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Main | A Brief History of NuTone Intercom Systems »

Common problems with NuTone Intercom systems

NuTone started making music intercom systems back in the 1950's, and for the past 55 years homeowners have had a hard time finding someone to service and repair their systems.  As one of my favorite electrical contractors would say "those NuTone systems are finicky"!

Having spent the past 30 years servicing and repairing NuTone Intercom systems, there is very little that I haven't seen (although I do get surprised now and then).  

The way I approach intercom problems is fairly simple. Every model that NuTone has ever made has a list, and on that list are the 10 most common problems with each model.  What the 10 problems are will be different for each model and be different as models age.

For instance, 10 common problems with an IMA4006 when it was new will be different than the 10 common problems when it is 25 years old.

One thing I tell my customers is that when a system has a problem that isn't on the 10 most common list, the problem is usually something simple or something expensive.  This may sound odd, but it is most often true. 

In this section I will be outlining the ten common problems with each model of NuTone Intercom systems.

There will be some history about NuTone intercoms, which helps put things into a context and this makes understanding the problems and solutions easier.

You can also ask questions regarding problems with your system by using the email link on this site.

I have begun adding downloadable NuTone Service manuals on the Service and Repair Manual page.  These are the actual factory manuals which I learned from and each model can be repaired with.

There's no reason to live with a broken intercom system, lets find out what's wrong and fix it.



Reader Comments (12)

Very well done; congratulations. My intercom has a hum which becomes louder when the volume is increased. Where might you suggest I look to remedy this problem? This hum occurs in the standby position and makes it impossible to be in the same room as the master unit. Sounds like a filter capacitor or ground is the potential culprit.

December 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichael S.

What is the model number of your NuTone system?

December 21, 2012 | Registered CommenterCindy & Christopher

My system is a IMA4406. I have a patio speaker that no longer functions. Seems there is slight markings on the internal board. I would like to repair or replace this unit. Can you help?

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJack Chizek

Hi Jack,

Most of the time Patio stations just need a new Speaker Cone because the original cone has weathered away from being outside. I'm not sure what you are referring to about the "markings on the internal board".

You can contact us directly to obtain a new speaker cone for your Patio Station


July 31, 2013 | Registered CommenterCindy & Christopher

Ok so I made a booboo I think, I'll start of with model number IM-4406.
This system has the main unit with CD player and all the controls, and then it has a separate unit that houses the cassette player. I am doing some drywall work and decided to try and remove the separate cassette player. So I unscrewed the cassette player housing from the way, I disconnect
The the plug in with the yellow end from the cassette player, now here is where the fun begins, there was one more wire that's went from the cassette player to
The main unit. I cut that wire and from that moment on, no power no display nothing. Please email me back
I'd love to talk with you as I woul be willing to give you my phone number to talk with you
Because I really need this fixed. Thank you so much!

Jon Phillips

April 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJon Phillips

Hi Jon,

It sounds like when you cut the power wires to the cassette player you had not turned the electricity off to the equipment. When you cut the wires, you shorted the output from one of the power transformers that power both the IMA4406 and the CP95 cassette player.

The transformers have internal fuses in them and when you shorted the output, you blew the fuse. The fuse is not replaceable, so you will have to replace the transformer. We stock the transformers for the IMA4406

Please call me for further information


April 30, 2014 | Registered CommenterCindy & Christopher

Can you format this so it fits on the screen? It's too wide and we have to scroll right to read it, all the way down the page.

September 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGreg Nullet

Hi Greg,

We use this page format because it allows use to have larger pictures. I know that the wider pages are somewhat of an issue for smaller displays, however our visitors really like the detail that they see in the large pictures.

Also, you can change the size of displayed information by holding down the CNTRL Button on your keyboard and by using the + or - keys you can enlarge or shrink whats displayed on your monitor


September 25, 2014 | Registered CommenterCindy & Christopher

I have a IMA-203. It was not working when we moved into the house. Nothing at all appears to work. I have not taken the master unit apart yet and cleaned it. It is actually in the return air plenum area so it is very dirty. Can you tell me where i need to start or what would it cost to send it in and have it repaired.

Andrew Sacco

October 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Sacco

Hi Andrew,

The first place to start is to see if your IMA203 is getting power from the remotely mounted transformer. There should be 16-18 Volts AC at the power connection wires on the IMA203.

A common power with the IMA203 are failed ON/OFF Power switches, the switch should click when turned on and again when turned off. If the is no click or the knob just turns around and around, the switch is broken

Please fill out an Intercom Repair Request Form (located under the NAVIGATION HEADING on every page of this site) and once I receive it, I'll contact you directly about the repair of your IMA203


October 25, 2014 | Registered CommenterCindy & Christopher

Dear Chris:

I have a problem with a 2570 speaker. It worked fine for almost 40 years and suddenly it failed. I opened it and disconnected it. I checked the speaker, fine, I checked the controls, fine, then I checked the 8 wire cable and found out the fail. I checked all wires and found out that 7 are working, one is not: the red/white wire. The problem is that this thick grey 8 wire cable is completely stuck in a 40 year old conductor. I have two options, re-wire with a new 8 wire cable (I have original New Nutone 8 wire cable) or wire a second thin 2 wire cable inside (i have that too) to replace the red/white failing wire. I can't do both because the thick old grey 8 wire cable is stuck in the conductor's elbow. Tired of pulling and worried to break the remaining old cable, I had to give up in order to preserve the music. So I kept the 2 blue wires and the 2 orange wires on the right connections and switched the black working wires to red. Now the speaker is working, music and inside communication are working but obviously no outside communication.

I would like to do things right and fix it correctly by rewiring it but I can't. Please, do you have any advice on how to fish out these cables that are stuck ? I heard about cable pulling lubricant but haven't tried it yet. Drilling another hole is not an option because it will ruin the decoration of the living room.


July 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLouis

Hi Louis,

How you would proceed depends a lot on the details:

What size is the conduit and are there other wires in the conduit or just a single IW8 cable

If the conduit is 1/2" diameter with a single IW8 cable, it should be able to pull the wire through, unless the elbow is a tight 90 degree bend, which will make the pull almost impossible.

You can try cable lubricant if the elbow is a sweep 90, it makes a bug difference but you'll need to get the lubricate through the conduit somehow

Best of luck


July 28, 2015 | Registered CommenterCindy & Christopher

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