Guide to Electrical Cabinets and Enclosures

When you want to put away all you electronic equipment to ensure that you and the people around you are safe from getting electrocuted and also to protect your electrical equipment, you will most likely need to install an electrical cabinet or otherwise known as an electrical enclosure.

There are so many different types of electrical cabinets and enclosures it might be hard to know which one is best suited to you and your needs. It is important to understand what each electrical cabinet has been designed for so you know which one you may need to install either in your workplace or home. Safety is a big concern for most people so you should install an electrical cabinet according to the industry standards and laws wherever you may be. Below are the types of electrical enclosures and what they have been designed for.


Type 1 has been designed and created for general, everyday indoor use and does not boast many special protective features. It has been designed to protect utility boxes, switch, and junction, and provide an average amount of protection for the people around it. They will usually protect the equipment from some debris but cannot stand up to any harsh weather so putting them outside is not a good idea.

Type 2 is another electrical enclosure that has been designed for the indoors. This model also provides a standard amount of protection against the electrical equipment inside, but also against falling debris. And unlike type 1, the type 2 provides some protection against liquids and spills.

Type 3, Type 3R and Type 3S are more or less the same. Designed mainly for outdoor use, this type protects your equipment from debris, rain, snow, dust, and ice, making it durable against the elements. The only difference in the features is that the external mechanisms on the type 3S will remain operable when covered in ice, which is not the case with the type 3 and type 3R.

Type 4 is very similar to types 3, 3R and 3S but not quite the same. The type 4 has been designed for both indoor and outdoor use and like most other types, it provides protection for electrical equipment. This type can also stand up against the elements like dirt, rain, snow, dust, and ice, and can have more protection against water being able to stand up to heavier rains or hoses.

Type 4X is quite similar to the type 4 and has been designed for indoor and outdoor use. Boasting many of the same features as the type 4 like protecting the equipment from most elements like dirt, rain, snow, dust, and ice. As well as the heavy water protection that is available from the type 4. The main difference between the type 4X and the type 4 is that the type 4X is also resistant to corrosion.

Type 5 has been designed more for indoor use and is more resistant to indoor particles that can affect your electrical equipment. It will of course still provide you and the people around you with safety from the electrical equipment but will also provide your equipment with protection against dirt, airborne dust, lint, fibers and a small amount of protection against spills.

Type 6 and the Type 6P are designed for both indoor and outdoor use. They will both protect you from the electrical equipment and they have both been designed to withstand damage from dirt, ice, and water. They have also been designed to resist a submersion of water, the 6 can only resist submersion temporarily whereas the 6P has a prolonged resistance.

Type 12 and the Type 12K have both been designed for indoor use, to protect from indoor debris. Some of this debris may include dirt, circulating dust, lint, fibres and even accidental spills. The only difference is that the type 12K has been designed with knockouts.

Type 13 is for indoor use, provides protection from unwanted indoor debris such as dirt, dust, lint, and fibers. The type 13, however, provides more protection against spillage and splashing of oil, water, and noncorrosive coolants.

You should choose which electrical enclosure or electrical cabinet is right for your needs or your workplace based on what electrical equipment you need to protect and what kind of climate or surroundings your electrical equipment will need to be protected from. You can find electrical enclosures locally or if you are unsure of where to look, you can find an extensive range of electrical enclosures and cabinets available for you to browse, compare and buy online.