UL Environmental Type Ratings

With over 120 years of experience, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is a venerated, independent, safety science company that offers testing, inspection, auditing, and verification of products across various industries. UL helps to ensure standards are met for product safety and performance.

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Found in Standards UL 50 (“Enclosures for Electrical Equipment – Non-Environmental Considerations”) and UL 50E (“Enclosures for Electrical Equipment – Environmental Considerations”), UL Type ratings, like NEMA Type ratings, provide an indication of the degree of protection provided by an enclosure. NEMA Type ratings can be self-declared by the manufacturer, whereas UL Type ratings require certification by an accredited third party organization before a product is designated with a Type rating.

UL and NEMA Type ratings are based on similar application descriptions and expected performance. While they address many of the same points, UL Type certification is a formal confirmation that required construction and performance criteria are met after analysis and testing are completed by an independent, third-party evaluator. A product can be designed and built to comply with NEMA standards, but actual performance verification and manufacturing quality is at the discretion of the manufacturer. In summary, both NEMA and UL define standards, but only UL enforces compliance to their standards with third party testing and on-site compliance visits.

TYPE 1

Enclosures constructed for indoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts and to provide a degree of protection against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt).

TYPE 2

Enclosures constructed for indoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt); and to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (dripping and light splashing).

TYPE 3R

Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (rain, sleet, and snow); and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.

TYPE 3RX

Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (rain, sleet, and snow); that provides an increased level of protection against corrosion; and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.

TYPE 3

Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and windblown dust); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (rain, sleet, and snow); and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.

TYPE 3S

Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and windblown dust); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (rain, sleet, and snow); and for which the external mechanism(s) remain operable when ice laden.

TYPE 3X

Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and windblown dust); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (rain, sleet, and snow); that provides an increased level of protection against corrosion; and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.

TYPE 3SX

Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and windblown dust); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (rain, sleet, and snow); that provides an increased level of protection against corrosion; and for which the external mechanism(s) remain operable when ice laden.

TYPE 4

Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts ; to provide a degree of protection against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and windblown dust); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (rain, sleet, snow, splashing water, and hose-directed water); and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.

TYPE 4X

Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and windblown dust); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (rain, sleet, snow, splashing water, and hose-directed water); that provides an increased level of protection against corrosion; and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.

TYPE 5

Enclosures constructed for indoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and settling airborne dust, lint, fibers, and flyings); and to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (dripping and light splashing).

TYPE 6

Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt) to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (rain, sleet, snow, hosedirected water, and the entry of water during occasional temporary submersion at a limited depth); and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.

TYPE 6P

Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts to provide a degree of protection against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (rain, sleet, snow, hosedirected water, and the entry of water during prolonged submersion at a limited depth); that provides an increased level of protection against corrosion; and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.

TYPE 12

Enclosures constructed (without knockouts) for indoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and circulating dust, lint, fibers, and flyings); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (dripping and light splashing); and to provide a degree of protection against light splashing and consequent seepage of oil and non-corrosive coolants.

TYPE 12K

Enclosures constructed (with knockouts) for indoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and circulating dust, lint, fibers, and flyings); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (dripping and light splashing); and to provide a degree of protection against light splashing and consequent seepage of oil and non-corrosive coolants.

TYPE 13

Enclosures constructed for indoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and circulating dust, lint, fibers, and flyings); and to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (dripping and light splashing); and to provide a degree of protection against spraying, splashing, and seepage of oil, and non-corrosive coolants.

Above material courtesy of Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL)

The above, complete descriptions characterize the performance of an enclosure for each of the TYPE ratings while the differentiating factors are in bold for ease of reference.

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