The IP Code, International Protection Marking, IEC standard 60529, sometimes interpreted as Ingress Protection Marking, classifies and rates the degree of protection provided against intrusion (body parts such as hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact, and water by mechanical casings and electrical enclosures. It is published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The equivalent European standard is EN 60529.
The standard aims to provide users more detailed information than vague marketing terms such as waterproof. For example, a cellular phone rated at IP58 is "dust resistant" and can be "immersed in 1.5 meters of freshwater for up to 30 minutes". Similarly, an electrical socket rated IP22 is protected against insertion of fingers and will not be damaged or become unsafe during a specified test in which it is exposed to vertically or nearly vertically dripping water.
The digit 0 is used where no protection is provided. The digit is replaced with the letter X when insufficient data has been gathered to assign a protection level. Below is
The First Digit: Solid particle protection
The first digit indicates the level of protection that the enclosure provides against access to hazardous parts (e.g., electrical conductors, moving parts) and the ingress of solid foreign objects.
|Level sized||Effective against||Description|
|0||—||No protection against contact and ingress of objects.|
|1||>50 mm||Any large surface of the body, such as the back of a hand, but no protection against deliberate contact with a body part.|
|2||>12.5 mm||Fingers or similar objects.|
|3||>2.5 mm||Tools, thick wires, etc.|
|4||>1 mm||Most wires, slender screws, large ants etc.|
|5||Dust protected||Ingress of dust is not entirely prevented, but it must not enter in sufficient quantity to interfere with the satisfactory operation of the equipment.|
|6||Dust tight||No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact (dust tight). A vacuum must be applied. Test duration of up to 8 hours based on air flow.|
The Second digit: Liquid ingress protection
The second digit indicates the level of protection that the enclosure provides against harmful ingress of water.
|Level||Protection against||Effective against||Details|
|1||Dripping water||Dripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no harmful effect on the specimen when mounted in an upright position onto a turntable and rotated at 1 RPM.||Test duration: 10 minutes |
Water equivalent to 1 mm rainfall per minute
|2||Dripping water when tilted at 15°||Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect when the enclosure is tilted at an angle of 15° from its normal position. A total of four positions are tested within two axes.||2.5 minutes for every direction of tilt (10 minutes total) |
Water equivalent to 3 mm rainfall per minute
|3||Spraying water||Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical shall have no harmful effect, utilizing either: a) an oscillating fixture, or b) A spray nozzle with a counterbalanced shield.
Test a) is conducted for 5 minutes, then repeated with the specimen rotated horizontally by 90° for the second 5-minute test. Test b) is conducted (with shield in place) for 5 minutes minimum. || For a Spray Nozzle:
Test duration: 1 minute per square meter for at least 5 minutes