What are IP Ratings?
IP stands for Ingress Protection, and relates to the standard EN60529 - an international classification system for the sealing effectiveness of enclosures of electrical equipment against the intrusion into the equipment of foreign bodies (such as dust, fingers, tools) and moisture. The classification uses the letters IP followed by two, or occasionally three further digits, and this indicates the degree of protection provided. The higher the number, the greater the protection.
The first digit relates to the degree that persons are protected against contact with moving parts that could prove hazardous, and also the degree that equipment is protected against solid foreign bodies intruding into the unit.
The second digit is most relevant to hand dryers, and indicates the degree of protection against the harmful entry of various forms of moisture.
So for example, the Airforce hand dryer has an IP rating of IP24. After the IP, the first digit, 2, indicates that the dryer has 'protection against fingers or other objects not greater than 80mm in length and 12mm in diameter'. The second digit, 4, indicates that Airforce is protected against splashed water.
Additionally, the 17th Edition of the IEE Wiring Regulations now considers a room containing a bath or shower to be a special location due to the increased risk of electric shock.
The bathroom has been split into Zones 0, 1 and 2. The Airforce and Airstream HD2 hand dryers are suitable for Zone 1 areas, and all other hand dryers are suitable for Zone 2 areas. The extent of the Zones are detailed in the diagrams below.
Zone Diagram for Bath Areas
Zone Diagram for Shower Areas