Celing Fan UL Ratings: What Do They Mean?

There are specific ratings that are associated with the safety of a ceiling fan when used in a particular setting. Some ceiling fans are safe for wet areas such as pool decks and others are not only unsafe, but would never last under such wet conditions. The three types of ratings are Wet, Dry, and Damp. Of course a Dry rating is pretty self explanatory as it means that the fan is only safe in dry conditions. But what do those wet and damp ratings mean? Isn’t wet and damp the same thing? Not in the electrical world where the difference between wet and damp could mean the difference between a product lasting 5 years and a product not making it through a season.

Wet Rating: Wet rating means that the appliance, such as a ceiling fan, can get wet and will still work just fine. Wet means direct contact with water in a sense that the appliance can actually endure being sprayed with a hose or rained on and it will still continue to operate as though it were dry. A wet rating is important for any appliance that will be subjected to elements outdoors or appliances that will be placed in bathrooms or on pool decks.

If you are not sure if your appliance will get wet, it is a good idea to go ahead with a wet rated appliance anyway. At least if you purchase a wet rated appliance you know that no matter what the appliance will be safe in the conditions or elements that it endures. This way if it gets wet it will not be ruined and will still last the duration of it’s normal life.

Damp Rating: The damp rating is for products that will not come into direct contact with water. A damp rated appliance cannot be used in an environment where it rains or on a pool area where it could be directly splashed with water. The damp rating means that the appliance can be subject to moisture in the air such as high humidity, but it cannot be subject to direct exposure to the elements such as rain or snow.

If you live in a region such as Florida where the humidity levels are often very high, it is a good idea to purchase damp rated appliances even for inside your home. In highly humid regions the humidity can often damage dry rated products in a very short amount of time because the components are unable to withstand the dampness in the air. For this reason, it is suggested that you purchase damp rated appliances so that your appliances will last throughout their expected normal life.

Dry Rating: The dry rating is very simple. IF your appliance will ever be exposed to moisture whether it is humidity or direct water contact, then you cannot use a dry rated model. The dry rating means that the appliance must stay dry and will not work properly in any other condition. Not only will using the wrong model in the wrong conditions ruin your appliances, it could also become a safety hazard as getting certain models wet poses a risk of shock, electrocution, and fire

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