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Uses for an Outdoor NEMA Enclosure

outdoor NEMA enclosure for wi-fi system

NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) has established rating standards for electrical enclosures to guarantee, proper function, safety, as well as compatibility of electrical products. It is these ratings that provide the basic criteria which aid in defining the types of settings in which several electrical enclosures can be utilized. Usually, NEMA ratings often signify the ability of a fixed enclosure to withstand distinct environmental conditions. Every NEMA rating boasts different specifications; nonetheless, all of them are designed to safeguard electrical components, property, and personnel from damage.

Why NEMA Ratings Are Important

Before purchasing or subsequently using any electrical enclosures, there is a need to ascertain its distinct NEMA rating before you install it. In essence, there are several reasons why this is essential. Some of them include:

  • NEMA ratings effectively aid you to make sure that the said electrical enclosures have proper safety, functioning, and compatibility standards.
  • It helps you identify the enclosures that are suitable for the precise setting that you want to install your enclosure in.
  • The overall 600 standards which are published in application guides and technical papers assist you in understanding all the electrical product function and safety.

Outdoor NEMA Enclosures

NEMA provides ratings for enclosures designed to suit various purposes and conditions. In particular, the NEMA standards on outdoor enclosures offers general information on the distinct definitions on the type of enclosures to engineers, architects, inspectors, installers, as well as other related parties.

Even though NEMA standards provide for a wide array of NEMA ratings ranging from 1 down to 12, a wide variety of outdoor enclosures require the standard NEMA 3 or 3R ratings. Typically, numerous there are many other outdoor applications that will require NEMA 3 4 or 4X variants. Some of the most relevant outdoor NEMA enclosures as well as their applications are outlined below.

outdoor NEMA enclosures satisfy NEMA standard requirements

NEMA Ratings for Outdoor Enclosures

NEMA Type 3

These are weather resistant-rated enclosure types. Therefore, these types of enclosures protect against various weather hazards like sleet and rain. Type 3 NEMA enclosures are commonly used for outdoor as well as indoor uses to offer protection against the access to hazard parts. Additionally, enclosures under this type of rating also afford a degree of defense against falling dirt and windblown dust.

In essence, outdoor enclosures rated type 3 are rain-tight, dust-tight, as well as sleet-tight meaning that an enclosure will not be damaged by the subsequent external ice formation.

Outdoor enclosures under this type of rating are commonly used in construction works, ship docks, as well as in subways and tunnels.

NEMA Type 3R

These are enclosures that are designed for either outdoor or indoor use to offer protection to the relevant personnel against any access to hazardous parts. In essence, these types of outdoor enclosures are not damaged by external ice formation on the enclosure. NEMA Type 3R outdoor enclosures meet rain, rod entry, rust-resistance, and icing tests. These enclosures are expertly designed to withstand snow, rain, the formation of ice on the enclosure, and windblown particles.

NEMA 3R enclosures are suitable for outdoor application particularly on canal locks, ship docks, as well as construction, works not to mention usage in tunnels and subways. They are also used as in filtered fans, utility boxes, and meter cabinets.

NEMA Type 4

These are enclosures designed for either outdoor or indoor use to offer protection to individuals against access to hazardous parts as well as also defend against the intrusion of any foreign (solid) objects. Outdoor enclosures with this type of rating ensure that the internal components are not damaged by the subsequent external ice formation on the enclosures.

Type 4 NEMA enclosures are distinctly corrosion resistant and weatherproof approved enclosures. They are watertight and give protection against sleet, rain, ice formation, snow, hose-directed water, or splashing. Effectively, These enclosures need to utilize a closed-loop type of cooling system to ensure that the contaminants do not enter the unit.

NEMA Type 4-rated enclosures are primarily used in various industrial applications like hydraulic controls, wiring enclosures and operator consoles. They also find application in refineries, and food processing plants, among other sectors identified with prominent corrosion.

NEMA Type 4X

Just like with Type 4 NEMA enclosures, Type 4X enclosures are designed to afford extra protection against corrosion. Usually, enclosures with this particular rating are commonly found in industrial food processing, marine environments, processing and refining, paper manufacturing works, as well as water treatment projects.

Top 3 Common Practical Uses for Outdoor NEMA Enclosures

Outdoor NEMA enclosures are usually sealed enclosures that are typically found on external settings and locations such as roofs, exterior walls, decks, as well as other outdoor structures. Due to their prolonged exposure to adverse weather conditions and location, these enclosures, therefore, need to satisfy NEMA requirements correspondent to their subsequent environmental conditions.

Outdoor NEMA ratings guarantee that foreign objects and moisture cannot penetrate the enclosures, subsequently shorting out the connections. Here are some common uses for an outdoor NEMA enclosure:

Outdoor Lighting

This is a universal application using waterproof junction boxes found in residential and commercial regions alike. Outdoor structures such as garages or buildings will often boast some external lighting.

Similarly, apartment complexes, condos, as well as home feature lighting across landscapes, or around decks, patio or pool sections. Given their position, outdoor lighting may often be exposed to various weather conditions such as rain, ice, snow, and wind. Thus, the electronic and electrical components require some form of protection with the incorporation of NEMA rated outdoor enclosures.

Wi-Fi Systems

Installation of standard wireless equipment in non-conventional outdoor settings is growing in popularity. Amusement parks, college campuses and sports stadiums are among the most common examples. In essence, demand is significantly surging for better communication systems within such types of hugely populated regions.

Wi-Fi systems need signals to be dispatched through wireless transmitters. Usually, in outdoor settings, the transmitters require housing within weatherproof junction boxes. This is one of the many uses of outdoor NEMA enclosures.

outdoor NEMA enclosures for car washes
Car Washes

Car washes also use numerous electronic and electrical components. This gadget battles various environmental factors like extreme temperatures, chemical exposure, and regular contact with moisture. Usually, this continuous interaction with such environmental factors needs enclosures, which can effectively withstand such conditions long-term.

Outdoor NEMA enclosures, particularly stainless steel enclosures, are very useful in these situations. These provide temperature tolerance, chemical resistance, and excellent durability, making them the ideal fit for car wash application.

West Tool Enclosures Has A Solution

Whether it is a specific rating or material inspiring your choice of enclosures, West Tool Enclosures can aid you to find the ideal outdoor NEMA enclosure for weatherproof industrial and commercial applications. Additionally, our distinct outdoor enclosures are not only UL listed but also meet the standard NEMA outdoor enclosure requirements and IP65 standard requirements.

Our strict adherence to NEMA outdoor enclosure standards ensures that you only get a quality weatherproof outdoor enclosure ideally resistant to snow, ice, and rain. From junction boxes to project boxes, WTE outdoor enclosures afford protection to ensure your components are both rainproof and weather resistant. Furthermore, we also offer these outdoor enclosures at remarkably competitive prices and quick delivery is by far our specialty. Get in touch with our able team of experts for assistance with your next project.