Protect devices from dust and moisture. We understand the IP standard notation



    We have been dealing with a variety of devices for many years. During this time, thousands and thousands of gadgets passed through our hands, and our customers asked us a great many questions about them. Among all these questions, there are those that are constantly repeated. More often than others there are questions about the dust and water protection of gadgets. And we know why. The fact is that almost all manufacturers indicate that their device meets the IP standard .

    Also, companies developing gadgets like to write that their device can withstand pressure of 3-5 atmospheres or even more. Buyers of such gadgets, trying to be guided by logic, believe that if 5 atmospheres are indicated, then the device can be immersed to a depth of 50 meters. And if so, that you can definitely swim in it, and even more so, you can take a shower. But logic does not always work where marketers operate. Let’s try to figure out what all this means.

    IPXX - what does this mean?


    So, the IP standard is an international standard that classifies the degree of protection of devices from the penetration of solid particles of the smallest fraction (in fact, dust) and water. By the way, the degree of protection provided by the shells (IP code) is determined according to GOST 14254-96. The standard was developed on the basis of the IEC 60529 standard of 1989 and was put into effect on January 1, 1997. The International Protection Rating introduces the IPXX designation, where instead of “XX” are numbers. As an example, two of the most common standards for user devices are IP67 and IP68.



    Here, the first digit indicates the degree of protection against foreign solids (dust, metal, human fingers, etc.). The minimum protection is 0 (the device is only suitable for use in the case), the maximum is 6 (full protection against dust).

    The second digit shows the degree of protection against moisture penetration. The minimum protection is 0 (any moisture can damage the device), the maximum is 8 (the device is not afraid of water, it can be immersed to a depth of more than 1 meter).


    Water resistance tests are carried out in such boxes.

    After the numbers, sometimes letters can also follow that provide additional information about the degree of protection of the device from external factors. But for consumer devices, this type of designation is rare, so now we will not consider it. According to Wikipedia, the maximum degree of protection according to the IP standard is IP69-K. This is the case for devices that can withstand high-temperature washing under high pressure. In this case, I even had to introduce an additional marking (I recall that the generally accepted designation for maximum protection against water is 8, not 9).
    LevelDefence fromDescription
    0-No protection
    1Vertical dropsVertically dripping water should not interfere with the operation of the device
    2Vertical drops at an angle of up to 15 °Vertically dripping water should not interfere with the operation of the device if it is deviated from the working position by an angle of up to 15 °
    3Falling sprayRain protection. Spray falls vertically or at an angle of up to 60 ° to the vertical.
    4SprayProtection against splashes falling in any direction.
    5JetsProtection against water jets from any direction
    6Sea wavesProtection against sea waves or strong water jets. Water entering the housing must not interfere with the operation of the device.
    7Short dive to a depth of 1 mDuring short-term immersion, water does not enter in quantities that interfere with the operation of the device. Permanent work in submerged mode is not expected.
    8Immersion to a depth of more than 1 m lasting more than 30 minutes.The device can work in submerged mode

    Sometimes, instead of one of the numbers in the designation of the degree of protection of a particular gadget, you can see X. For example, IPX7. In this case, the designation says that the device has not been tested for dust protection, but it is not afraid of water.

    Meters and atmospheres - where is the dog buried here?


    Manufacturers of electronic devices also work with the IP standard, but more often an alternative rating with atmospheres is also used. Garmin, Pebble, Polar and other manufacturers of electronic devices often test their devices themselves to determine how well they are protected from water.
    Pressure / depthProtection
    3 atm (30 m)The device is not afraid of splashing water, but you can not take a shower in it, you can not swim, swim, and even more so, dive. Better keep your gadget away from water.
    5 atm (50 m)The device is well protected from water, you can not remove it in the pool, go fishing, swim and perform some kind of water work that does not require immersion
    10 atm (100 m)It can be used in almost any water work, swimming and for some time immersed in water. Diving enthusiasts can easily work with such devices
    20 atm (200 m)You can dive to a relatively large depth, that is, for example, diving with a scuba gear, use the device when working in sea water

    Inexperienced users, seeing the designation 30-50 m, immediately decide that with such a gadget you can dive, swim or even keep the device in the aquarium. In fact, as you can see, the device with a designation of 3 ATM or 30 meters of water is afraid, and very much.



    It is also interesting that manufacturers understand labeling in their own way. For example, the same Fitbit Surge carries a mark of 5 ATM. In a good way, this means that you can not remove it while swimming. But manufacturers say that swimming in this gadget is not worth it, because Surge may not withstand the blows during the swim. What is the matter? And the fact that the water resistance of the devices are tested in stagnant fresh water (in most cases). During swimming, the pressure can change stepwise, and the water will still find a loophole, ruining the gadget.


    Diving enthusiasts sometimes put their devices at great risk.

    But with Pebble Time, things are different. Developers everywhere indicate the degree of protection in "30 m", but the description of the device says that you can swim with it in the pool. But this does not mean at all that, having put on this watch, you can dive into it in the sea. Sea water is not at all fresh, it contains much more salts, and this can lead to damage to the device. As mentioned above, most devices are tested in fresh, not salty sea water.

    It is worth knowing


    • Most water resistance tests are carried out in fresh water. If the manufacturer did not indicate that the gadget is not afraid of salt water, then, therefore, testing in the sea or ocean was not carried out;
    • Tests are carried out at positive temperature, usually 15-35 degrees Celsius. If, in watches that are not afraid of water at ordinary temperatures, go to the sauna or bathhouse, they may deteriorate;
    • The leather strap is not waterproof;
    • If the device is not afraid of water, when immersing in water, check that all openings of the gadget that must be closed are closed;
    • A gadget with minimal protection from water does not necessarily break if you take a shower or swim in it. But there is no guarantee that if you took a shower twice, and everything was fine, then nothing will happen the third time;
    • It is better not to press the screen or the physical buttons of the device under water.

    The first thing is the instruction


    At Madrobots, we believe that it’s best to carefully read the instructions for the device. Of course, not everyone does this, but if you are going to go to the sea or even just take a shower in the new device, it is better to read the instructions from the manufacturer.

    And in any case, it is worth remembering that electronic devices are complex systems that consist of many parts. No matter how reliable the device may be, once again it is better not to risk it, so that later it will not be excruciatingly painful.

    Only registered users can participate in the survey. Please come in.

    Have your waterproof gadgets deteriorated from getting into the water?

    • 68.1% No, nothing like that happened 195
    • 18.1% Yes, deteriorated contrary to the claims of the manufacturer, not my fault 52
    • 13.6% Yes, deteriorated through my fault 39

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