IP Rating Meaning

The IP Rating meaning

You might have noticed that a lot of Meter Boxes and Enclosures have an IP number, but do you know what does that mean?

Here is an explanation or reminder for those who have a distant memory of it.


What is IP rating?

IP is the acronym for Ingress Protection, those letters are followed by two-digit numbers determining is grading. This rating system is defined by an international standard EN 60529.

The IP rating applies to electrical item and states the level of protection and resistance to different types of unwanted intrusions: to users from mechanical or electrical parts, the degree of protection an enclosure offers and its overall resistance to moisture.


Why the IP rating system?

As mentioned above, this system is international and standardised in most regions, but you might have slight differences depending on where part of the world you’re buying from. In the UK, the IP rating is in accordance with the British Standard BS EN 60529:1992 and the European Standard IEC 60509:1989.

The IP rating method allows having a universal code so that buyers can easily identify the degree of protection and resistance they need and be confident to use those electrical products in specific applications or environments.


IP rating explanation

As explained, three key metrics are defined by the IP rating:

  • Resistance to ingress, accidental or otherwise, by the user
  • Resistance to ingress from foreign bodies (dust, dirt etc)
  • Resistance to moisture ingress


IP Rated Explained

The first digit, a figure between 0 and 6, indicates the protection degree from dust and foreign body ingress, mainly solid objects.

The second digit, a number between 0 and 9, states the quality of resistance from moisture ingress. Various intensities, angles, depths and pressures of exposure or immersion are tested (drips, sprays, submersion, etc)

You might also find an additional letter sometimes like ‘M’ or ‘X’ at the end of the IP rating. This indicates the resistance to specific materials and hazards such as oil for example.


The infographic below helps you to identify the level of protection for each IP rated products. You can use this chart to define which meter box or enclosure do you need depending on the environment you are going to install them and the needed requirements.

IP Rating Guide


IP testing

At MeterBoxesDirect we test all our IP rated Meter Boxes and Enclosures. You can see an example of the IP44 testing for water ingress watching the video below:



Our IP rated range

You’ll find a wide range of IP rated products on the market, at MeterBoxesDirect, our most commons IP ratings are: IP55 and IP65.

The IP rated enclosures can be used in different sectors and industries and are assigned to a wide range of applications.

You will find our references below: