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Enclosure Protection Ratings

Enclosure Protection Ratings are a way to specify the degree of protection an enclosure provides against the elements (rain, sleet, snow, dust, etc.) as well as accidental human contact of electrical circuits.  Enclosure ratings from NEMA, UL, and CSA are commonly used in North America.  In addition to electrical ratings, the enclosure protection rating is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a foot switch for a particular application.

All SSC Controls foot switches are certified to at least a Type 1 Enclosure rating.  The G-Series Foot Switches are also certified to Enclosure Type 2, 4, and 13.

The following material is reproduced from the standards of NEMA (reference: NEMA 250-2003 Enclosure Types), UL, and CSA. This information, however, is not intended to be complete representations of these standards, and is only intended as a general reference.  See the appropriate organization for the compete and latest information about their standards.

In Non-Hazardous Locations, the specific enclosure Types, their applications, and the environmental conditions they are designed to protect against, when completely and properly installed, are as follows:

Rating: Type 1

NEMA logoNational Electrical Mfg. Association (NEMA 250)
Enclosures are intended for indoor use primarily to provide a degree of protection against contact with the enclosed equipment or locations where unusual service conditions do not exist.

UL-listed-mark Underwriter Laboratories Inc. (UL 50 & 508)
Indoor use primarily to provide protection against contact with the enclosed equipment and against a limited amount of falling dirt.

csa logoCanadian Standards Association (Std. C22.2 No. 94)
General purpose enclosure. Protects against accidental contact with live parts.

Rating: Type 2

NEMA logoNational Electrical Mfg. Association (NEMA 250)
Enclosures are intended for indoor use primarily to provide a degree of protection against limited amounts of falling water and dirt.

UL-listed-mark Underwriter Laboratories Inc. (UL 50 & 508)
Indoor use to provide a degree of protection against limited amounts of falling water and dirt.

csa logoCanadian Standards Association (Std. C22.2 No. 94)
Indoor use to provide a degree of protection against dripping and light splashing of noncorrosive liquids and falling dirt.

Rating: Type 4

NEMA logoNational Electrical Mfg. Association (NEMA 250)
Enclosures are intended for indoor or outdoor use primarily to 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.

UL-listed-mark Underwriter Laboratories Inc. (UL 50 & 508)
Either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection against falling rain, splashing water, and hose-directed water; undamaged by the formation of ice on the enclosure.

csa logoCanadian Standards Association (Std. C22.2 No. 94)
Indoor or outdoor use; provides a degree of protection against rain, snow, windblown dust, splashing and hose-directed water; undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.

Rating: Type 13

NEMA logoNational Electrical Mfg. Association (NEMA 250)
Enclosures are intended for indoor use primarily to provide a degree of protection against dust, spraying of water, oil, and noncorrosive coolant.

UL-listed-mark Underwriter Laboratories Inc. (UL 50 & 508)
Indoor use to provide a degree of protection against lint, dust seepage, external condensation and spraying of water, oil, and noncorrosive liquids.

csa logoCanadian Standards Association (Std. C22.2 No. 94)
Indoor use; provides a degree of protection against circulating dust, lint, fibers, and flyings; seepage and spraying of non-corrosive liquids, including oils and coolants.

Click to download the SSC Enclosure Type Ratings Comparison Guide.

IP Ratings (Ingress Protection)

Another common method to identify the expected performance of an enclosure is European Standard IEC 60529. This European standard is often used or referenced in the United States when evaluating enclosures. The ability of an enclosure to protect a device from outside elements (such as rain, or to keep fingers away from electrical circuits) is often specified by the EC 60529 "IP" ratings (standing for "ingress protection").

Naturally, higher degrees of protection can increase the cost of a product, and should be applied only when necessary to ensure safe and functional operation of the product in the environmental conditions and application in which it will be used. Refer to the appropriate sections of IEC 60529 for complete information on the standard.

The following is a brief summary of the IP rating system.

  • The first digit of the IP designation describes the degree of protection against access to hazardous parts.
  • The second digit designates the degree of protection against water.

Example: A rating of IP-21 indicates that the enclosure offers protection from objects greater than 12-mm in diameter, such as a typical person's finger or a metal rod (indicated by the first digit being "2"), and protection from water dripping vertically onto the unit without the unit becoming electrically unstable or unsafe through shorting or other loss of insulation effectiveness (indicated by the second digit being "1").

1st digit Protection against foreign objects
0 Not protected against foreign objects
1 Protected against foreign objects greater than 50 mm diameter
2 Protected against foreign objects greater than 12 mm diameter
3 Protected against foreign objects greater than 2.5 mm diameter
4 Protected against foreign objects greater than 1.0 mm diameter
5 Dust protected
6 Dust tight

 

2nd digit Protection against water
0 Not protected against water
1 Protected against water dripping vertically onto the unit
2 Protected against dripping water when tilted up to 15 degrees
3 Protected against spraying water
4 Protected against splashing water
5 Protected against water jets
6 Protected against heavy seas
7 Protection against the effects of immersion
8 Protection against submersion
 
 

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SSC is a leading US manufacturer of electric foot switches and foot pedals, offering custom foot switch and foot pedal solutions for OEMs, as well as direct sales of our standard products.

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SSC Controls Company
8909 East Avenue
Mentor, OH 44060
Phone: 1-440-205-1600
Email: mail@ssccontrols.com

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