Getting to Know IP Ratings.
IP (ingress protection) ratings are a way to measure how well a device is protected from water and dust. They are two-digit codes usually found in a product’s specifications.
The first digit of an IP rating measures protection against dust and other solid objects.
A “0” means the device has no protection, while a “6” (the highest) means it is “dust-tight.” Not all devices receive a rating that covers both variables, especially in consumer electronics, and the “X” is used as a placeholder.
The second digit of an IP rating corresponds to moisture. It also starts at “0” for no protection but goes up to 9, meaning the device should be protected against “high pressure and temperature water jets.”
Here are the three IP indicators that are most relevant for the everyday consumer:
- IPX4: Protected against splashing water from any direction.
- IPX7: Protected against temporary immersion up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.
- IPX8: Protected against immersion up to a specified depth for a specified time.
In short, an IP rating of X7 or higher can be considered waterproof for the purposes of safeguarding your tech from full-but-temporary immersions.
However, it is important to remember that even if your device has an IPX7 rating or above, it might not resist water like it used to once it’s a few years old as gaskets and other materials weaken over time.
So, if you plan on taking your device on a water adventure, it’s always a good idea to check the IP rating and take some precautions. For example, you might want to put your device in a waterproof case or bag. And if it does get wet, avoid the once popular notion of placing it in rice – instead, place the device in a sealed plastic bag with silica packets.
Have fun, and stay safe!