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9 comments
Participant

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Wertheim, Germany
Posts: 3

IP 65 vs. NEMA 4X

09/20/2006 11:31 AM

I work for a German company that manufactures industrial grade plant communication equipment. The equipment for Ex installation is certified with an IP65 rating. We are currently in the process of attaining our UL and CSA listing for this equipment. Being accustomed to the EU's stringent codes for electrical equipment, we are a bit confused by what is voluntary and what is mandated in the USA and Canada. We have the impression that the NEMA rating of equipment can be determined by the end user and that in Canada some users also accept the IP rating.

Can anyone shed some light on what is and is not required?

Thanks in advance!

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Marvin Zimmerman
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Pathfinder Tags: communication equipment CSA IP rating NEMA rating UL
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The Feature Creep

Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1076
#1

Re: IP 65 vs. NEMA 4X

09/20/2006 12:20 PM

The trick with NEMA and IP is the ratings. Personally I prefer the IP ratings as they are more intuitive. An actual IP number can have 3 digits, but most only list 2 as they don't always have a rating for shock (I think that's what the last digit is for).

So to compare the ratings:

Type 4X NEMA enclosures are designed for indoor or outdoor use. They protect personnel against incidental contact with the enclosed equipment and protect the enclosed equipment from falling dirt, rain, sleet, snow, windblown dust, splashing water, hose-direct water, and corrosion. These enclosures are undamaged by the external formation of ice.

While the more specific IP 65 is:

6X:Enclosures are dust-tight.

X5:Enclosures provide protection against water jets.

The NEMA requirements for any given application are usually specified by the governing body for the application. You'll have to find out what requirements you need to meet. However most IP65 enclosures exceed the requirements for being listed as NEMA 4X.

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Power-User

Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Willenhall, UK
Posts: 158
#2

Re: IP 65 vs. NEMA 4X

09/21/2006 4:13 AM

UL and CSA require enclosure testing to their standards by qualified evaluators in their laboratories and also visit sites to ensure compliance.

NEMA does not require independent testing and leaves compliance up to the manufacturer.

I have tables for cross reference to IEC standards if required.

Regards

Peter Turpin

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Participant

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1
#6
In reply to #2

Re: IP 65 vs. NEMA 4X

10/13/2006 6:11 AM

Please send me the cross reference tables.

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Power-User

Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Willenhall, UK
Posts: 158
#7
In reply to #6

Re: IP 65 vs. NEMA 4X

10/13/2006 6:45 AM

If you can give me a fax number I will send them. I have no scanner as this is a mobile location.

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Anonymous Poster
#8
In reply to #2

Re: IP 65 vs. NEMA 4X

06/02/2007 8:55 AM

Peter if you have time please send the dross reference tables you mentioned.

Thanks,

Andrew

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Anonymous Poster
#3

Re: IP 65 vs. NEMA 4X

09/21/2006 10:11 AM

Peter,

if I understand you correctly, that means that we as the manufacturer can declare our enclosure NEMA 4X compliant and it doesn't have to be tested? That would make NEMA very similar to the European CE. Here, applying the CE mark to a product obligates the manufacturer to adhere to standard and also makes him liable in the event of a deviation from standard.

Marvin Zimmerman

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Anonymous Poster
#4
In reply to #3

Re: IP 65 vs. NEMA 4X

09/22/2006 1:36 AM

Dear Marvin,

compliance with NEMA 250 is fine. But if you are heading for a certification (e.g. GS Mark), you need to have your product tested by a NRTL like Intertek or UL or CSA...

Martin Winterling

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Guru
United States - Member - New Member Engineering Fields - Power Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: California, USA, where the Godless live next door to God.
Posts: 3803
Good Answers: 560
#5

Re: IP 65 vs. NEMA 4X

09/28/2006 10:35 PM

What he means is, you can say anything you like, but most states have their own electrical code requirements and most now require a label from a NRTL (Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory). NRTLs include UL, CSA, ETL, ENTELA and several others, but by far the most widely recognized in the US is UL and in Canada, CSA. If you do NOT have a listing label ON YOUR PRODUCT when it is installed, the local electrical inspector can (and usually will) disallow its installation or connection, effectively stopping whatever project your product is being used on.

In addition, most insurance companies in the US will require UL or other NRTL listing on any electrical product installed. If a user uses a non-listed product and that product causes a fire, the insurance company can decline payment for related damage done by that fire! As a result of all this, many users will not buy a non-listed product if there is a listed product available, even if the price is higher for the listed one.

UL and CSA have both adopted the NEMA enclosure specifications, almost without modification. But in order for you to sell your product in the US, you will need to attain UL or some other NRTL listing, and it will need to state the NEMA / UL enclosure rating very clearly and unambiguously in order for the marketplace to accept it. If you have IP65 now, it will definitely pass NEMA / UL Type 12, but it may pass Type 4 requirements. The big difference in IP65 and Type 4 however is that Type 4 requires the enclosure to be sprayed with 100GPM from a 1" nozzle from ANY direction and not allow water to enter the enclosure. This is much more robust than the IPx5 testing, but is generally considered equivalent to the "heavy seas" requirement of IPx6. If you plan to accept the Type 12 listing and have your product be mounted outdoor, it may also need to pass Type 3 testing in addition. Even though Type 3 is less stringent than Type 12 in terms of water entry, it adds weather resistance not found in the Type 12 testing requirements, which are strictly for indoor use.

Here is a resource for additional information. http://www.conformity.com/0502/0502understanding.html

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Anonymous Poster
#9

Re: IP 65 vs. NEMA 4X

03/18/2009 10:26 AM

Hi,

I'm working in Canada and I can tell you that the NEMA rating is the standard. On the other hand, we also use the IP system because some product are only IP rated and the two standard are equivalent. The important thing is the CSA UL rating...

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