IP Rating and Bathroom zones

IEE Wiring Regulations have identified the following zones and IP ratings to ensure safety.


Inside the bath or shower. Any fitting here must be SELV (max 12v) and a minimum rating of IPX7. (Protection against immersion in water).

Above the bath or shower to a height of 2.25m. A minimum rating of IPX4 is required * See note 1.

The area stretching to 0.6m outside the bath or shower and above the bath or shower if over 2.25m. A minimum rating of IPX4 is required.

Anywhere outside zones 0, 1, and 2. Where water jets are not used for cleaning purposes, the general rules BS7671 apply. * See note 1.

All final circuits require 30mA RCD protection.


In zones 1 and 2 if there is a likelihood of water jets being used for cleaning purposes a minimum of IPx5 is required.
Where ceiling heights exceed 2.25m, the zones are effectively up to 3m, beyond 3m the walls are out of scope.
Basins are not covered, however they are usually considered zone 2.

If the space underneath a bath cannot be accessed without tools that space is considered out of zone.
Information contained on this page is for guidance only. Please refer to current IEE Regulations or a qualified electrician.


The IP (ingress protection) rating given to an enclosure states the degree of protection of offers by means of two digits.
A summery of these are detailed below. For more information please see IEC 529: 1989 BSEN 65029:1992.





Protection against solid foreign objects and access to hazardous parts.

At the lowest of seven levels is 0, this means no protection is offered.

At the highest level 6, there shall be no entry of dust particles.




1st 0 No Protection

1st 0 Protected against solid objects larger than 50mm e.g. accidental touch.

1st 0 Protected against solid objects larger than 12.5mm e.g. fingers.

1st 0 Protected against solid objects larger than 2.5mm e.g. tools and cables.

1st 0 Protected against solid objects larger than 1mm.

1st 0 Protected against dust (no harmful deposits).

1st 0 Protected against dust (no harmful deposits).

1st 0 Totally protected against dust.

No Protection 2nd 0

Protected against vertically falling drops of water e.g. condensation. 2nd 0

Protected against direct sprays of water up to 15° from the vertical. 2nd 0

Protected against direct sprays of water up to 15° from the vertical. 3rd 0

Protected against water splashes - limited ingress permitted. 4th 0

Protected against low pressure jets of water - limited ingress permitted. 5th 0

Protected against strong jets of water - limited ingress permitted. 6th 0

Protected against temporary immersion in water(150mm and 1m.). 7th 0

Protected against continuous submersion at a specified depth. 8th 0





Protection against entrance of water on a progressive scale. At level 1 dripping water shall have no effect. At level 6 water from powerful jets against the enclosure shall have no effect.

The letter X can be used in place of the first digit or second digit to indicate that tests have not being carried out or are not applicable.





IEC 529, bs en 60529 does not apply to any risk of explosion or conditions such as humidity, corrosive gases, fungi or vermin. In certain cases equipment designed to be mounted in an enclosure will contribute towards the stated IP rating (e.g. Push buttons mounted in an enclosure). Different parts of enclosures can have different degrees of protection and still conform to the standard (e.g. Enclosures with pre-drilled conduit entry). All information strictly for guidance only, please refer to regulations and manufacturers for information if you are in any doubt.

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