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Entries by Cindy & Christopher (27)

Wednesday
May102017

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 (nscompany@msn.com) and I can send you a specific setup sheet for your system.

 

 

 

 

Friday
May052017

What are NuTone MPP Warranty Products?

The NuTone MPP Products Warranty Program started in 1986 - MPP stands for Maximum Performance Product.

The essence of the MPP Warranty Program was that NuTone products that were part of the MPP Program would be covered for Parts, Labor and In-Home Service, to the original purchaser of the product for as long as they lived in the home.

Originally NuTone's intention was to include only parts into the MPP Warranty, but due to a mistake in how the warranty was written, it also included labor and in-home service.  This mistake was not noticed until the beginning of 1987, at the annual NuTone Sales Meeting in Cincinnati.

The annual Sales Meeting was a gathering of all NuTone Sales Reps from around the country.  By the time of the meeting, the MPP Program had been in effect for almost one year and it had become a great sales tool for both the NuTone Sales Reps and NuTone Dealers.

Consumers loved the idea of buying products that would be covered for as long as they lived in their homes.  NuTone wanted to trim back the warranty to its original concept, but the outcry from the Sales Force was loud and clear, and the MPP Warranty was left as was.

The majority of MPP products were in the higher level product models, entry level models and builders models were typically not covered by the MPP Warranty.

By the late 1980's through the mid 1990's the was a building boom going on and NuTone products were the favorite of customer home builders, home remodelers, and home owners alike.  I can tell you that it was a great time to be not only a NuTone Dealer, but a NuTone Service Center as well.

It was not uncommon to perform 10-15 in-warranty service calls per week.  NuTone Service Centers are paid a flat rate on a per call basis.  If a Service Center was well organized and if they could complete each call in one trip, there was money to make.

In the early 1990's NuTone had a change in leadership and its new president was on a cost-reduction mission.  From a Service Center's point of view, the quality of products was slipping and the number of MPP Warranty calls was on the rise.  It was said the at the peak of the MPP Warranty program, NuTone was spending somewhere around 5 million dollars a year on warranty service.

With the increase in warranty calls, there was also an increase in the number of false in-warranty claims made by both homeowners and less than honest Service Centers.  One of the requirements of the MPP Program was homeowners had to provide Proof of Purchase to the Service Center to validate the warranty claim.  To combat the number of false claims, NuTone began to require that copies of the proof of purchase to be sent in with the billing from the Service Call.  There were also a number of Service Centers that were dismissed due to false claims.

There were limitations in the MPP Warranty. It did not cover cosmetic issues like discolored fan grills or Intercom Door Stations that weathered from being outside.  The original MPP Warranty  specifically addressed failures "due to manufacturing defects" which implied that normal wear-and-tear would not be covered.  In most cases it was the Service Center's job to make the determination, as we were the gate keeper of the MPP Warranty.

By 1994 products that had been originally covered by the MPP Warranty were starting to be replaced with newer products.  These new products were covered by a new warranty program, the PPP Warranty.  This was a much more limited warranty; basically it was five years for parts and two years in home service. 

By 2000 the PPP Warranty was eliminated and replaced by a Two year warranty, which covered parts and in-home service.

Around 2010 a decision was made by the management of Broan-NuTone LLC that ended the MPP Warranty Program once and for all.  Service Centers were told that no claims for MPP Warranty repairs would be paid any longer.  This decision was based on the wording in the five different MPP Warranty statements that were included with NuTone products over the years.  The part of the warranty statement that implied or stated that normal "wear-and-tear" was not covered was enough justification to end the program.

Since the oldest MPP Products were then 24 years old and the newest were 12 years old, how could any problems be from a manufacturing defect?  While this is a reasonable concept, the implementation was handled very poorly.  Many calls for MPP service ended up with the customer stating loud and clear "I'll never buy another NuTone product again" then the phone would click as they hung up. 

By 2010, the number of MPP requests were so small and the majority of them were from people that had used the MPP warranty before, and most of them revolved around Intercom equipment. The cost of the warranty was probably much smaller then the cost to the company's reputation by discontinuing the program.

Wednesday
Nov232016

Visit Our New YouTube Video Index Page

I started making YouTube Videos in January 2015 and to date I have 114 different Videos that cover a wide range of topics and problems with NuTone Intercom Systems.

My self imposed pace bacj in 2015 was at least 1 Video per week.  I've been able to exceed that by just a little and I have many more ideas for future Videos.

Cindy has worked hard and put together a new Page on this site to Index all of our Videos.  The Videos are arranged into groups that match our YouTube Video Play lists.

Here's a link to our new Video Index Page - give it a look and see if you can find a Video that will help you with the problem with your NuTone Intercom System

If you have an idea for a Video, please elt me know and if it's a topic that will help people with their NuTone Intercom systems, I'll see if I can produce it for you.

If you find our Videos interesting and helpful - give them a "Thumbs up" on YouTube.  If you Subscribe to our YouTube Channel, it will raise our Search Rankings on YouTube and more people will find our Videos.

Thanks

Chris

Wednesday
Mar092016

NuTone Entry Door Stations - Does Your Door Chime Ring Every Time?

Everyone says that first impressions are very important.  

When someone walks up to your front door, what kind of impression does your NuTone Entry Door Intercom Speaker make?

If it's more than 10 years old, it's look probably leaves a lot to be desired and it may not actually work any longer.  Any Intercom Station that is mounted on the exterior of a home takes quite a beating over the years with all of the sun, wind and rain.  The paper speaker cones slowly weather away and the contacts inside the Door Chime Push Buttons become corroded and its operation becomes intermittent.

I can't tell you how many times I've had customers tell me that their door chimes will work if you know exactly how to push the button "just right". . . 

To address some of the most common problems with NuTone Door Speakers, I'm starting a series of YouTube Videos that will cover the basic tasks of repairing and replacing existing door speakers.

My first Video covers NuTone Models IS67D and IS69PB (the 2 most popular models) and I show how simple it is to replace the original Door Chime Push Button.

 

The next Video will cover how to replace the Intercom Speaker Cone in these models.

If you need a replacement NuTone PB18LWHCL Door Chime Push Button, contact us. 

 

see allof our YouTube videos here

 

Thursday
Sep102015

Backup Batteries in your NuTone Radio Intercom Master Station

Starting with the NuTone Model IM4006 most Radio Intercom Master Stations have Backup Battery packs.

The purpose of the Backup Batteries are to maintain the Digital Clock settings and the Radio Station Presets.  The batteries do not have anything to do with how the Intercom Systems Operates and the systems will operate normally even with the Battery Pack removed.

Since the earliest model that used a Backup battery was made in 1986 (almost 30 years a go) most of theses Backup Batteries are well beyond their useful life and they no longer can hold a charge.  These types of batteries can leak corrosive chemicals once they have reached their end-of-life and the chemicals can cause damage to other parts of the NuTone Master Station.

Replacement Battery Packs used to be available from NuTone, but they have been discontinued.  Even though the lack of a working Backup Battery will not affect the operation of your system, it is annoying to have to reset the clock and radio presets every time the power goes off.

Since the Battery Packs were made specifically for NuTone, they are not commonly available from other sources.  The real challenge in finding a replacement Battery Pack is finding one that will fit into the allotted space inside the Master Station.

After many attempts we have found the necessary parts to construct new Backup Battery Packs that will fit into the space where the original packs were installed.

Here is a short Video showing our new Backup Batteries can be used in existing NuTone Radio intercom Master Stations.

Installing the new battery pack is easy and we include a new restraing strap which is longer to make installing the Battery easier.

You can contact our office to order your Battery Pack.

Please remember that the old battery should not be throw out in the trash, it should be taken to a proper locations that recycles batteries.