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What Should I Protect in a Stainless Steel Enclosure?
Electrical enclosures are often built with one purpose in mind: to keep their contents safe from moisture, wind, rain, heat, solid debris, and physical intrusion. Stainless steel enclosures are usually used indoors and outdoors to protect against electrical accidents. In some cases, they serve as a barrier between electronics and potentially corrosive environments, such as in a chemical factory.
Outdoors, an electrical enclosure’s best attribute is its impermeability. Protecting delicate components from rain, intense heat, and dust is arguably their primary job. What you can or cannot protect in a particular enclosure is mostly dependent on the level of protection it offers.
At West Tool Enclosures (WTE), one of the questions we are frequently asked is, “What type of stainless steel enclosures do I need?” A reasonable question, no doubt, but one with no simple answer. Electrical setups vary quite dramatically depending on the following factors:
Scale (Commercial or Residential)
WTE supplies configurable stainless steel enclosures for a wide range of applications. We construct outdoor electrical enclosures for municipals, configurable enclosures for control houses, and even waterproof junction boxes for large scale real estate projects.
Your electrical system determines the type of enclosure you need, both in terms of size and protection level.
Level of Protection Required
WTE is a reputable supplier of high-grade stainless steel electrical enclosures for outdoor use. We furnish our clients with enclosures and junction boxes for applications that demand UL 3R and 4X Ratings. In exceedingly moist/humid, windy, dusty, rainy, or corrosive conditions, you will most likely need a NEMA rated and UL listed enclosure from WTE.
An electrical enclosure is typically used to protect and house electrical components. However, we design enclosures for uses that extend beyond the storage of electrical components.
WTE manufacturers equipment enclosures as well. Your electronics should never be exposed to extreme humidity, water sprays, heat, and chemicals. These can easily damage and destroy them beyond repair. For that reason, you need an electrical enclosure with a suitable rating.
What are the Typical Contents of a Stainless Steel Electrical Enclosure?
Electrical wiring can’t be left exposed, even when adequately insulated. Not only do they become a tripping hazard, but exposed wires are also more likely to cause shocks and electrical fires.
In industrial environments, it is crucial to protect your wiring from heavy machinery and corrosive chemicals. In a residential setup, junction boxes and stainless steel enclosures conceal wires and components that may otherwise be unsightly.
Knobs, Switches, & Displays
Electrical enclosures can be modified to accommodate items other than wires. In some cases, they are designed to house knobs and switches as well as displays.
Lift station control panels are an example. In rural water facilities, sewage lift control rooms, and control houses (such as in nuclear power plants), you will find such control panels housed in stainless steel enclosures.
Meters that measure electrical current need to be kept safe from the elements as well as moisture penetration and dust ingress. WTE manufacturers enclosures for highly specific applications, including municipal housing meters that measure electrical consumption.
Electrical Tools & Equipment
A common feature of worksites that utilize electric tools is electrical enclosures, which keep their tools safely stored and protected from dampness, debris, and rust.
Stainless steel enclosures used for this purpose have a second advantage: they are very secure. they’re built using high-grade stainless steel in 12 gauge or 14 gauge.
What are Electrical Enclosures Generally Used For?
Protecting Outdoor Electrical Systems
Outdoor lighting, pool pumps, and sprinkler systems depend on quality enclosures to withstand long term exposure to the elements.
We craft different types of enclosures to facilitate the storage of electrical components in outdoor setups. Because WTE uses state-of-the-art technology to manufacture its enclosures. We can guarantee that all our electrical enclosures are UL-listed and NEMA-rated.
Housing Electrical Equipment in Humid/Moist Conditions
IP-rated junction boxes and enclosures provide different levels of protection against water penetration as well as dust ingress. Ordinarily, not even well-built stainless steel enclosures can stop leaks without the necessary IP rating.
Ingress Protection ratings determine how well an enclosure stands up to moisture, be it in the form of drops or jets. It also tells you if your enclosure will survive heavy rains or high-pressure jets of water, such as the ones used in car washes.
Storing Junction Boxes in Indoor Electrical Circuits
Believe it or not, a common use of an electrical enclosure is to store other junction boxes! Chances are, there is an enclosure within your home. Large residential properties may sometimes house electrical components in dedicated outdoor enclosures for reasons to do with space management.
Electrical systems must stay protected as a safety measure against electrocution and electrical accidents.
Protecting Electronics in Corrosive Industrial Environments
Saltwater and oxygen are two of the most common corrosive agents for metals. WTE uses stainless steel enclosures to stop the deterioration of enclosures due to rust. For industrial applications, however, that’s not all we do.
Provide NEMA-Certified Protection in Manufacturing Plants
Some manufacturers are required to use NEMA enclosures as dictated by the regulations. Though many manufacturers out there can meet your demand for NEMA enclosures, few can offer the same quality and materials you get with WTE enclosures.
Why WTE Enclosures Offer Better Protection
Cut to Order
An enclosure that’s cut to order comes only with the openings necessary for buttons, conduits, and wires. These holes must be trimmed precisely so that there are no gaps left after installation.
WTE enclosures are always cut to order. Every button, wire, and conduit is considered and planned for in the design of each enclosure.
Quality, High-Grade Stainless Steel
An enclosure is only as durable as its materials. At WTE, we use different grades of steel or stainless steel to suit various applications.
For instance, most electrical enclosures can be made from 304 stainless steel, which is robust and resilient. More demanding applications call for more durable materials, which is why we use 316 grade stainless steel to make them stand up to the corrosive environment better.
WTE specializes in creating enclosures for several different applications. We understand that every setup demands a different type of enclosure, which is why we are always ready to configure your order to suit your needs.
Ideally, your enclosure should be configured to comfortably accommodate your electrical components and provide easy access whenever necessary. Depending on the location of your setup, the perfect electrical enclosure could take many shapes and forms.
Why are enclosures from WTE easier to install than other manufacturers? It’s simple: we care enough to deliver only the finished product to your doorstep. We are the only enclosure manufacturer that provides fully assembled products, so our enclosures are the easiest to install.
Our enclosures are easy to install because when they arrive, half the work is already done for you. Furthermore, with precision technology, we cut every enclosure precisely how you want it so that it arrives as a perfect fit and is ready for wiring.
Why Choose WTE for your Custom Enclosures?
How long do you usually have to wait for a custom enclosure to be delivered to you? A month? Two months? Ten weeks?
How about just two weeks? That’s right, WTE has the fastest turnaround time in the business. While most manufacturers take at least a month to deliver, we take half of that because your time is too valuable to be spent waiting around.
WTE is set apart from the rest by its uniquely quick delivery times. What’s more, our quality stays the same even though we take only a fraction of the time it takes to deliver the same product. No matter what you order, we will have it sent to you in just two weeks. No other company will save you that much in terms of time.
Simple Design & Order Process
Making mistakes while ordering an enclosure is easy. However, it is also completely avoidable. Our online design tool makes sure of it.
We have the most straightforward, most accurate design tool in the industry. Where others strive just to minimize mistakes, we have perfected the design process so that you can place your order quickly and precisely.
WTE makes it possible for you to view your order even before construction begins. We provide the necessary submittal documents and CAD files in downloadable formats so you can examine and modify your enclosure specifications as you please.
Sending back an enclosure because of wrong dimensions or misplaced holes costs you a lot of time and money. We help our clients avoid all that with our design tool, which takes them through a simple step-by-step process where they pick the base outline as well as all the necessary modifications for their enclosures before submitting it to us.
Arrives Assembled, Ready for Wiring
Assembling an electrical enclosure takes up more time than it is worth. Of course, you will only have to do this when you buy an enclosure elsewhere because WTE enclosures always arrive fully assembled.
We would like to save you the time and manpower it takes to assemble enclosures. Anything can go wrong during assembly, too, so we eliminate any uncertainties in the design by shipping your enclosure fully assembled and ready to wire.
At West Tool Enclosures, you can find a variety of stainless steel enclosures and junction boxes for all sorts of applications. No one makes better configurable enclosures than us. We assemble and deliver enclosures faster than anyone in the industry, but more importantly, we give you American-made quality that you can trust. Check out the online design tool and register an account to save your custom builds for your next order.