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NEMA 4 vs. IP65


So, you’ve got your eye on an electrical enclosure. Perhaps it’s for a new project at work, or maybe you’re just looking to secure some electrical components in your garage. Either way, you’re stuck at a crossroads: NEMA 4 or IP65?

Don’t sweat it. In the next few minutes, we’re going to unravel the mysteries behind these ratings so you can make an informed decision that you won’t regret. Trust me, understanding these two options is easier than you think, and it could save you time, money, and a whole lot of hassle down the line.

What's in a Rating?

When you’re dealing with electrical enclosures, you’re bound to run into two key rating systems: NEMA and IP. These aren’t just random letters and numbers thrown together; they’re standards that give you a quick snapshot of the protection level an enclosure offers. So, let’s break it down a bit more.

NEMA 4 Enclosures

Looking for something tough? NEMA 4 is your go-to. It’s good for both inside and outside spots and keeps rain, snow, and dust out. Yes, even ice won’t mess it up. So if you need an all-weather hero, NEMA 4 is solid.

IP65 Enclosures

If you’re mainly indoors and want to keep things clean and dry, consider IP65. It’s a dust-buster and can deal with some water spray, but it’s not built for a storm. So if your gear doesn’t need to brave the elements, IP65 does the trick.

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Key Differences Between NEMA 4 and IP65

So you’ve gotten a sneak peek into what NEMA 4 and IP65 are all about. But when you’re choosing between the two, it’s the differences that will make or break your decision. Let’s dive into that.

Protection against Solids

When it comes to keeping stuff like dust or small objects out, both NEMA 4 and IP65 do a pretty decent job. However, if we’re talking robustness, NEMA 4 has a bit of an edge. It’s designed to be a fortress against not just dust but also other solid intruders like falling dirt and windblown debris. So, if you’re in an environment where the enclosure might take a bit of a beating from solids, NEMA 4 might be your best bet.

Protection against Liquids

Here’s where the distinction becomes even clearer. NEMA 4 is like that friend who comes prepared for everything, raincoat and all. Whether it’s a heavy downpour or a full-on hose-down, it can take it. IP65, while decent, isn’t built for the heavy artillery. It can handle water sprays, but don’t expect it to be the last enclosure standing in a monsoon. So, if you’re considering placing your enclosure outdoors or in any setting where it might encounter a good amount of water, NEMA 4 could be the safer bet.

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Pros and Cons of NEMA 4 and IP65

Every choice has its ups and downs, right? Let’s dig into what’s good and not-so-good about NEMA 4 and IP65 so you can pick the right fit.

NEMA 4: The Good and The Bad


Go Anywhere: NEMA 4 is your indoor-outdoor all-star. Put it wherever you want.

Tough as Nails: Rain, dust, or hose-down, NEMA 4 can take it. It’s built to last.


Costs a Bit: All those perks come at a price. It’s on the high end, but you get what you pay for.

IP65: The Highs and Lows


Easy on the Wallet: If you’re budget-conscious, IP65 won’t empty your pockets. It’s value-packed.

Indoor Hero: No weather worries? IP65’s got your indoor needs covered.


Rain Check: Heavy rain is a no-go. IP65 can’t stand up to a downpour.

So there it is. NEMA 4 is your rugged option but be ready to pay up. IP65 is more affordable but don’t expect it to weather a storm. Pick what fits your scene best.

How to Choose Between NEMA 4 and IP65

Choosing between NEMA 4 and IP65 depends on what you need. Let’s make this easy for you, shall we?

Where You'll Use It

This one’s kinda a no-brainer.

Indoor Use: If you’re going to keep the enclosure indoors, IP65 is generally the better option. It offers solid protection against dust and some water exposure like light sprays.

Outdoor Use: For an outdoor setting where your enclosure might face harsher elements like heavy rain or high pressure water jets, NEMA 4 is the safer bet. It’s designed to stand up to a variety of environmental conditions.

What You'll Store Inside the Enclosure

Another factor is the type of equipment you’re protecting.

Sensitive Equipment: Got some high-end gear that absolutely cannot be exposed to dust or moisture? NEMA 4 is your go-to here. Its robust protection is practically built for keeping sensitive equipment safe.

Less Sensitive Equipment: If what you’re storing is less susceptible to environmental hazards, IP65 should suffice. It provides a decent level of protection and it’s easier on your budget.

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Conclusion: NEMA 4 vs. IP65 - Which is Right for You?

At the end of the day, both NEMA 4 and IP65 have their pros and cons. Your final choice should align with what you need and where you’ll use the enclosure.

Final Thoughts

Don’t rush into a decision. Take a moment to really think about where you’ll place the enclosure and what you’ll put inside it. Understanding the differences between NEMA 4 and IP65 can save you time, money, and a lot of headaches down the line. Got something to say? Feel free to drop a comment below or share this guide. Your two cents could help someone else make a smarter choice. Cheers!

Eabel is always happy to help our customers find the right enclosures for them. Please call us at +86 18860978683 or contact us online for more information.


Is IP65 the same as NEMA 4?

No, IP65 and NEMA 4 are not the same. While both are standards for enclosures, they have different rating systems and criteria. NEMA 4 is generally more robust and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, whereas IP65 is primarily for indoor applications.

What IP rating is equivalent to NEMA 4?

There is no exact equivalent, but IP66 comes close to NEMA 4 in terms of protection against dust and water ingress. However, NEMA 4 also considers factors like corrosion and ice formation, which the IP system does not.

What is IP65 in NEMA rating?

IP65 doesn’t have a direct NEMA equivalent. The closest would be between NEMA 12 and NEMA 4, leaning more towards NEMA 12. It’s important to note that NEMA ratings generally provide a broader range of protections, including against things like corrosion and oil, which are not specified in IP ratings.

Is IP66 equal to NEMA 4X?

Not quite, but it’s similar in some respects. IP66 provides strong protection against dust and water, comparable to NEMA 4. However, NEMA 4X also offers added protections against corrosion, which IP66 does not specify. Therefore, they are not equal, but they are close in terms of water and dust protection.

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