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What are "NEMA Ratings"?


The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) was founded in 1926, and has developed standards for enclosures of electrical products. The rating system indicates protection against certain environmental conditions.

NEMA 1

General-purpose. Enclosures constructed for indoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against incidental contact with the enclosed equipment and to provide a degree of protection against falling dirt.

NEMA 2

Drip-tight. Same as NEMA 1 including protection against dripping and light splashing of liquids.

NEMA 3

Weather-resistant. Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against incidental contact with the enclosed equipment; to provide a degree of protection against falling dirt, rain, sleet, snow, and windblown dust; and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.

NEMA 3R

Same as NEMA 3 excluding protection against windblown dust.

NEMA 3S

Weather-resistant. Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against incidental contact with the enclosed equipment; to provide a degree of protection against falling dirt, rain, sleet, snow, and windblown dust; and in which the external mechanism(s) remain operable when ice laden.

NEMA 4

Watertight (weatherproof). Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against incidental contact with the enclosed equipment; to provide a degree of protection against falling dirt, rain, sleet, snow, windblown dust, splashing water, and hose-directed water; and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.

NEMA 4X

Same as NEMA 4. Increased level of protection against corrosion.

NEMA 5

Dust-tight. Enclosures constructed for indoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and settling airborne dust, lint, fibers, and flyings); and to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (dripping and light splashing).

NEMA 6

Submersible. Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (hose directed water and the entry of water during occasional temporary submersion at a limited depth); and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.

NEMA 6P

Same as NEMA 6. Increased level of protection against corrosion.

NEMA 12

Same as NEMA 6. General-purpose indoor use. Enclosures constructed (without knockouts) for indoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and circulating dust, lint, fibers, and flyings); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (dripping and light splashing) and to provide a degree of protection against light splashing and seepage of oil and non-corrosive coolants.

NEMA 12K

Same as NEMA 12. Increased level of protection against corrosion.

NEMA 13

General-purpose. Enclosures constructed for indoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and circulating dust, lint, fibers, and flyings); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (dripping and light splashing); and to provide a degree of protection against the spraying, splashing, and seepage of oil and non-corrosive coolants.

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