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How waterproof is waterproof and what does the IP rating mean?

 
 
 

The IP rating refers to and classifies and rates the degree of protection that is offered to electrical enclosures against the intrusion of solid objects (fingers, dust and accidental contact), along with liquid intrusion. This rating aims to assist users to better determine the level of waterproofing as this is a vague marketing term that can occasionally be misinterpreted.

 
The first digit of an IP rating refers to the protection against contact and foreign bodies, 0.x meaning no protection through to 6.x meaning full protection against ingress of dust. The second digit of an IP rating refers to water protection, x.0 meaning no protection through to x.8 meaning full protection against continuous submersion.
 
This is useful when determining which instrument you are looking to buy. For instance, in the field a higher IP rating may be useful where dust and water may cause damage to an instrument, whereas in a laboratory where conditions are clean a lower IP rating may be suitable.

The varying codes for the IP ratings are detailed in the table below:



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