What is a NEMA Enclosure?

NEMA enclosures come with most electronic devices, but you may not be aware that there's a formal term for them. A NEMA enclosure is simply the case that surrounds the live parts of a device. Your computer case is an example, as is the case of your monitor, speakers, phone, etc. NEMA is the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, which was founded in 1926 and has over 450 member companies.

NEMA Enclosure Use

NEMA enclosures are important for the safety of your devices. Electronics are sensitive pieces of equipment, and your expensive hardware can easily be ruined by dust or an accidental splash of liquid. These cases also help protect against drops or accidental blunt force impacts, like if you accidentally kicked your computer beneath your desk. We're all familiar with this basic kind of enclosure. However, that's only one type of NEMA enclosure, and the most basic one at that. All in all there are thirteen different types and classifications of enclosures, as well as numerous subcategories under some.

Types of NEMA Enclosures

  • NEMA Type 1 is general purpose, and protects against dust, light splashing, and other light standard indoor hazards. It's commonly used indoors under normal conditions.
  • Type 2 is more enclosed than Type 1, featuring drip guards to prevent against condensation. It's used in cooling rooms, laundry rooms, and other places where moisture is prevalent.
  • NEMA Types 11, 12, and 13 offer general purpose protections similar to these but with other slight variations; 11 protects for corrosion, 12 protects against rust, and 13 protects your electronics from oil, non-corrosive coolants, and rust.
  • Type 3 is more weather-resistant and guards against rain and sleet, and subtype 3R protects against ice formation as well.
  • Type 4 is weatherproof and also completely water-tight, for more intense and wet facilities.
  • Type 5 is dustproof to an industrial standard.
  • Type 6 enclosures are submersible under varying amounts of liquid.
  • Type 10 enclosures are safe to use in mines and other underground locations.
  • Types 7, 8, and 9 guard against various hazardous materials.

For more complete descriptions, see NEMA's own informational document on these enclosure types.

Most wireless installations for normal areas don't need that much protection- Type 1 will be more than enough for the vast majority of all the equipment you're likely to need. However, if your project calls for a more advanced form of protection, BCI can provide. Call us today at 847-615-2933 or use the contact form below to ask us what we can do for you.

Powered by Alan Solutions