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Know your degree-of-protection codes

Plant Services
Publication date: 
January 2019
Tom Bishop, P.E., EASA Senior Technical Support Specialist

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard 60529, “Degrees of protection provided by enclosures (IP code),” addresses the degrees of protection for electrical machines (motors and generators). The “IP” acronym means “international protection” but is sometimes referred to as “ingress protection.” The IP code is commonly displayed on the nameplates of metric machines that are manufactured to IEC standards.

The NEMA MG1 Motors and Generators standards have adopted the IEC standards for IP designations. Although not prevalent on NEMA machine nameplates, the inclusion of the IP marking is becoming more common. In light of this, this article reviews IP code designations and examples of the IP codes for common electrical machine enclosures.

  • IP characteristic letters
  • IP characteristic numerals
  • Typical IP codes