Do you have an old NuTone IM or IMA series intercom system in your home that has stopped functioning properly? Has one of your room stations on your M&S System intercom gone bad or has the master station begun to malfunction? Are you looking to expand and upgrade? Home Controls can help!
First, we need to share some bad news
Old NuTone and M&S intercom systems can almost never be replaced piece by piece. These manufacturers do not manufacturer replacement parts for their older models, and the newer systems are not backwards compatible. That means buying a new station to replace just one old or broken station is not an option.
Unfortunately, you need to buy an entirely new setup and replace all of your equipment, including the master intercom station, room intercom stations, patio intercom stations, door intercoms, wall and speaker controls, and even the rough-in box or housing that your master station is mounted in.
It’s not all bad news though. Here’s the good news
There are several new intercom systems that offer retrofit options, meaning you can still use the wiring you already have in your walls, no matter if your previous intercom was installed using 3, 4, 6, or even 8 wires. Also, although the new systems are smaller than the old, you will not have to cut any more holes in the drywall. The newer systems provide retrofit moldings that fit the new components’ holes where your old system is installed.
How To Determine How Many Wires Are In Your Old NuTone System: Before you can order an intercom replacement, you need to determine how many wires are used in your existing intercom system. Carefully remove a room station from your wall and count how many individual wires are connected to the back of the station. It’s that simple! If you need more detailed instructions, then read our blog entitled How Many Wires Are In Your Old NuTone or M&S Intercom System?
There are a several choices that work well as replacements – or what we call retrofit – for old NuTone intercom systems. First, there is the new and current NuTone intercom system, which offers plenty of options to replace and upgrade older systems. Also, there is M&S Systems, which is a popular alternative to NuTone. Third, the newest intercom brand at Home Controls is Intrasonic Technology – or IST – and it offers a newer intercom system with more features than what has been seen in other retrofit choices, including iPod connections and Bluetooth capabilities.
The NuTone NM100-series retrofit intercom system replaces any old intercom system that has 3 or 4 wires. This retrofit system can accommodate up to 15 room stations and three door stations. The system has two inputs for audio devices and a built-in AM/FM radio.
Remember, just replacing your current master station with this one will not work; you need to replace the master station plus install all new room stations, door stations, rough in box (located behind master station), and plastic fittings for each of the new parts.
Even if you have 6 wires, you can use the NM100, the 3/4-wire retrofit. You would just use either 3 or 4 of the 6 wires depending on what speakers you use (3-wire or 4-wire). For that matter, you can use the NM200 and use all 6 wires. The NM200 uses either 6 wires or Cat5e.
While the NM100 master station can work with both 3 and 4 wire systems, there is one room, door and patio station built specifically for a 3-wire system and a different room, door and patio station built specifically for a 4-wire system. Keep this in mind when ordering.
If you have an existing 6 or 8 wire system, then you should order the NM200-series intercom system, which has identical features as the NM100. (NOTE: The NM200 is also used for new construction installations.)
- See the NuTone NM-series intercom system here:
Home Controls offers convenient NuTone kits for the NM 100 and NM 200 systems, with the master station, four room stations, a door station, a 3-note doorbell chime, and an outdoor station – or you can create your own kit to match your specific needs. Plastic fittings for all the equipment, a rough-in box, and a gap frame for the master station are sold separately.
Another intercom retrofit option is the M&S DMC3/4. This intercom system is similar to NuTone in that it works as a replacement for current home intercom systems. The DMC3/4 is used when you have a 3 or 4 wire intercom configuration. It can support up to 15 room stations and 3 door stations, and offers 8 AM and 8 FM radio preset.
If you have a 6 or 8 wire configuration, then you will use the upgraded M&S system called the DMC1.
- See the M&S DMC-series intercom system here:
Home Controls offers an M&S package deal that comes with a DMC3/4 or DMC1 master station, four room intercoms, one outdoor speaker, a doorbell chime, and a doorbell intercom station. These kits’s are similarly priced as the NuTone kits, and the rough-in box for the master station, or any plastic fittings for the room stations or door stations are sold separately.
Although NuTone and M&S systems perform very well and are great intercom solutions, the system with the most features is the Intrasonic Technology intercom system. The IST intercom system supports 17 room stations and two door stations, and supports wires already in place from previous intercom systems, no matter whether there are 3, 4, 6 or 8 wires. The IST system also supports 10 preset AM and FM radio stations.
In addition, the master station has a USB port to charge smart devices and play music. IST also carries a Bluetooth adapter that lets you play your music through a wireless connection using a Bluetooth compatible device.
- See the IST RETRO intercom system here:
Home Controls carries an IST kit that includes a master station, a master station adapter cover plate, four room intercom stations, four room adapter cover plates, a door station, and mounting screws. Another difference between this system and the others is that the IST room stations fit into a standard two-gang box, whereas the NuTone and M&S intercom systems are irregularly sized. All of these extra features come at a reasonable price on the Home Controls website.
Another option for replacing your older NuTone or M&S intercom system is to rip all of the wires out of the wall and start over with a new system that uses Cat5 wires, which are Ethernet wires. Systems that run on Cat5 have the advantage of connecting to the Internet, and therefore offer a few more features and perks. The On-Q/Legrand Selective Call Intercom system, for example, has a video door station that can be viewed from a special intercom station inside the house, or from anywhere using an Internet enabling module.
Of course, the process of removing all of the existing wiring and replacing it with new Cat5 wiring is far more labor intensive then merely retrofitting and older system, so you need to balance the cost with the features before you start tearing into your walls.
- See all intercom systems here: