IP Rating – What does it mean?

ip rating

What is an IP Rating?

An IP rating means the ‘ingress protection rating’ of a product. The rating consists of two digits (for example IP44). Each of these digits represents a level of protection against both solids and liquids. The first number relates to protection against ‘intrusion of solid objects’. The second digit relates to the protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against harmful ingress of water.

A practical example that everybody can relate to is a powerpoint/plug socket. An electrical socket rated IP22 is protected against insertion of fingers and will not be damaged during a test in which it is exposed to vertically or nearly vertically dripping water. IP22 or 2X are typical minimum requirements for the design of electrical accessories for indoor use.

What does this mean for an Exhaust Fan?

An IP rating is relevant for exhaust and extraction fans as they are commonly used in areas that are subject to moisture or even water exposure. These areas may commonly include but are not limited to bathrooms, kitchens and laundries. Where applicable we will have an IP rating published on the product listing.

For example, one of our most popular fans the ‘Chico’ by Fanco is IP34 rated. To find out exactly what that means you can reference this to the table below:

First Digit – Protection against solid objects

1 – Protection against an object greater than 50mm such as a hand

2 – Protection against an object greater than 12.5mm such as a finger

3 – Protection against an object greater than 2.5mm such as a screwdriver

4 – Protection against an object greater than 1mm such as a wire

5 – Dust protected. Limited ingress of dust permitted. Will not interfere with operation of the equipment

6 – Dust tight. No ingress of dust

Second Digit – Protection against Liquids

1 – Protected against vertical falling drops of water. Limited ingress permitted

2 – Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect when the enclosure is tilted at an angle up to 15° from its normal position.

3 – Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical shall have no harmful effect.

4 – Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect.

5 – Water projected by a nozzle (6.3mm) against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.

6 – Water projected in powerful jets (12.5mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.

7 – Ingress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time (up to 1 m of submersion).

8 – The equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions which shall be specified by the manufacturer. Normally, this will mean that the equipment is hermetically sealed. However, with certain types of equipment, it can mean that water can enter but only in such a manner that it produces no harmful effects.

This article was written on 4th July 2016 by our in house specialist Andy.