What Is the Difference Between Electrical Enclosures and Boxes?


Electrical enclosures are ideal for housing electrical components and have been specifically designed to keep such components protected from environmental factors such as chemicals, dust, water and wind in a workplace. Continuous gaskets manufactured from polyurethane foam ensure they are waterproof, with maximum integrity guaranteed by the seal.

But how do electrical enclosures and boxes differ from one another? And which is more suited to a business environment?

The differences


While there are several differences between electrical enclosures and boxes, the biggest difference simply comes down to size. 

Enclosures can be pretty big, while junction boxes tend to be considerably smaller. These boxes can be made use of for anything from outlets and switches to ceiling fixtures and can be round, rectangular, shallow or square. 

Style covers

Enclosures also offer a number of different styles for covers including the likes of screw, hinge with latch, and hinge with screw. 

A clear cover

Those who would prefer a clear cover might be better to get a junction box, which offers the ability to enable a clear view of what is inside, something that is not offered by electrical enclosures.


Electrical boxes are also more likely than electrical enclosures to come with partially punched openings known as knockouts which are removable to be able to make space for the likes of cables, conduits or connectors. 

Plastic and metal

There are both plastic and metal types of electrical boxes, with plastic being non-conducive and relatively cheap. However one of the major disadvantages of plastic boxes is how brittle they are, which makes them a lot less durable than is the case with the metal varieties. 

Electrical enclosures, on the other hand, come in a much wider variety of types, some of which are more suited to a business environment than others. These types include the likes of mild steel enclosures and stainless steel enclosures. 

Mild Steel Enclosures

Steel is very common because of how strong and cost-effective it is, but raw steel is also highly susceptible to corrosion and needs to be coated with methods including zinc or powder-coating, painting or galvanising. 

Mild steel enclosures are made use of in a number of ways including for big MCCs, traffic control boxes on roadsides, and indoor switchboards. They are suitable for use indoors and outdoors except for in areas such as on the coast which encourage corrosion and are thus ideal for use in business environments. 

Stainless steel enclosures

Stainless steel is much tougher than mild steel which makes it difficult to work with and cut but also a good deal stronger on a structural level. Because it is very resistant to corrosion, stainless steel enclosures do not even need to be coated and can be used outdoors in coastal locations, food preparation areas and many corrosive environments. 

Ultimately, the type of the electrical enclosure or box you use will depend on the nature of your business and where it is situated.