What Do NEMA Ratings Mean?

NEMA is a common term used in the manufacturing industry, it stands for National Electrical Manufacturers Association. NEMA was originally formed in 1926 to set standards for companies producing electrical products, equipment, or wiring in industrial facilities. By creating a defined set of standards, NEMA helps alleviate any miscommunications that could occur between the manufacturer and purchaser.

As technology has evolved, NEMA has progressed to ensure that high-quality electrical drives, controls, enclosures, and wiring are available in the marketplace. In order to guarantee the best protection possible, it is recommended that significant electrical devices be placed inside an enclosure or cabinet. In addition to the enclosure, it is important that the NEMA standards are met by companies to properly protect electrical equipment in all locations, both hazardous and non-hazardous.

Each NEMA rating was specifically designed to match a unique application and environment. This is to ensure that the right enclosure is used for the intended application. Along with the enclosure, you will need the right enclosure cooler (or thermal management system) to guarantee the proper protection of your equipment. It is important to us at Vortec that our enclosure coolers live up to that promise and the standards that NEMA requires. That is why every single ITW Vortec enclosure cooler is rigorously tested and certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Making certain that the equipment you buy continues to meet operational and safety standards. Make sure you follow our sizing guidelines, and manufacturer's recommendations, to select the appropriately rated enclosure cooler, be it a NEMA rating, a North American hazardous location rating, or a European ATEX rating.

There are several different NEMA types, but the most common ones are NEMA 12, 4, and 4X. Our products capture those three different UL NEMA Types: NEMA 4, 4X, and 12. These three enclosure cooler categories cover all the necessary protection an enclosure could need. We also carry a large variety of Hazardous and Explosive Location models that are designed to fit a different set of standards.

Here’s what NEMA ratings mean and protect against:

Enclosure NEMA Types

NEMA 4 - Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against incidental contact with the enclosed equipment; to provide a degree of protection against dirt, rain, sleet, snow, windblown dust, splashing water, and hose-directed water; and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.

NEMA 4X – Provides the same protection as NEMA 4 enclosures, along with providing an additional level of protection against corrosion.

NEMA 12 – Enclosures constructed (without knockouts) for indoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against incidental contact with the enclosed equipment; to provide a degree of protection against falling dirt; against circulating dust, lint, fibers, and against dripping and light splashing of (non-corrosive) liquids. Despite the larger number, this type of enclosure provides a very basic level of protection.

Our online Heat Load Calculator was designed to help you select the best enclosure cooler for your use. It considers the rating you need, enclosure size, compressed air capabilities, temperature needs, and overall heat load in the enclosure. It immediately takes all of these factors into account, giving you an instantaneous solution that you can order online.

The best way to figure out what you need? Talk to us! Needs vary so much from application to application, sometimes making it hard to determine what will work best for your facility. Our application engineers have a combined 70+ years of experience, are extremely knowledgeable, and are here to ensure your questions to ensure you get the best product for your needs. 

Quickly fill out our contact us form and someone from our team will reach out within the next business day or email us at sales@vortec.com. You can use this flowchart to determine the NEMA rating of the enclosure required for your application:

NEMA Selection Flow Chart

Models by Cabinet Type

Type 12: Model (s) 711+, 7115+, 7125+, 7135+, 7170+, 721, 721-15H, 721-35H, 7615+, 7625+, 7635+, 7670+

Type 4 and 4X: Model(s) 7015EB+, 7015EBF+, 7015ES+, 7015ESF+, 7025EB+, 7025EBF+, 7025ES+, 7025ESF+, 7035EB+, 7035EBF+, 7035ES+, 7035ESF+, 7070, 7070BSP, 7715EB+, 7715EBF+, 7715ES+, 7715ESF+, 7725EB+, 7725EBF+, 7725ES+, 7725ESF+, 7735EB+, 7735EBF+, 7735ES+, 7735ESF+, 7770, 7770BSP

Type 4 and 12: Model(s) 701, 701-35H, 701BSP, 701BSP-35H, 727, 727-15H, 727-35H

Type 4X: Model(s) 7015+, 701SS, 701SS-35H, 701SSBSP, 701SSBSP-35H, 7025+, 7035+

Type 4X and 12: Model(s) 727SS, 727SS-15H, 727SS-35H

+ Indicates models may be followed by BSP


Power Circuit and Motor-mounted Apparatus Certifications

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