Parts for my Nutone home communication system?

The person in the kitchen had all the power! This is the main control unit. I can just see Maw Cleaver calling Wally and the Beav up for supper using this spiffy intercom.

Hello! I just wanted to take a moment to congratulate you on a fabulous website! Very informative and groovy to boot! I was looking at your catch all page of retro things in your home to answer all our ?’s but one thing I have had trouble figuring out isn’t on that list.

Have you ever come across info for the Nutone Home Communication Systems?

In our circa 1959 Split Level we have a seriously cool control panel in our kitchen that is supposed to receive AM radio and can be played throughout the home in the rooms that have wired in speakers.

We’re suspecting that since we can’t get sound anymore that there might be a newer component that we can slip in behind the old display. (That’s what we are hoping anyway!) We’re assuming that pneumatic tubes are quite $$$ and hard to find these days.

Have any hints for where to start looking for such a creature?

Thanks for any help you can be!

Sincerely,
Jenn M.

Jenn adds when she sends the photo:

The person in the kitchen had all the power! This is the main control unit. I can just see Maw Cleaver calling Wally and the Beav up for supper using this spiffy intercom. And curious as well, am i correct in thinking that the jack that says “phono” means one could possibly at one time have plugged in a record player to this unit? This would be great to restore–i hope someone has some ideas out there!!!

Thanks for the question, JitterbugJenn. I certainly have seen these vintage Nutone systems – in homes and also on ebay – but as far as parts to — this is another technical issue that I am going to have to turn over to Retro Renovation readers. Anyone know about these? VIntageAppliGuy???

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Comments

  1. vintageappliguy says

    JitterBugJenn,
    Your intercom uses vacuum tubes (pnuematic tubes are what we use at the drive up window at the bank) that are a dime a dozen and that are still even produced in some 3rd world countries. The houses in my neighborhood also had Nutone Intercoms as an option when they were built between 1967 and 1969 and mine needs repairing as well and that is why I found a place in Lebanon Ohio that very well maybe able to help you too. It is called R&I Enterprises and they specialize in fixing really old NuTone Intercoms, bathroom fans & heaters, food centers (you know…the ones built into the counter), and burgurlar alarms. R&I does have modern units that can use your old units wiring if your old unit is unfixable. I suggest you call them at this # 800-525-7194 and talk to them. Tell them you have the NuTone Intercom 2011/2012 (I saw a pic of your master unit on thier site with that model #)and what is wrong with it and see what they say. Let us know what happens ok. PAT COFFEY

  2. vintageappliguy says

    Oh and yes, You are correct, you can connect a phongraph to your intercom just like I can with mine…..PAT

  3. vintageappliguy says

    Ahh..go on Pam…your making blush…….Well I just hope this helps JitterbugJenn keep her retro intercom…PAT

  4. jitterbugjenn says

    Thank you so much Pam for your help getting my ? out there and Pat for answering it soquickly and thoroughly! Weee, i am so overcome with glee i can hardly wait to have this component fixed! Merry Christmas to me!

    I hoping a music bridge will work with it too, so that music from the computer can be sent over the AM waves throughout the house. Best thing about fixing it though, is that we could pipe our local “Music of your Life” station KIXI through the house: we could be ironing in the utilily rm. to a little Sammy Davis Jr., eating dinner during “Martini Time”, then crafting in the sewing rm while listening to Imagination Theatre.

    This is gonna be fabulous!! Thank you both again sooooo much!
    Fondly,
    Jenn (aka the Rocket Scientist that confused pneumatic tubes with vacuum tubes–sheesh! Sorry about that!)

  5. says

    Jenn,

    Nice Nutone! Pat is on the money about the tubes (Hey Pat, didn’t know you frequented here!). This Nutone is really no more than a glorified radio with with the ability to switch in/out speakers before and after the amplifier stage (using the spkr as a mic) and if you can find a radio collector in your area they should be able to fix you up for a fraction of what it would cost to send it off. But, finding radiomen these days can be tough. A new set of capacitors and a thorough cleaning of the switch contacts and I bet it’d be good as new.

    While I don’t have the master unit, I do have the phonograph to this series. It flips down out of the wall and is trimmed with a wood surround and metal front. I found it on ebay a few years back but still am not sure where to put it.

    If you can’t get the AM transmitter to work to your satisfaction, a patch cable plugged into the phono jack will let you plug in an iPod full of classics!

    • tracey carter says

      i just purchased a home with a 2401/2 nutone….6 intercoms and record player receiver and radio…in perfect condition…does not work…i want to fix it but don’t no where to start…

  6. Femme1 says

    Just an aside: Today I was searching on eB*y for “Nutone” to find a part for my longbell door chimes, and saw a vintage Nutone intercom system (including the record player and several intercom boxes for different rooms, AND the front door box) bid up to $100 already. There are still a few days left on the auction. If you search on “vintage Nutone intercom system,” it should come up.

  7. vintageappliguy says

    I have posted a reply 4 or 5 times and has not taken so i will make it short this time…I think that it is better to let a guy who knows NuTone intercom systems look at jenn’s…just in case it is something that needs a unique Nutone part….that way it can be fixed right and in the parts….just my 2 pennies worth…PAT

  8. disintegrated says

    The switches in the Nutone systems rot out and I have not been able to find replacements even from the company that made them for Nutone. I will try te company recommended, but hmm,

    They used complex switch contacts because the stations are strung along in like christmas lights while the new systems from Nutone are wire outward from the master like a a star, so you cant use the old wire and the wall receptacle is a different size so you have to bash plaster and paint , I was trying to replicate the basic functions with toggle switches and some ramsey amps using the same wiriing and receptacles on a brass plate or something…

  9. Patrick l Smith says

    My father was a electrican for over 40 years I have two building full of equipment. I know we have a lot of the old Newtone Radios from the 1960 in the box still new never open.

  10. Jim M says

    Patrick, if you happen to check back, I’m looking for an old master station for an early 60s version. Let me know if you decide to sell some of that equipment.

    Many thanks. Jim

  11. says

    I have an old 1960’s Nutone intercom at my house and installed a small two-channel mixer so I could plug in a stereo source to it. When I bought the house, I had to buy new tubes for it but they were not very expensive on eBay. Maybe $20 total. FYI though, you probably don’t want to put anything in place of that control unit other than another Nutone unit because the speakers are generally a different impedance than standard audio gear. That being said, I believe nearly any Nutone intercom will work with nearly any Nutone remote station. In other words, you can keep your original cool looking metal remote stations and you could put in an master unit like mine(if you could find one) or a brand new unit(or at least a MUCH newer one). That being said, I personally have found the sound to be more pleasing on my tube-based intercom than on any of the newer transistor-based Nutone units so I would try to stick with an older unit if possible. Here is the link showing my master unit: http://www.notanon.com/electronics/two-channel-mixer-for-my-intercom/2010/04/21/

  12. lester says

    just so you know you inderstand what I am talking about I read a post you did I copyed it below thank you
    Patrick l Smith says:
    January 28, 2010 at 5:05 am
    My father was a electrican for over 40 years I have two building full of equipment. I know we have a lot of the old Newtone Radios from the 1960 in the box still new never open.

    Read more: Parts for my Nutone home communication system? — Retro Renovation

  13. Tammi says

    Love this site! In the process of renovating our original 1959 kitchen. (Once every 53 years whether it needs it or not!) It has the NuTone Built in mixer-blender. No model, but I think it is number 220.

    Anyone know about the wiring/electrical requirements? They had it wired to two 30 amp circuits–enough to power a dryer! Thanks for any help!

    • pam kueber says

      Tammi — please consult with a licensed professional with this question.

  14. pam kueber says

    I am closing this post to comments. See comments for suggestions for where to get parts.