De-mystifying technical specifications (part 1): What is Ingress Protection rating?

What is ‘Ingress Protection’ rating?

You are in the market for hoisting equipment and you receive quotations from competing suitors, accompanied by a hefty dose of technical specifications. But what do all those hieroglyphics actually mean? This blog series is designed to help strip down the lingo to the basic nuts and bolts and make your purchasing decision easier.

Here, we discuss a critical aspect of your electrical components: IP ratings.


Ingress Protection Rating

IP stands for Ingress Protection and relates to the efficiency of electrical closures in protecting their contents from foreign ingress like moisture and dust. It’s a technical international standard defined in IEC 60529.
The protection rating is indicated by an IP code, which consists of the letters IP followed by two digits. These digits describe the level of protection against a defined subset of dangers to electrical equipment.

Here’s what those numbers mean:


First Digit (intrusion protection)

  1. No special protection. Not rated (or no rating supplied) for protection against ingress of this type.
  2. Protection from a large part of the body, such as a hand (but no protection from deliberate access), and from solid objects greater than 50 mm in diameter.
  3. Protection against fingers or other objects not greater than 80 mm in length and 12 mm in diameter (accidental finger contact).
  4. Protection from entry by tools, wires, etc., with a diameter of 2.5 mm or more.
  5. Protection against solid objects larger than 1 mm (wires, nails, screws, larger insects and other potentially invasive small objects).
  6. Partial protection against dust that may harm equipment.
  7. Totally dust tight. Complete protection against dust and other particulates, including a vacuum seal, tested against continuous airflow.


Second Digit (moisture protection)

  1. No protection.
  2. Protection against vertically falling droplets such as condensation or dripping water, ensuring that no damage or interrupted functioning of components will be incurred when an item is upright.
  3. Protection against water droplets deflected up to 15° from vertical
  4. Protected against spray up to 60° from vertical.
  5. Protected against water splashes from all directions. Tested for a minimum of 10 minutes with an oscillating spray (limited ingress permitted with no harmful effects).
  6. Protection against low-pressure water jets (6.3 mm) of directed water from any angle (limited ingress permitted with no harmful effects).
  7. Protection against direct high-pressure jets.
  8. Protection against full immersion for up to 30 minutes at depths between 150 to 1 000 mm (limited ingress permitted with no harmful effects).
  9. Protection against extended submersion under higher pressure (i.e. greater depths). Precise parameters of this test will be set and advertised by the manufacturer and may include additional factors such as temperature fluctuations and flow rates, depending on equipment type.
  10. (K): Protection against high-pressure, high-temperature jet sprays, wash-downs or steam-cleaning procedures. This rating is most often seen in specific road vehicle applications (standard ISO 20653:2013 Road Vehicles – Degrees of protection).


These guidelines should help you better understand the level of protection offered by your electrical components. You may now begin to differentiate between quotes that accurately reflect your needs. The electrical components of your hoist are its heartbeat and its advisable to go with a hoist that offers a high protection rating as standard.

In Part 2 we will discuss another critical part of your decision-making process: the duty cycle and how the hoisting world defines these parameters.

Related Articles

Speak to our experts:

Tell us more about your application so we can assist you.