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A Guide to IP (Ingress Protection) Ratings

Like a lot of things in life, ignorance is not necessarily bliss. Spend just a minute or two reading over this article and you might save yourself an unpleasant surprise.

Something you find plenty of, in restrooms and kitchens, is water (splashed, dripped, flooded, etc.). And as a general rule, electric (and battery operated) appliances like hand dryers, soap dispensers, and even automatic faucets, don't react well when water gets inside. But it can be hard to see (without taking the product apart, and being an electrician) how likely that is to happen. That's where IP(X) ratings come in.

Ingress Protection (IP) ratings are were developed by the European Committee for Electro Technical Standardization (CENELEC) (NEMA IEC 60529 Degrees of Protection Provided by Enclosures - IP Code). They specify the environmental protection that the product's enclosure provides.

Formally speaking, "IP" can be followed by one, two, or three numbers where the second number is for water resistance . An X can be substituted for the first number (which is collision or bump resistance) if it is not available. In practice, sometimes the first number is omitted entirely and so the only number shown is for water resistance.

       Format: IPnn, IPXn, IPnnn
(e.g. IPX4, IP54, IP-4 would all mean a level 4 water resistance.)

0No protection
1Protected against vertically falling drops of water e.g. condensation
2Protected against direct sprays of water up to 15o from the vertical
3Protected against splashes and direct sprays of water up to 60o from the vertical
4Protected against low pressure water sprayed from all directions
5Protected against moderate pressure jets of water from all directions
6Protected against temporary flooding of water
7Protected against the effect of immersion between 15 cm and 1 m
8Protected against long periods of immersion under pressure

For example : In a food preparation area, a dryer with an IP rating of IPX5 would be recommended if sanitary regulations require mandatory disinfection followed by spray-down with water. An IP rating of IPX4 would be advisable for a hand dryer located in proximity to a shower enclosure.

Below are some popular dryers along with their published IP ratings


  • The Dyson Airblade AB-14 has an IP35 rating which is the highest (level 5) that we've seen in a hand dryer.


  • The World Dryer VERDEdri and SMARTdri , have an IP24 rating which is also excellent.
  • The Saniflow Duraflow Plus has a rating of IPX4.
  • The Dyson Airblade HU02 has an IP34 rating (level 4) as well.


For more information on hand dryers and IP ratings, please call us at (704) 937-2673, or email info@berls.com and we will be happy to help you!

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