IP ratings for outside connections – what are the ideal solutions for enclosure protection? | WISKA

IP ratings for outside connections – what are the ideal solutions for enclosure protection? | WISKA

The team at WISKA provide an explanation on the most common IP ratings for outside connections and offer two ideal solutions for enclosure protection against the elements.

When it comes to outside connections and the use of junction boxes there are many factors to consider, especially when it comes down to the IP (Ingress Protection) rating classification of the unit.

For an effective sealing of a connection there are two main factors to consider: the intrusion protection (denoted by the first number) and the water protection (denoted by the second number).

Examples of the most common IP ratings which are ideal for outside connections are as follows:

IP 65 – Dust tight and protected against water spray from all directions.

IP 66 – Dust tight and protected against low pressure water jets from all directions.

IP 67 – Dust tight and protected against strong water jets and temporary immersion.

IP 68 – Dust tight and protected against complete and continuous submersion in water.

Having a high IP rating on an enclosure is preferred for outside use. WISKA’s COMBI Junction Box range has an IP rating of 66/67 making it the ideal choice for the types of environments described previously. However, there are other issues that also need to be considered.

Fluctuating temperatures and other environmental factors can create pressure inside tightly sealed enclosures which then leads to a build-up of condensation as well as damage to the seal. This results in the penetration and build-up of moisture and dirt.

Many products on the market claim IP68 protection without offering a solution for the build-up of condensation. Common practice to counteract condensation and pressure build up has been to put a drain hole in the enclosure. The issue with this is that you have then voided the IP rating of the enclosure, which defeats the original purpose.

So, to overcome this issue in a correct manner there are two options:

Option 1:

The first option is the use of a venting device such as WISKA’s VentGLAND or VentPLUG. These devices allow air to flow through them thanks to their specially designed membranes, whilst at the same time preventing moisture. Due to their high IP rating (IP 68/69), this equalises the pressure inside the enclosure, preventing any condensation build-up and pressure damage to the seals.

Option 2:

The other option is with the use of insulating gel such as WISKA’s MP Gel. This product is a non-conductive silicone based gel that comes as a two-part liquid which is mixed and then poured in to fill the enclosure. After a short period of time (12 minutes at 23°C), the gel sets like a jelly which completely covers all the connections and protects against any moisture entering or building up within the enclosure. This solution will also allow the enclosure to be buried.

Get more details on WISKA’s Combi Junction Boxes and associated products here

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