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Weather or not? Cord reels for both indoor & outdoor applications

How to choose the right cord reel – NEMA 2 or NEMA 4?

When selecting any cord reel one of the critical factors to consider is where the reel will be used.  Some installation locations may require a reel to be watertight where others may require only protection against dirt.

A NEMA 2 rating includes enclosures designed for indoor use only that provide protection from access to hazardous parts as well as protection from the ingress of foreign objects – dirt, or dripping water.

A NEMA 4 rating includes enclosures designed for indoor and outdoor use that provide all of the requirements of NEMA 2 as well as protection against windblown dirt and dust, rain, sleet, snow, splashing water and hose directed water.  It should also not be damaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.

When it comes to industrial cord reels, there are times that a NEMA 4 reel may be marked NEMA 2.  Why?  A cord reel may be designed to meet the demands of a NEMA 4 environment, however, when a plug, connector or outlet box is installed on one of these reels – the accessory is only rated for indoor use.  So, the entire reel assembly is de-rated to the lower NEMA 2 marking even though the reel itself is NEMA 4 rated.

If you/your customer requires a NEMA 4 marked reel, be sure to select a reel that does not have an attached accessory.  A NEMA 4 rated accessory can be easily installed in the field if required.

Check out our full line of cord reels. Have more questions?  We’d be happy to help you select a reel suitable for your specific application needs.


Contact KH Industries for more information, including available models and pricing.

Phone: 716-312-0088



KH Industries is the leading U.S. manufacturer of industrial-grade portable lighting and power products for the aviation, utility, fleet, construction, chemical, petroleum, marine, and agricultural industries.  KH Industries is a US manufacturer located in Hamburg, New York.



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