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NEMA Enclosure Types - 

The purpose of this document is to provide general information on the definitions of NEMA Enclosure Types to architects, engineers, installers, inspectors and other interested parties. [For more detailed and complete information, NEMA Standards Publication 250-2003, "Enclosures for Electrical Equipment (1000 Volts Maximum)" should be consulted. This Standards Publication as well at all other NEMA Publications are available from IHS@800 854-7179 or http://www.global.ihs.com]

Definitions - from NEMA 250-2003

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:

Type 1

Enclosures constructed for indoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts and to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt).

Type 2

Enclosures constructed for indoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt); and to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (dripping and light splashing).

Type 3

Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and windblown dust); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmfull effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (rain, sleet, snow); and that will be undamaged by external formation of ice on the on the enclosure.

Type 3R

Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirts); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (rain, sleet, snow); and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.

Type 3S

Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and windblown dust); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmfull effects on the equipment du to the ingress of water (rain, sleet, snow); and for wich the external mechanism(s) remain operable when ice laden.

Type 3X

Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to proved a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and windblown dust); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmfull effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (rain, sleet, snow); that provides an additional level of protection against corrosion and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.

Type 3RX

Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmfull effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (rain, sleet, snow); that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure that provides an additional level of protection against corrosion; and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.

Type 3SX

Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provice a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and windblown dust); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmfull effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (rain, sleet, snow); that provides an additional level of protection against corrosion; and for wich the external mechanism(s) remain operable when ice laden.

Type 4

Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and windblown dust); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (rain, sleet, snow, splashing water, and hose directed water); and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.

Type 4X

Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (windblown dust); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (rain, sleet, snow, splashing water, and hose directed water); that provides an additional level of protection against corrosion; and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.

Type 5

Enclosure constructed for indoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and settling airborne dust, lint, fibers, and flyings); and to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (dripping and light splashing).

Type 6

Enclosure constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (hose directed water and the entry of water during occasional temporary submersion at a limited depth); and thart will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.

Type 6P

Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (hose directed water and the entry of water during prolonged submersion at a limited depth); that provides an additional level of protection against corrosion and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.

Type 12

Enclosures constructed (without knockouts) for indoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and circulating dust, lint, fibers, and flyings); and to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to ingress of water (dripping and light splashing).

Type 12K

Enclosures constructed (with knockouts) for indoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degreee of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and circulating dust, lint, fibers, and flyings); and to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (dripping and light splashing).

Type 13

Enclosures constructed for indoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and cirulating dust, lint, fibers, and flyings); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (dripping and light splashing); and to provide a degree of protection against the spraying, splashing, and seepage of oil and non-corrosive coolants.

Comparison between NEMA Enclosure Type Numbers and IEC Enclosure Classification Designations

IEC Publication 60529 Classification of Degrees of Protection provided by Enclosures provides a system for specifying the enclosures of electrical equipment on the basis of the degree of protection provided by the enclosure. IEC 60529 does not specify degrees of protection against mechanical damage of equipment, risk of explosions, or conditions such as moisture (produced for example by condensation), corrosive vapors, fungus, or vermin. The NEMA Standard for Enclosures for Electrical Equipment does test for enviromental conditions such as corrosion, rust, icing, oil, and coolants. For this reason, and because the test and evaluations for other characteristics are not identical, the IEC Enclosure Classification Designations cannot be exactly equated with the enclosure Type numbers in this standard.

The IEC designation consist of the letter IP followed by two numerals. The first characteristic numeral indicates the degree of protection provided by the enclosure with respect to persons and solid foreign objects entering the enclosure. The second characteristic numerial indicates the  degree of protection provided by the enclosure with respect to the harmful ingress of water.

The enclosure type numbers meet or exceed the test requirements for the associated IEC Classification - because of this NEMA ratings can be approximately compared to those of the IP system as shown below. As indicated earlier in this document - other factors such as corrosion protection are involved in the NEMA system, please refer to official documentation for details.


Degrees of protection IEC Equivalent

  • NEMA 1 = IP10
  • NEMA 2 = IP11
  • NEMA 3 = IP54
  • NEMA 4 = IP56
  • NEMA 4X = IP66
  • NEMA 6 = IP67
  • NEMA 12 = IP52
  • NEMA 13 = IP54

More information about IEC 60529 - Link: Ingress Protection system - IP

In the world of mass flow products the most common classifications are NEMA 4 / 4X, IP65, IP66 and IP67.

The chart below shows how these compare as fas as testing requirements for water resistance.


Rating Nozzle Size Flow Rate Distance Direction Time
NEMA4 / 4X 25,4 mm. 240 lpm. 3-3,5 m. All 5 min.
IP65 6,3 mm. 12,5 lpm. 2,5-3 m. All 3 min.
IP66 12,5 mm. 100 lpm. 2,5-3 m. All 3 min.
IP67 Immersion tank NA 15 cm. - 1 m. NA Temporary

 

Reservation:

It is the user's responsibility to ascertain if a particular product is safe and without risk to health and safety by virtue of its location in a hazardous area, i.e. classification of zones, gas groups, ignition temperatures, etc. Both the specifier and user should be thoroughly familiar with standard mentioned on this sites or any document within.

Whilst every care has been taken in the compilation of this document, we regrets that it cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions contained herein. Readers should not rely upon the information contained in this document or site without seeking specific safety advice and ensuring that their own particular circumstances are in accordance with the matters set out.

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