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NEMA ratings for enclosures

NEMA ratings for enclosures


The National Electrical Manufacturers’ Association (NEMA) issues guidelines and ratings for an enclosure’s level of protection against contaminants that might come in contact with its enclosed equipment.


NEMA 3, NEMA 3R, NEMA 4, NEMA 4X and NEMA 12

There are many numerical NEMA designations, including: NEMA 3, NEMA 3R, NEMA 4, NEMA 4X and NEMA 12.

  • NEMA 3 enclosures, designed for both indoor and outdoor use, provide protection against falling dirt, windblown dust, rain, sleet and snow, as well as ice formation.
  • The NEMA 3R rating is identical to NEMA 3 except that it doesn’t specify protection against windblown dust.
  • NEMA 4 and 4X enclosures, also designed for indoor and outdoor use, protect against windblown dust and rain, splashing and hosedirected water and ice formation. NEMA 4X goes further than NEMA 4, specifying that the enclosure will also protect against corrosion caused by the elements.
  • NEMA 12 enclosures are constructed for indoor use only and are designed to provide protection against falling dirt, circulating dust, lint, fibres and dripping or splashing noncorrosive liquids. Protection against oil and coolant seepage is also a prerequisite for NEMA 12 designation.
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