< Return to FAQ

Common Places You Will See an Outdoor NEMA Enclosure

outdoor NEMA enclosure

You might be wondering, “where exactly are NEMA enclosures used?” If you’re familiar with the NEMA rating system, then you know that NEMA enclosures provide your electrical devices with better protection from moisture, dust, and chemicals. The question is, which of your applications are best suited by an outdoor NEMA enclosure?

Before we discuss the common locations for outdoor NEMA enclosures, it should be understood that not all NEMA enclosures are designed for outdoor use. A good example is the NEMA 12 enclosure. Although it does provide basic protection from moisture and dust ingress, it is not intended to handle the harsh outdoor environment.

What kind of NEMA enclosures are suitable for outdoor use? NEMA 3, NEMA 3R, NEMA 3RX, and NEMA 4X enclosures are some of the enclosures that come to mind. Therefore, before settling for an outdoor NEMA enclosure, make sure it is rated for outdoor use.

One of the questions we get asked a lot here at West Tool Enclosures (WTE) is, “do I need an outdoor NEMA enclosure for this?” In most cases, our answer tends to be yes, especially if there are electrical components that are located outside the building. Outdoor NEMA enclosures fit the bill perfectly because they are weatherproof and therefore capable of keeping electrical hardware safe in bad weather.

It is for this reason that NEMA enclosures are typical in areas such as the following.

Outdoors

When our clients ask us about installing electrical components in outdoor locations, our first recommendation is usually the NEMA 4X outdoor electrical enclosure. Apart from being completely weatherproof, it offers protection against dust and liquids.

This attribute makes NEMA 4X enclosures very versatile outdoor enclosures, which is why you’ll spot them in hot and dusty areas with a lot of wind; cold and damp areas with lots of rainfall; and in environments that get a considerable amount of snow and sleet.

Corrosive Environments

Along with harsh weather, dust, and damp environments, outdoor NEMA enclosures can also withstand many of the corrosive agents present in industrial environments. They are vital when it comes to protecting electrical equipment from damage and contamination in industrial settings.

We supply NEMA 4X enclosures to water treatment facilities and marine institutions for this exact reason. Saltwater and chemical corrosives typically wear down other enclosures quickly, which is why NEMA enclosures are the recommended choice for such corrosive environments.

Washdown Areas (Areas with Lots of Liquid Sprays and Splashes)

If electrical hardware is in a location where it is continuously exposed to chemical or water sprays (washdowns, in other words), the best way to keep them safe from damage and contamination is by using a NEMA 4X enclosure. Their high protection rating, plus the fact that a typical outdoor NEMA enclosure is designed to handle liquid sprays from multiple directions, makes them ideal for use in facilities where the risk of fluid contact is exceptionally high.

As such, our NEMA enclosures are a common sight in work environments like car washes and dairy plants. Any location with high-pressure cleaning equipment demands the use of an outdoor NEMA enclosure like the NEMA 4X to avoid damage from prolonged exposure.

outdoor NEMA enclosure

What Determines Where to Use NEMA Enclosures?

One thing that’s common about all the locations we’ve talked about is that they rely on the protection offered by NEMA enclosures to keep critical electrical systems safe. The quality of the outdoor NEMA enclosure matters as much as its protection rating. Luckily, NEMA enclosures are governed by the strict regulations of the NEMA rating system, so all of them perform as advertised.

Still, there is a gulf in differencebetween WTE NEMA enclosures and similar enclosures from other manufacturers in the industry. Apart from the IP rating, what else decides where you should buy your NEMA enclosure?

Construction Quality

There are a lot of variations of NEMA enclosures. Your bottom line should be how well it’s built, the additional protection it offers, and its overall durability. There are a lot of NEMA enclosures made from polycarbonate and aluminum, however WTE provides only the highest quality stainless steel NEMA enclosures because the quality is our main agenda. While there’s nothing wrong with NEMA enclosures that are made from other materials, we prefer to give our clients reliable quality that will serve them for years.

Add-on Compatibility

Most of the NEMA enclosures installed in industrial facilities tend to be modified due to their unique demands. Unless you only need the bare basics, the chances are that you may need to add a feature or two to your NEMA cabinet to make it a better fit for your unique application. At WTE, we offer add-ons like alternate locking systems, lifting rings, door stops, and leg kits to make your outdoor NEMA enclosure fully compatible with your application.

Cost Efficiency

Installing an outdoor NEMA enclosure is not always the cheapest option available. For some, the workaround for this is to install them only where the need for protection from the elements is critical.

outdoor NEMA enclosure

Why Choose WTE for Your Outdoor NEMA Enclosure?

Our Enclosures are Highly Configurable

We like to believe that every application is different, no matter how similar it is to previous projects that we’ve handled. Our solutions are always tailored to suit our clients’ specific needs. Forget mass-produced enclosures that force you to change your electrical configuration—we configure our enclosures so that they fit your needs. No matter what shape, size, or unique feature you need your outdoor NEMA enclosure to possess, we are more than capable of delivering.

We Don’t Make Mistakes

Electrical enclosures should be flawlessly built to prevent accidents that can damage your property or injure you and your workers. That’s what we believe at WTE, which is why our cut-to-order NEMA enclosures tend to be perfect down to the last detail. We make sure that every conduit access hole, every HMI opening, and every button cutout is where it needs to be.

Mistakes can lead to delays in your project that put your bottom line at risk. Please don’t take chances with your electrical systems. Trust a reputable enclosure supplier like WTE.

Quick and Easy Installation

The benefit of receiving an enclosure that’s cut to order is that installation becomes less of a task. What makes our outdoor NEMA enclosures particularly easy to install is that they come fully assembled and ready for wiring. That’s saying a lot, considering that no other company in America ships out fully assembled enclosures. You save time when you install your enclosures quickly, and in our point of view, time equals money.

Get Exactly What Your Project Needs

You can always count on us to deliver what your project needs because we make it easy for you to order from us. With the help of our online design tool, you can specify the base configuration, the features, and any other modifications that you’d want your outdoor NEMA enclosure to have. Throughout this process, you will have access to spec sheets and cad files as well as any other information you might need, all in downloadable format.

Many of our clients admit that inadequate ordering systems are what drove them to our doorstep. We make ordering exceptionally easy because mistakes cost you time and money. You can contact a member of our staff to help you use this online tool, or to specify the design features you’d like included in your enclosure.

Shortest Lead Times in the Business

We have the leading turn-around time in the industry—that’s a fact. While it might take you anywhere from 8–10 weeks to get your enclosures from another manufacturer, WTE delivers straight to your doorstep in just two weeks. This applies to many custom orders too, so it doesn’t matter how unique your set up is. You can turn to WTE if you need quality enclosures delivered to your facility on short notice.

The Leading Outdoor NEMA Enclosure Manufacturer in America

We don’t advise you to cut corners or settle for less, both in terms of product quality and customer service. WTE is a one-stop-shop for all your electrical enclosure needs, whether it is junction boxes, stainless steel enclosures, or NEMA enclosures you need. Contact us today to learn more about our wide selection of configurable enclosures for both residential and industrial applications.