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How To Install an Intercom

  Installing an Intercom 

Wired and wireless intercoms offer convenience by keeping you connected from room to room to friends and family throughout your home. Doorbell intercom systems also offer security by allowing you to know who’s at the door before you open it.

 

Wireless intercom systems install in minutes and are ready to operate right out of the box. These systems generally plug into a standard electrical outlet or operate on batteries and are completely portable, with substations that you can move from room to room as needed. To install a wireless system, simply pick out a system with the number of substations you need, plug it in and your system is ready to use.

 

The easiest way to install a wired intercom system is during construction or renovation of a home. If you retrofit a system, you’ll need to run electrical and low-voltage wires behind your walls to connect the intercom to your electrical system and to connect the substations to the master station.

 

This project guide will walk you step-by-step through installing the master station and substations for a wired intercom system using a few common tools.

 

Preparation

 

•  Decide where to mount the master station and substations on the wall, about 5 ft. up from the 
   floor is standard. Interior walls often don’t have insulation in them, so mounting is easier than 
   on exterior walls.

•  Diagram your system and measure from each substation to the master station for the amount 
   of intercom cable you’ll need.

•  Decide how to run the wires behind the walls. The easiest ways are up to an attic or down to 
   a basement or crawl space.

 

Safety

 

•  Turn off the electricity to the circuit or outlet from which you will draw power for the master station.

•  If you aren’t comfortable working with electricity, have a licensed professional install the new 
   intercom system for you.

•  Be sure to read and follow the intercom manufacturer’s installation instructions.

 

Savings

 

•  Save money by installing the intercom system yourself.

•  Save time by making a list of all the needed tools and materials before you go to the store.


WHAT YOU NEED FOR THIS JOB:

TOOLS:

MATERIALS:


Step 1

Step 1: Cut Holes for the Master Station and Substations

Cut Holes for the Master Station and Substations

 

1.  Use a stud finder to find the studs nearest where you will install the master station 
     and each substation.

  

2.  Draw an outline of the stations on the wall between the studs you’ve identified. 
     Use a template if one came with your system. Trace around the station if you 
     don’t have a template.

  

3.  Use a level to be sure your stations will be even when mounted.

  

4.  Drill holes with the drill and 1/8 in. bit in each of the four corners of the outlines 
     you’ve just drawn. These holes will make it easier to cleanly cut out the drywall. 

 

5.  Use your drywall saw to cut out the drywall for the stations.

  

6.  Test fit the stations in the holes and trim the drywall as needed until they fit. Do 
      not mount them at this time.  

  

Step 2

Step 2: Run the Wires

Run the Wires

 

Run the intercom system wires behind the wall from the substations to the master station following the step-by-step instructions in our Installing Audio and Video Cables Behind Walls Project Guide.  

  

Step 3

Step 3: Wire and Mount the Substations

Wire and Mount the Substations

 

1.  Attach the wires to the substations according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

  

2.  Mount the substations in the drywall per the instructions.

  

Step 4

Step 4: Wire and Mount the Master Station

Wire and Mount the Master Station

 

1.  Attach the intercom cable from each substation to the master station per the 
     manufacturer’s instructions.

  

2.  Use a voltage tester to ensure the power is off at the outlet or circuit breaker you 
     will use to power the intercom master station. 

 

3.  Connect your home’s electrical wiring to the master station by following the 
     step-by-step instructions in our Running Electrical Wires Behind the Walls 
     Project Guide.

  

4.  Mount the master station to the wall following the manufacturer’s instruction  

  

Step 5

Step 5: Test the System

Test the System

 

1.  Turn the power back on.

  

2.  Turn your intercom system on and test each substation.

 

3.  Troubleshoot as needed, following the manufacturer’s recommendations.