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Adjusting your Chime Module Volume - First get the Basic system Adjustments Correct

The single most common problem that customers have with their NuTone Intercom Systems is that they can't hear the Door Chime throughout their home well enough.

While this can be a fairly serious problem with an aging Master Station, it is very often just that the Intercom system is out of adjustment, which compromises how well the Door Chime is heard.

Since NuTone has made Intercom Systems since 1957 and there are dozens and dozens of different models, it's not practical for me to try and describe how to set the adjustments on a Model by Model basis.  It would also be very time consuming to make a YouTube Video for each model.

In many cases the reason that you cannot hear your Door Chime as loudly as you have in the past, is because over time the volume controls on the remote stations have been slowly turned down further than is correct.  When you lower the volume control on a remote station, you are not only lowering the music volume, you are also lowering the Door Chime volume.  

Contrary to to what most people would think to be normal, the volume controls on all of the remote stations should start on the highest setting (turned all the way up).  Whenever I have done demonstrations for customers with a new installation and I tell them to leave the volume controls set to maximum, they give me this funny look - like I'm crazy.  For some reason people are uncomfortable with having anything set at full.

What you may find is that when you turn your volume controls back up (to full) the music volume and possibly the Intercom Volume will be too loud.  This is when you go to your Master Station and readjust the System Adjustment for the Music and Intercom.

Since there are many different NuTone Models, I can't tell you how all of these adjustments will be labeled on your particular model, however for the most part (especially on models made since 1974) you will have an "Intercom Volume" and "System Volume" adjustment.

While NuTone calls these adjustments "Volume Controls", they aren't.  They are actually "Gain Controls".  

Gain Controls adjust the amount of signal that is feed into the Amplifier of the system.

Amplifiers are a fairly easy device to understand.  All Amplifiers are designed to be able to produce a certain amount of power (watts).  So, the questions is, how does the amplifier know how much power to make?

The answer is actually easy - the more signal that is fed into the amplifier, the more power it makes.

As an example, if your amplifier is capable of making 10 times the power of the signal that is fed into it - and you feed in a signal of 1 - the amplifier will make a power level of 10 - if you feed in a signal of 5 - the amplifier will make a power level of 50.

Now back to adjusting your system:

With all of the Volume Controls set to maximum, including the controls on your Master Station, first set the "System Volume" or "Volume to all Speaker" or "Radio Volume" to a level that gives you a comfortable  Day-to-day listening level.  There is no absolute setting for this adjustment - it's simply whatever your comfortable listening level is.

Now, with the help of someone else, try the Intercom part of your System - talking back and forth.  If the conversation is too loud - turn the "Intercom Volume" on the Master Station down to a more comfortable level.  If the communication is too low - turn the Intercom Volume up.

The by-product of setting your system up this way is that now, your amplifier in the Master Station is making just enough power to operate your system at the levels that you need in your home, without making extra power (or working too hard).  The clarity of the music and Intercom conversation should be much higher and making small adjustments (like 5%) to the volume controls in individual rooms will make a noticeable difference in the music level in that room without compromising the Intercom or Door Chime volumes.

After setting up your System this way, you may actually find now that your Door Chime is way too loud, why is this?

Chime Modules were always an optional extra with every NuTone Intercom system.  When the Installer was trimming out your Intercom System, he would have added the Chime Module to your Master Station.  Chime Modules were never preset to any particular volume level, it was the installer's job to set it to a comfortable level after the installation was completed - this often didn't happen or the installer didn't understand how to setup the new system correctly.

If you find that you Door Chime is now too loud, don't worry - there's an adjustment for that. 

Adjusting the Chime Module is easy, however it does require opening up the Master Station - locating the Chime Module and making the adjustment.

To help you with this - you can go to our YouTube Channel - find the Playlist for your NuTone Intercom Model - watch the Video that shows how to open up your Master Station - and take note of the part of the Video that tells you where the Chime Module is located inside your Master Station.

Once you found your Chime Module, watch this Video

This Video covers all of the different NuTone Chime Modules and their Volume Adjustments

If you need specific help with setting up your NuTone Intercom System, you can email me ( and I can send you a specific setup sheet for your system.





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