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Tag Archive NEMA 12

Electrical Enclosure, Electronics Enclosure, Electrical Boxes, NEMA 4, NEMA 12, NEMA 4 Enclosures, NEMA 12 Enclosures,

NEMA 3R vs. NEMA 12 Electrical Enclosures

There are times when customers or companies are having a hard time choosing electrical enclosures for their engineering project. Whether they will consider buying an enclosure applicable to both indoor or outdoor use, they have to carefully consider all the factors. There are engineering projects that only requires indoor electrical enclosures like the NEMA 12, or if they want to use the enclosure for both uses they can opt for NEMA 3R. One of the key elements in considering which enclosure to buy is the presence of harmful elements in the location where the enclosure will be used. Also, companies also consider if they need UV ray protection – but that’s for another topic. In this article, we will compare the NEMA 3R & NEMA 12 to help project engineers choose their electrical enclosure.

What is NEMA 3R Electrical Enclosures?

NEMA 3R electrical enclosures are being utilized for protecting & housing equipment used for power distribution, switch gear, lighting contractors or any equipment that needs protection from the elements present in an outdoor environment. NEMA 3R is resistant to water ingress, ice formation, and snow. NEMA 3R can adapt to both indoor and outdoor use and they can be manufactured from different types of material.

Main NEMA 3R Characteristics:

  • It gives the using personnel protection form having incidental contact with the equipment housed inside the enclosure
  • Gives solid ingress protection from falling dirt
  • It has provision for drainage
  • Gives water ingress protection from rain water
  • It can have alternate locking mechanisms
  • Has no protection form windblown dust unlike its predecessor NEMA 3.

What is NEMA 12 Electrical Enclosures?

NEMA 12 electrical enclosures are primarily manufactured for utilization of indoor engineering projects and is being used across industrial and manufacturing companies. It can also be used for certain machining applications. This type of electrical enclosure will give equipment solid ingress protection from dirt, dust, dripping non-corrosive liquids, floating dust, oil and lubricants. NEMA 12 can be manufactured from different types of steel or plastic material.

  • Primarily manufactured for indoor use
  • It gives protection from solid ingress caused by floating dust, falling dirt, fibers and lint floating in the air
  • Gives water ingress protection caused by dripping water and other non-flammable & non-corrosive liquids
  • It has doors with oil-resistant gaskets
  • It is readily available with pre-punched holes, latches or locks, hinges, insulation, and cutouts
COMPARISON TABLE NEMA 3R NEMA 12
Indoor Use
Outdoor Use  
Light water ingress protection (from dripping water or non-corrosive liquids)
Foreign solid object ingress protection (including non-hazardous objects)
External ice formation protection  
Corrosion Protection    
Protection from rain, sleet, and snow formation