Waterproof switches are types of electrical contactors that are protected against moisture and humidity. The numbers within the International Protection Code (IP) define the protection of objects against dust (first code number) and water (second code number). In order for a component to be protected against water on various levels, it must have at least protection class 5X. Only technical devices with the highest protection class IP68 are immune to dust, contact, and complete submersion under water. Waterproof switches are watertight thanks to their design – they do not require any additional caps or covers – and are used primarily in boat- and shipbuilding. Special safety regulations also make them necessary for manufacturing industrial products or equipment for patient care. If control elements are installed on machines and vehicles that are used outdoors, they require switches that are reliably protected against splash water and water jets.
The use of waterproof switches
Waterproof switches are used in many applications. Even a small amount of moisture inside technical devices, such as in condensation, can cause malfunctions. Electrical contacts are particularly at risk. This can result in the failure of magnetic contacts or leakage currents. For this reason, you should pay particular attention to the IP protection classes according to DIN EN 60529 and DIN 40050 when considering electrotechnical devices for industrial use. For nautical instruments we recommend designs with protective surfaces which do not influence their precise operation. Here, too, the spectrum ranges from simple rubber protective caps for lever switches to IP class 8 for electrical enclosures.