ingress permitted.
6 Dust-tight.  No ingress of dust. Two to Eight Hours 6 Water from heavy seas or water projected in powerful jets shall not enter the enclosure in harmful quantities.
    7 Protection against the effect of immersion in water between 15cm and 1m for 3 minutes.
    8 Protection against the effects of immersion in water under pressure for long periods.

 

IP Rating Chart (Ingress Protection)

 

How protected are my radio accessories from water?

Below is a video where we show how protected an IP-rated speaker microphone is when submerged in water for 10 minutes. The results may surprise you!

 

Waveband Communications offers IP-rated two-way radio accessories for Motorola, Kenwood,  ICOM, BK Technologies, and Harris. Our accessories keep you protected to a certain degree against rain and dust.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in May 2019 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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