Electrical Utility Cabinets

Electrical utility cabinets house electronic equipment and instruments from unintentional contact, contaminants and interference. The contents of these utility cabinets are often sensitive components of electrical circuits and need to be protected from dust, dirt, water and other liquids. Accidental contact could cause bodily harm and damage the equipment itself. Without a proper shield, electromagnetic interference, or EMI, can disrupt the circuitry of many electronics and interfere with their operation. Therefore, choosing the proper utility cabinets and safety components is key to an overall safe system.

Electrical Utility Cabinets Basics

An electrical utility cabinet is primarily used to protect the users and the contents from the environment. They are the boxes or utility cabinets that enclose electrical or electronic equipment. They are used to mount knobs, switches and displays and also to prevent electrical shock to equipment users.

They are only a part of the equipment which may be seen by the users, and sometimes they are designed not only for their functional use, but also for aesthetic purposes, especially if they are to be positioned in public places; so it is important that they are pleasing to the eye, and fit more comfortably in with the environment.

Utility Cabinets Construction

Electrical utility cabinets are generally manufactured from metals such as aluminum or steel, rigid durable plastics, and may even be made from wood to accommodate various equipment needs. Some utility cabinets may have punched out holes or knockouts that are removed for easier access for conduits, connectors or cables.

Who Supplies Electrical Utility Cabinets

There are numerous power supply manufacturers who supply electrical utility cabinets and some may even customize the product to meet specific needs such as, tapping, drilling punching, milling, painting and powder coating to any color.

Electrical Utility Cabinets and Weatherproofing

Many electrical utility cabinets have some type of weatherproofing, and the level to which a utility cabinet will protect any electrical items is covered by the enclosures IP rating. IP stands for ‘Ingress Protection’ and the ratings are used to define the effectiveness of the sealing of the electrical enclosure against intrusion from foreign bodies (dirt, water, etc.) and/or moisture.

Weatherproof utility cabinets are extremely important, and the level of protection that is required depends on the type of anticipated weather.

If an electrical utility cabinet is to be located in a damp or rainy area, then anything from an IP66 would be suitable. If the weather is just dry and dusty then an IP65 would suffice.

Waterproof electrical utility cabinets are what they claim to be: waterproof. And a utility cabinet with an IP68 rating is required for prolonged immersion in water under pressure, or an IP67 rating for temporary immersion in water.

Electrical utility cabinets are also available in many different materials, and some possess special fire ratings that can withstand temperatures up to 950 degrees centigrade for up to three hours.