IPX Ratings Described

IPX RatingDepending on the gear you’re looking to purchase, there’s often a rating posted on the packaging in terms of an IPX rating.  Very often the question gets thrown around to describe just what IPX-4 or IPX-7 means.

Well, starting with the description of it, an IP rating stands for Ingress Protection, sometimes referred to as International Protection as well.  In easy terms, it’s a rating that states how protected the gear is against water or dust getting into the casing of the gear, or how resistant it is to impacts. Generally speaking, the higher the number equals better protection.

Water IPX Standards:

  • IPX-0 offers absolutely no protection against water destroying the device
  • IPX-1 offers protection from dripping water from above the device for at least 10 minutes
  • IPX-2 offers protection from dripping water when the device is rotated 15° any direction from vertical for at least 10 minutes
  • IPX-3 offers protection from a spray of water in any direction when the device is rotated up to 60° any direction from vertical for at least 5 minutes
  • IPX-4 offers protection from a splash of water in any direction for at least 5 minutes
  • IPX-5 offers protection from a 6.3mm spray of water (12.5 liters per minute) in any direction for at least 3 minutes
  • IPX-6 offers protection from a 12.5mm spray of water (100 liters per minute) in any direction for at least 3 minutes
  • IPX-7 offers protection from complete water submersion up to 1 meter deep for at least 30 minutes
  • IPX-8 offers protection defined by the manufacturer, meaning that it’s better than IPX-7 in whatever way the manufacturer states (normally stated immediately following the IPX-8 label, stating that the device was tested at “x” meters for “x” minutes)

When it comes to dust standards:

  • IPX-0 offers no protection from an outside object entering the device
  • IPX-1 offers protection from objects 50mm or larger from entering the casing
  • IPX-2 offers protection from objects 12.5mm or larger from entering the casing
  • IPX-3 offers protection from objects 2.5mm or larger from entering the casing
  • IPX-4 offers protection from objects 1mm or larger from entering the casing
  • IPX-5 offers dust protection from dust that would be able to interfere with the normal operation of the device
  • IPX-6 offers a completely dust free protection for the device

Hope this helps de-mystify the IPX code standards on your next purchase!

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Posted in Education, Gear, Outdoors
36 comments on “IPX Ratings Described
  1. Oh, come on! says:

    No, that doesn’t demystify it, because it’s mostly wrong.

    For a start, it’s just an IP rating, not an “IPX” rating. The X is there (in the third position) simply because there is no dust rating specified.

    The maximum IP rating for dust without a water rating is IP6X. (Note the X in the fourth position.)

    There are no hyphens in IP ratings. Why does one appear on Chinese products? Ignorance? Stupidity? I don’t know. Why do they use a fake CE logo? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CE_marking#China_Export

    • Experienced practitioner says:

      This is the correct answer.
      Juste should rewrite to conform to Global standards or stay off the air!

      • Gary says:

        No this is not the correct answer a piece of equipment rated to keep dust out will be written as IP6 & not as IPX6 as the poster suggests if it is written as IPX6 it means it has no giving rating for solid object ingress & only rated for liquid ingress, If its written IP67 or IP25 etc.. then it is both rated for solid & liquid ingress. There is a third number as well to rate it for objects falling onto it which would read like IP686

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  17. Roy says:

    This has been online for 3 years and still hasn’t been corrected to the IP standard? This should just be removed if it won’t be corrected. IPX has never been a standard… IP stands for Ingress Protection. The X is just a number replacement… like algebra. The format of the standard is IPXX, IP XX or IP-XX. If only water protection is cared about then the first x is kept. (IPx6 / IP x6 / IP-x6). If only dust protection is cared about (rare) then the second x is kept instead (IP6x / IP 6x / IP-6x). If both matter, then neither x is kept (IP68 / IP 68 / IP-68). The highest rating is IP68 (IP6x for dust, IPx8 for water). Because water is harder to protect against than dust, IP6x implies a low water rating but IPx8 implies IP68 rating. IPx8 has set requirements and if those are exceeded in any significant way (additional submersion depth, longer durations, etc) then those can be specified with the rating.

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