If you’ll glance at different products and devices in your home, you would see the mention of IP rating on some of them. Among them, a few of your belongings like headphones, smartwatch, or speaker box may have an IPX7 rating. Have you ever wondered what exactly the IPX7 rating means?
Well, IP stands for Ingress Protection, it is the alphabet and number further attached to it that makes all the difference.
To know how the IPX7 rating works and why it is useful, we first have to understand it.
What does IP Rating Stand for?
IP stands for Ingress Protection or International Protection. It describes the level at which your device is protected from liquids or solids intrusion. Interference of solids like dust particles, food particles, or liquids like water or any other may result in the malfunctioning of your device.
How does IP Rating work?
The IP rating tests for two rating scales – water and dust protection. The protection level is indicated by either numbers or alphabets or both, which are used right after this abbreviation.
The first alphabet or number indicates the protection against solids or dust. The second alphabet or number indicates the protection against water or other fluids.
If the rating includes any other alphabet, this indicates additional protection of the device against other elements, which are not common.
Why IP Rating is Useful for Us?
Now that you’ve known the way IP rating work, let’s check why it is useful for us.
Whenever you purchase a new smart or electronic device, you must check its IP rating. Most devices like smartphones, speakers, headphones, or smartwatches are fragile and cannot withstand real-life tough conditions.
These devices are regularly exposed to different weather conditions, dust, and external hazards, especially when you use them outdoors.
If you use your devices in varied situations and places with varying weather conditions, you must know the IP protection. By knowing this you can use your device well while keeping it protected from unwanted breakdowns.
The most harmful substance for electronic devices is water. Hence, we will talk about it in detail in this post.
What does IPX7 Rating Mean?
When a rating comes with the symbol ‘X,’ it means that there is no relevant information available about that sort of protection.
The important thing to know about is the number 7.
IPX7 rating is popular and it is mentioned on the devices that are waterproof. Devices with an IPX7 rating are meant to work fine even when they are submerged in 1-meter-deep water and for up to 30 minutes.
The IPX7 rating is mentioned with names like water-resistant, hydrophobic, waterproof, and water repellent.
Fabrics with an IPX7 rating mean that they are dense and will take some time to get wet.
Products mentioned with IPX7 imply are water repellent and comes with a coating that prevents them from getting wet or soaked.
Hydrophobic is another term used for items that repel liquids.
Waterproof is the most common term used for protection against water intrusion.
How to Use Devices with IPX7 Rating?
All products and devices mentioned with an IPX7 rating are tested in particular conditions to see if they can withstand deep water conditions or not and for how long time. For this, the devices are immersed in the water and left there for a particular time duration. Such tests are performed for the devices, which are meant to have IPX7 or IPX8 ratings.
Devices that pass this test are labeled with the rating and are termed as waterproof. It means that you can take these devices along to swimming pools or a beach. It will survive if you keep it in water not more than 1 meter deep and for not more than 30 minutes.
However, an important thing to note is that if your device comes with an IPX7 rating, it does not mean that it will also survive IPX5 or IPX4, or 6 ratings. Submerging a device into water is different than hitting it with a water jet or keeping it under pouring rain.
So, you must be careful while using your IPX7 rating devices in the shower or beach. For instance, headphones with an IPX7 rating are not always tested to work in extreme conditions like fast-moving water. In such situations, you must avoid using your devices to protect against damage to the electronic components.
What if Your Device Does Not Have an IP Rating?
It is not necessary that your device have an IP rating. But this does not mean that such products are junk. It means that they are not tested for specific conditions. You may therefore avoid using them in dust or water conditions.
Your device may lack an IP rating also if the company went for another rating or certification standard. In that case, you may look for other products with dust or water resistance.
But if a company confirms that its product has an IP rating but fails to show the certifications, you must avoid buying their items.
What Else You Must Know?
Q. Which is the best IPX rating?
A. IPX6 rating means the product is dust proof and IPX7 rating means the product is waterproof. These are the two best IPX ratings that you must look into a product.
Q. Is IPX7 fully waterproof?
A. IPX7 devices can be submerged into 1-meter-deep water for a half-hour or 30 minutes. For deeper water, you need to purchase a product with an IPX8 rating. The IPX9 rating means the device resists high-temperature and high-pressure sprays.
Q. Is the IPX7 rating suitable for swimming?
A. The IP68 rating is the best for swimming. They are tested for continuous immersion in water for at least one hour. You must check the depth mentioned by the manufacturer. Like, the tested depth of a smartphone with a waterproof rating is usually 2 meters.
Q. Is IPX7 rating ideal for the shower?
A. Generally, IPX5 can withstand water spray from the shower for around 5 – 10 minutes. But waterproof earbuds with an IP67 rating can withstand water from the shower for up to 30 minutes.
Contact the Manufacturer, if Necessary!
Some manufacturers offer fair products and they mention their product has both IPX6 and IPX7 ratings. But most devices do not have double protection. It means that for more than one level of protection, you must contact the manufacturer and fetch all the information.
Also, avoid picking products that have ratings mentioned with a hyphen. It is because IP ratings are never written this way.
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