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Main | A Guaranteed Way to Ruin a IM3003 Master Station »

The 10 most common problems with a NuTone IM /IMA3003 Music Intercom System

The IM/IMA3003 Music Intercom System was in production from 1984 through 1994.  During this time there were many electronic updates to the fundamental design of the 3003.

The 3003 is a 3-wire, home-run wired system which has room-to-room intercom functions, entry door communication, built-in AM/FM radio and a digital clock.

The models manufactured in 1984-1985 use different amplifier/control and selector control boards than the later versions.  With the increased popularity of built-in Chime Modules, a change was made to allow the homeowner to take better advantage of this new option.

To be able to hear the Chime Module throughout an early 3003, it was necessary to leave the power switch in the ON position.  If if the power switch was in the OFF position you would not hear the chime tones.  A change was made in 1986 which allowed the chime to be heard regardless of the power switch position. There was a Factory Modification to convert early models if needed.

The 3003 does have a true digital clock, however it has an analog (mechanical) tuner.  The tuner is connected to the digital display for convenience, but it is not a digital tuner.

There are Room Control Switches behind the door which surround the clock.  Behind this door are the Intercom Volume and Tone Controls along with buttons to set the clock.

The 3003 uses 25 ohm speakers throughout the system.

Inside remote speakers are Models:

    IS/ISA305:  Small inside stations with 5" speaker cones, Ivory, White, Faux Wood Grain

    IS/ISA308:  Large inside stations with 8" speaker cones, Ivory, White, Faux Wood Grain


Inside wall mounted Remote-Controls:

     IC/ICA301:  A small wall station with volume and intercom control, no built-in speaker


Inside Remotely mounted Ceiling Speakers:

    IS76:  A round Ceiling Speaker with a 8" speaker cone, used with IC/ICA301 remote control

    IS75:  A round ceiling speaker designed to look like a recessed light fixture with a 5" speaker cone.


Inside Volume Controls:

     IC901:  A wall mounted Volume Control used when creating a Music-Only location. 

Reader Comments (113)

Do you have a parts list for that handful of capacitors you changed on the IM-3003? I have to do the same rebuild to my Nutone IM-3003. Some of those capacitors leaked electrolyte and I now have no amplification on the system, just very low volume. The problem is the capacitors are so old and leaking, that I can't read the numbers on them. Nobody services these units anymore, so I wanted to order that set of capacitors from Radio Shack or somewhere and replace them myself.

December 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEd Jack

I would recommend that you download a free copy of the IM3003 Service Manual from our site and use the information in it to create a list of the parts your unit needs.

The substance you see on the outside of the capacitors is not the electrolyte material from inside the capacitor, it is glue that was applied to help hold the larger capacitors in place during manufacturing.

I will caution you of doing this repair yourself it you are not familiar with working on electronics. Unless care is taken and the right tools are used, the circuit board can become damaged and then useless.

We do repairs on all NuTone Intercom systems, including the IM3003

Best of luck


December 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristopher

Looks like my Amplifier is bad, Cant I just replace it with a new one? If so where can I get one

December 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJim

I don't believe you can just replace it with a "new one". Because new ones haven't been made in almost two decades. Even if you could find a "new old stock" board, the capacitors are going to be almost 20 years old. So those capacitors on that "never used" board are likely to also be bad from shelf life. Capacitors are like batteries. Even a new/never used battery sitting on a shelf for years would be dead if you tried to use it 20 years later. Capacitors go bad after 10-15 years of heated use, but also will go bad after 20+ years shelf life even if never used.

I replaced that set of 10 capacitors on mine, and now the volume is VERY LOUD. I have to turn the master system volume to about 1/3 power. Works great now. It is actually so much louder that it startled me when I first turned it on after the repair. When my wife came home and said "is it fixed?" and pressed the button to turned it on FM Radio, she jumped and it scared her it was so loud and worked so good. The best part is I finally have a working doorbell after all these years of people pressing the doorbell and thinking nobody was home, or having to pound and beat down the door with there fist to get me to hear it. I only replaced the 10 capacitors in the picture. I didn't replace any of the diodes.

In order to change the capacitors, you have to be fairly skilled in soldering. But an even more important skill needed for this repair is DE-SOLDERING. You also need to have a special de-soldering tool that both heats an iron, and has a bulb or vacuum that sucks up the molten solder, and do it all in less than two seconds per solder (and there are 20 points to de-solder on the board for those 10 capacitors). Two seconds to de-solder, and two seconds to solder. Otherwise, you fry the board beyond repair. You also have to put the right capacitor in the right place, with the negative on the correct side. Or if you don't put the right capacitors in with the correct negative orientation, you are going to have a board full of 10 miniature firecrackers that will all pop like the 4th of July when powered up.

December 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEd Jack

I have a Nutone IMA 3303 and it comes on by itself and jumps between AM and FM. Anyone experience this problem? The timer is not on and it is turned off at the main switch yet it does it some days and other it works just fine. Thoughts?

December 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGil

The power supply / amplifier / intercom control board for your IM3003 has not been available for purchase for many years. Rebuilding the original board from your own Master Station is always the first best option. Finding a replacement board is usually the last resort when an original board can not be repaired. You can contact me directly in regard to having your IM3003 repaired. Thanks Chris, Onwer

December 29, 2012 | Registered CommenterCindy & Christopher

So, sounds like I have the same issue with my Nutone 3003. buzzing system and need for replacement of capasitors. You mention you repair. How much would it costs to replace the parts?

January 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRon

A Private Message has been sent to Ron

January 11, 2013 | Registered CommenterCindy & Christopher

for me its the tuner drifting off the station and clicking noises as if you were turning on and off the intercom

January 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersteve

STEVE: What is the Model number of your system? If it's a IM3003 a drifting tuner could be cause by a power supply issue (which also could explain the clicking noise problem) or it could just be a tuner board problem.


January 18, 2013 | Registered CommenterCindy & Christopher

I have a Nutone IMA3303 which was working fine (intercom to all rooms in house, AM FM, door chime). Power was out for half an hour and now only red light is on and backlit display only (no sound and nothing in the display). Is there a reset switch/button or any ideas on repairs?

January 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRand

Rand: The IM3303 does have a reset button. Download a copy of the owners manual. It shows where the reset button is located.

January 20, 2013 | Registered CommenterCindy & Christopher

Do you rebuild the IM3003. I have one that has issues.

January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSfchatt

Yes, we do repair all NuTone Intercom Master Stations. You can fill out a Intercom Repair Request Form and we will contact you directly regarding your system and its problems.


February 1, 2013 | Registered CommenterCindy & Christopher

I seem to have the same problem with TWO units one about 20 years old (3003) and a newer one about 15 years old (3003L---I think)...Well they both seem to have
the new capacitor trouble board --problem.

Both have just weak output . I would like to send them both in for repair if reasonable... I only need one working unit though.

Please let me know.

Thanks ,

March 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdale

I have a Nutone 3003 intercom and it experiencing many of the issues (chimes don't work, hum from speakers, etc) is it possible to send it to be refurbished since it doesn't appear that there are local service centers due to the age of the unit.

March 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

Hi Greg,

Yes we certainly can repair and rebuild your IM3003. Please fill out a Intercom Repair Request Form and then we will contact you regarding the repair.


March 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristopher

I have a Nutone 3003 intercom that has a loud static / buzzing noise coming from it, just wanted to know the solution to the problem and how much it would cost me?

April 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLouis

Hi Louis

Please fill out a Intercom Repair Request Form and then I will contact you to discuss the problems and repair of your IM3003


April 3, 2013 | Registered CommenterCindy & Christopher

Hi, this is a nice site.

We recently bought a house which came with a Nutone 3003 intercom. On the lower right side, the Nutone has a switch that can ben set to AM, FM, Phono and Tape. Does this mean we have a version on which we can plug in a CD player? Where would the input jacks be?

Thanks for your help.

- Michael

April 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

Hi Michael,

Your IM3003 has 2 auxiliary input jacks which are located on the back of the Master Station. You can connect a CD player or iPod/iPad to the Tape jack. The Phono input is designed for a phonograph and it will not sound properly with another type of device connect to it. Remember that the IM3003 is a Mono system and your CD player or iPod are stereo, so you will need a Stereo to Mono cable to make the connection. These are commonly available at your local Radio Shack.


April 8, 2013 | Registered CommenterCindy & Christopher

Hi Chris,

But the Master Station is built into a wall. If the Phono/Tape jacks are on the back, how do I access them? Should I look for an outlet in a wall somewhere that leads to those jacks?

Thanks again for your help.

- Michael

April 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

Hi Michael,

The jacks on your IM3003 are probably not connected to anything at this time. You should cal me to discuss what type of connection you need and how to hook it up so it will work properly


April 16, 2013 | Registered CommenterCindy & Christopher

Have a Nutone radio intercom IM3003 that went from working to totally dead. Would kike to get it rebuild. Where do I get a repair request form?

June 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLeonard Davidson

Hi Leonard,

The Intercom Repair Request Form is in the Navigation Section on the right hand side of the home page


June 1, 2013 | Registered CommenterCindy & Christopher

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