Producers frequently explain their products and services as “dust resistant” or “moisture proof.” To back these promises up, products can be given an IP rating. But exactly what does it mean?

We are employed to viewing terms like “waterproof,” “weather resistant,” “dust protected,” and countless other variations. When they give product marketers a lot of ways to massage therapy their information, these terms can lead to major misunderstandings for that rest of us. Is my water-resistant phone as well protected against rainfall as my weatherproof Wireless bluetooth headphones? Can I take either of those deep-sea diving with me? (Note: Please never ever scuba plunge together with your phone.)

IPX4 Rating Explanation
Fortunately, there is a way to compare the products according to a standard rating scale. That scale will be the thrillingly titled “IEC Standard 60529” set through the Worldwide Electrotechnical Commission. Colloquially, it is recognized by its cool street name: IP ranking (or IP code).

Let us look at what it actually indicates. What is an IP rating?

IP stands for “Ingress Protection” and measures how well a system is safe from each solid items and liquids. An IP rating may look some thing like this:

IP57
As you can see, it consists of two digits. The initial digit informs us how well the product remains safe and secure from strong things. The second one is all about effectiveness against water. The higher the rating, the greater a product remains safe and secure.

IP rating is simply officially given to a product that goes through special testing by way of a certified, independent company. So – no – a company can’t just slap their own IP rating on the product as it feels like it.

Now let’s talk about exactly what every digit represents. The first digit ranges from -6 and mirrors defense against strong contaminants.

IP0X: The product is not really shielded from any physical contact or items.
IP1X: Only protected from items larger than 50 mm. You will not accidentally stick your hand into this product, but you can nevertheless effortlessly get, say, your finger in. You most likely shouldn’t.
IP2X: Protected against any object greater than 12.5 millimeters. This now includes fingertips.
IP3X: Protected from issues above 2.5 millimeters, which include most tools and thick cables.
IP4X: Protected against anything larger than 1 mm.
IP5X: Dust proof. Some dust may cope with, but it won’t be sufficient to damage the product.
IP6X: “None shall pass!” This product is completely dust tight.

The second digit ranges from -9 and demonstrates how well the product is protected from water.

IPX0: The product offers no special defense against water.
IPX1: Can avoid water that drips up and down on the product.
IPX2: Can resist water that hits the product at a 15° angle or much less.
IPX3: Can consider water aerosols of up to 60°.
IPX4: Is resistant against water splashes from your direction.
IPX5: Can resist a sustained, low-stress water jet spray.
IPX6: Can resist high-stress, weighty aerosols of water.
IPX6K: Can resist water jets of extremely high stress. Rarely used.
IPX7: Can be submerged up to 1 meter in water for 30 minutes.

IPX8: Can be immersed much deeper than 1 meter. The exact level is specific by the producer.

IPX9K: Resists high-pressure, high-heat sprays at close range. A really unique case that’s determined by a separate standard. Seldom used.

Curiously, IPX7 and IPX8 tend not to “stack” with lower rankings. So a product that’s IPX8 ranked can live under water for some time but might get damaged by way of a squirt of water through the side. In case a product can make it through both scenarios, it receives a double rating – e.g. IPX6/IPX8.

Imagine if a product doesn’t provide an IP rating? “But what if there is no IP rating on this product? Does it mean the company is lying for me? Will they be promoting me some junk?!” you indignantly ask. Not always.

All of that means is the fact that a product did not go through this unique IP check. It is not unusual to get a product to get tested for, say, water resistance but not dust level of resistance. In this particular case, it may practically possess a rating like “IPX7” into it. Right here, “X” will not be exactly like “0.” It just indicates bicdnd the producer did not specifically check the product for protection from solids.

IP ranking can also be missing in the event the company gone for a different certification or ranking standard. Search for other high quality marking that proves the product is water- or dust-resistant. And – indeed – if somebody informs you their product is “totally water-proof, man” but refuses to show any accreditations, you may indeed be talking to a snake oil salesman.