Common NEMA Types and Usage

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As you may know, enclosures house electrical equipment and outlets that must be protected from various external environments, preventing electrical shock. Enclosures can also be utilitarian with knobs, switches, and other controls built in for easy manipulation of internal electrical components. Where the confusion may come in, is knowing what NEMA type enclosure you need.  

nema enclosure

NEMA electric codes and enclosure types are assigned standards according to their use. Electrical enclosures used in launderettes, for instance, must be able to protect electrical outlets against large amounts of condensation. Each rating meets specifications that help protect the electrical components and personnel.

Here are a few of the most common NEMA types and how and where they’re commonly used.

Check out our NEMA Spec Sheets.

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NEMA Type 1

This is a general purpose enclosure and protects against light dust, and occasional moisture, but is not completely dust proof, and does not protect against heavy moisture. These types of enclosures are commonly found within homes and buildings that are under natural atmospheric conditions.


NEMA Type 3R

A weather-resistant enclosure that is typically seen outside as meter cabinets and utility enclosures because they protect against excess dirt, dust, and other weather hazards such as rain and snow.


NEMA Type 4

Similar to the Type 3R enclosure, this NEMA Type is watertight and protects against corrosion and hose directed water. These are popular in the industrial environments such as water treatment facilities, oil and gas and food processing plants.

These standards do not necessarily define different design specifications. Electrical can be custom designed and engineered to fit the requirements of a structure needing to house electrical equipment and outlets. Need expertly engineered electrical enclosure options for your business contact us today.


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