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IPX3 Ingress Protection Testing

IPX3 is a water spray ingress protection test. It is a spraying water test. The test simulates the effects of a water spray from different directions such as rainfall or splashing water. The objective of IPX3 ingress protection testing is to evaluate the device’s ability to withstand exposure to water.

The IPX3 ingress protection rating is derived from the IEC 60529 standard. The two digits after IP signify the level of protection. The first number indicates the level of protection against solid particles. The second number indicates the level of protection against liquids.

How is IPX3 IP Code Rating Testing Completed?

IPX3 testing can be completed by using either an oscillating tube or a spray nozzle.

Using the oscillating tube, the flow rate is adjusted to approximately 0.07 liters per minute per hole multiplied by the number of holes. The water flow is adjusted using a flow meter. The hole pattern of an arc of 60 degrees on either side of the center point.

The enclosure is tested through an angle of 120 degrees to 60 degrees on either side of the vertical. The time for one complete oscillation is about four seconds. The total test duration is five minutes.

The enclosure is then turned through a horizontal angle of 90 degrees and the test is completed for another five minutes.

Using the spray nozzle, the water flow is approximately 10 liters per minute. The water pressure is within the range of 50 kPa to 150 kPa. This pressure should remain current throughout the test. The test duration is one minute per square meter of the enclosure. The minimum duration is five minutes.

Upon completion of testing, the electronic device is inspected for any signs of water penetration, such as discoloration, deformation, or other physical changes that may occur due to water ingress. 

The acceptance criteria is essentially water sprayed at an angle of up to 60 degrees on either side of the vertical shall have no harmful effects.

If water does enter the enclosure, the water should not interfere with the designed operation of the equipment or impact safety. It should not deposit on insulation parts where it could lead to tacking along the creepage distances.

What is the Objective of IPX3 Ingress Protection Testing?

The test ensures that the electronic device’s or enclosure’s internal components are protected from water damage, preventing potential electrical failures and malfunctions that may occur due to water exposure.

How Does IPX3 IP Code Testing Help Manufacturers?

This test also helps manufacturers identify any design failures that may cause water to penetrate the device’s enclosure. This testing determines if a device can perform optimally in different environments.

How Does IP Rating IPX3 Testing Help Consumers?

IPX3 testing also helps consumers with purchasing decisions. A consumer can purchase a product that is IPX3 certified and confidently know that the electronic device is water-resistant. They can use it in various environments without the risk of water damage.

What Can Cause a Failure to Water Resistance IPX3?

Enclosure failures to IPX3 can be caused by poor design, poor manufacturing, or just poor selection of materials. It is important that proper materials be selected and that those materials be inserted in the appropriate location and fashion.

The most common cause of failures to IPX3 water resistance testing is failing seals or gaps in an enclosure. It is not uncommon for the seal failure to be due to using improper materials such as materials that rust or corrode when exposed to water.

What Equipment Should Be Tested to Ingress Protection Rating IPX3?

IPX3 certification testing is specifically important for outdoor products. These are environments where water exposure is inevitable. It is also important for electronic devices that are frequently exposed to rain or water spray. These include outdoor appliances, speakers, weather stations, and garden lights.

Household appliances are often tested to IPX3 as well. These include appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines. These appliances will often encounter water exposure.

Some portable electronic equipment such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops must be water-resistant to IPX3. However, with a lot of these devices, a higher level of IP code protection is required.

Some medical devices will be water tested to IPX3. These include defibrillators, blood analyzers, and infusion pumps. Some industrial products which can be used indoors and outdoors are also tested to IPX3 including power tools and generators.

As previously stated, it is important to recognize that a device that is IPX3 certified is not waterproof.

How to Obtain IPX3 Ingress Protection Certification for Your Device or Enclosure?

Keystone Compliance is an accredited ingress protection test lab with a comprehensive scope that includes every single ingress protection test. We have significant experience in ingress protection testing and can test products in various sizes.

Our team provides quick turnaround times on quotes, short lead times on scheduling, and constant communication before, during, and after the test program is complete. Please contact us at or (724) 657-9940 to request a quote or learn more about our ingress protection expertise.

Learn more about other water-related ingress-protection testing standards: