Troubleshooting Home Intercom System Problems

An intercom system.
  • 2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 80
What You'll Need
Equipment manual
DC Adapter

A home intercom system not only serves as a potential security device, but it can also save you a lot of time. It is also invaluable when you have individuals in the home who require medical supervision. It is a problem when the intercom system does not work as it should. Instead of rushing to get it repaired or buying another home intercom system, you can repair it yourself. You only need a few tools and some basic knowledge of electronics.

Step 1 - Check Your Manual

Most equipment manuals have a troubleshooting section, and this is the first place that you should look when you are having problems with your home intercom system. Follow the steps given in the troubleshooting guide to ascertain what the problem is.

Step 2 - Check the Power

Check to see if the power indicator on your home intercom system is lit. If it is not lit, then check whether the system is receiving power. Most home intercom systems are powered by a DC adapter. Your adapter unit may not be plugged in properly, or else there is a chance that the unit is damaged. This can happen due to electrical surges. Use a voltmeter to check if the power adapter is working. If your power adapter is damaged, then you will have to buy a replacement. Check your equipment manual for the specifications of the power adapter.

Another possible cause is that the power socket into which your adapter is plugged in is dead. This is simple enough to check. Simply plug in some other equipment into that socket and see if it works.

If only one unit is not working, it is possible that the power socket for that unit is defective. If you have checked and verified that the power supply is okay, loose wiring could be the culprit.

Step 3 - Eliminate the Hum

If your home intercom system is working but is constantly emitting a humming sound, this means that some other electrical equipment is interfering with it. The most common culprits are fluorescent light switches and dimmers. Switch off any fluorescent lights in the room and see if the hum goes away. If this does not help, you may try switching off other equipment to see if the hum is eliminated.

Of course, if you want a more permanent solution to this problem, you will have to check that the wiring is shielded. Any unshielded wiring should be at least 12 inches from any AC power lines. If you have installed shielded wires in your home intercom system, or if all the wires are far away from the AC power lines, you will need to check if your unit is properly grounded.

Step 4 - Stop Feedback

If you hear feedback every time you use a unit, it could be that the speakers are too close to a microphone. This problem can also sometimes occur when the microphone and speaker units are placed on either side of a common surface. To eliminate this feedback, lower the volume on the amplifier or relocate the units.