Understanding IP ratings

IP stands for Ingress Protection and is formed from two numbers, shown in the  format 'IPXX'. The two numbers refer to two separate levels of protection.

The first number refers the level of protection against solid foreign objects, such as hands, tools, wires, or dust. The second number refers to the level of protection against water, such as rain, or water submersion. If an ‘X’ is used in place of one of the numbers, it means that an item does not have a rating for htis aspect.

IP codes are set by the IEC and are designed to be a simple way of classifying the level of protection that every electrical item has. For example, our in-line RCD has an IP66 rating, which means that it is completely dust proof and is protected against powerful water jets e.g. a pressure washer.