Tips on Selecting a NEMA 4 Enclosure
Do you need to protect the entire enclosure, or only a sensitive component? For example, if only one component needs NEMA protection, then protect that component with a small die-cast type NEMA box like the one featured in the video below, instead of buying a large NEMA 4 enclosure.
What level of protection is required? The most common mistake is to specify a NEMA 12 enclosure, when in fact NEMA 4 enclosures offers more environmental protection. On the other hand, don't over specify, because each increasing level of protection can exponentially increase the cost of an enclosure. Consider where the enclosure will be located. Often a NEMA 12 enclosure will work if there is no spray down requirement. There is no point to specifying UV stabilization if the plastic enclosure is being used indoors. Review our Quick Guide to Common NEMA Ratings for guidance.
What material do you need? Steel is often the choice for a NEMA enclosure, especially for large enclosures where its strength is helpful. However, plastic is less costly and provides adequate protection in many applications. Polycarbonate plastic, ABS plastic, fiberglass (featured in video below), and die cast-aluminum enclosures are lower cost materials than steel and should not be overlooked.
Can your vendor make modifications? If you are dealing with more than a few pieces, Bud has the best equipment to easily and affordably modify the enclosure with cut-outs and to add cable glands for NEMA 4X applications. Leave it to the pros; you'll avoid delays and the risk of mistakes.