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Common Uses for a NEMA 4 Enclosure

NEMA type 4 enclosure outdoor in the falling snow

Are you aware of all the environmental strain your electrical enclosure must endure? While you might not think about every possible hurricane or hailstorm, it is important to consider the various environmental hazards that could occur. Usually, when it comes to the subject of electrical enclosures, identifying its future setting as well as the appropriate protection level needed are two crucial considerations. West Tool Enclosures provides the best weatherproof electrical enclosures on the market.  With a vast catalog of sizes and configurations to choose from.  Get Started here!

Fortunately, NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) can help, courtesy of its distinct electrical enclosure standards. There are many standards in place, but here we will focus on the NEMA Type 4 Enclosure. To get a better understanding of this enclosure, we will briefly outline what it is all about, its characteristics, and most importantly, how it is used.

Defining NEMA Type 4 Enclosures

Electrical enclosures generally perform a wide array of functions ranging from housing high and low-voltage instrumentation, electrical switchgear, and pneumatic pilot gadgets. These enclosures are widely available off-the-shelf in an assortment of specifications and standard sizes. Furthermore, they can also be tailored to suit unique specifications, including construction material, size, finish, color, not to mention the type.

As for the NEMA Type 4 enclosure, it is purposely designed to cover outdoor and indoor use as well as affording protection against various external elements including circulating dust, falling dirt, windblown dust, and airborne dust.

What Level of Protection Defines A NEMA -Type 4 Enclosure?

Before we discuss the common uses of these types of enclosures, it is essential to understand precisely what they protect against to get a better understanding of its application. Here are the various protection levels an enclosure needs to offer to be dubbed as a NEMA Type 4 enclosure.


Typically, NEMA Type 4 enclosures need to be watertight. Specifically, these enclosures ought to exclude about 65 GPM of water directly shot at them from a nozzle (1-inch) subsequently delivered at a distinct distance of approximately 10 feet for a minimum of 5 minutes.

Boasting such moisture protection levels, these types of enclosures can safeguard the electrical components from any resulting ingress of sleet, rain, splashing water, snow, hose-directed water, and more.

Similarly, any ice that forms externally on the enclosure must not damage both the enclosure as well as the elements within it.


Although most individuals are not aware of this, enclosures are not just designed to safeguard the equipment confined within them from just the various environmental conditions. Enclosures are also built to safeguard personnel from the equipment. NEMA Type 4 enclosures need to offer a level of protection to individuals against unauthorized access to hazardous parts.

Solid Foreign Objects

Notwithstanding where your enclosure is located, either outside or inside, you need to be concerned about the entry of solid foreign components which can consequently damage the enclosed elements. For instance, you need to worry about windblown dust, falling dirt, or even lint. Nevertheless, NEMA Type 4 enclosures offer a level of protection to your equipment, effectively defending these components against solid foreign objects which enter your enclosure. NEMA Type 4 is distinctly rated as a standard dustproof enclosure.

NEMA type 4 enclosures

What Are the Common Uses for NEMA 4 Enclosures?

As earlier mentioned, NEMA Type 4 enclosures are purposely designed to suit both outdoor and indoor use. Courtesy of their moisture protection levels, these enclosures are often utilized in wet (outdoor) applications. For instance, it is not uncommon to find a Type 4 enclosure in dairies, shipping docks, breweries, or even treatment plants.

NEMA 4 enclosures find use in a wide array of applications ranging from those where an enclosure needs to withstand extremely harsh conditions to the capacity to retain functionality and cosmetic appearance under all conditions.

Most importantly, the resistance to adverse weathering and water sprays represents the most critical applications for any NEMA 4 enclosure. So, what are the common uses for NEMA 4 enclosures?

Housing Sensitive Electrical Equipment

Just like with other types of enclosures, NEMA 4 enclosures are used to house various electrical and electronic equipment such as IT equipment and connections, telemetry or automation electronics for non-explosive and non-corrosive processes such as telecommunication cable and phone distribution, security equipment, transport signal controls, and communications signal equipment.

For Equipment Subject to Heavy Splashing and Wash Down

NEMA Type 4 enclosures are ideally suited for industries that are subject to constant wash down and massive splashing such as food processing plants where equipment is continuously washed down to maintain high hygienic standards.

These enclosures are also suited for other facilities where water sprays are frequently used like vehicle cleaning facilities and dairies, not to mention where various high-pressure cleaning gadgets are used.

In several facilities, there is an increased risk of accidental splashing to equipment from various fluids utilized during processing. One perfect example representing this is in the paper mill industry, where there is pulp preparation. NEMA 4 enclosures are ideally suited for such settings.

All-Weather Outdoor Locations

NEMA 4 Type enclosures are built to be weatherproof, and they are also ideally suited for outdoor use. These types of enclosures can work well in areas that are subject to adverse wind abrasion, humid and hot locations, which are common in Florida as well as in coastal settings where the humidity levels are quite high.

Typically, NEMA 4 enclosures are quite durable, and they subsequently retain their original cosmetic appearance even in locations where standard electrical enclosures may otherwise suffer from accelerated wear and tear.

NEMA type 4 enclosure

Your Trusted NEMA 4 Enclosure Solution Provider

Now that you know what NEMA 4 enclosures all are about as well as their various applications, it is only right that you find the best NEMA Type 4 enclosures to suit your projects. If you are searching for a company that can provide you with the right NEMA 4 enclosures to suit your needs, then West Tool Enclosures (WTE) is the best choice.

As an industry reputable and reliable manufacturer of multiple types of enclosures, we offer all our NEMA enclosures with the appropriate standards to effectively meet your unique needs with accuracy, speed, and reliability, at a competitive price. By choosing us, you can be sure to get the important equipment specifically designed to ensure that your valuable equipment is adequately protected.

With close to a decade worth of expertise in the manufacture of enclosures, we have the best NEMA 4 enclosure solutions to suit the various unique client needs. From various small businesses to multinational corporations, we are dedicated to satisfying each of our client’s expectations through our top-quality NEMA Type 4 enclosures and exceeding customer service. With WTE NEMA Type 4 enclosures, you are effectively guaranteed industry-grade enclosures courtesy of our strict adherence to NEMA standards and procedures.

Finally, by choosing us, you have a diverse collection of enclosure options to choose from. At West Tool Enclosures, we manufacturer our enclosures in a wide array of styles and sizes (ranging from small to massive size options), as well as multiple material choices and finishes—a characteristic that exceptionally sets us apart from our competition. We are your one-stop shop for essential enclosure boxes and cabinets that offer the ideal NEMA 4 enclosure solution. Contact us to learn more about NEMA Type 4 enclosures and other available products you need for your next project.