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Frequently Asked Questions

Building Entry Systems Questions

  1. What manufacturer's apartment stations do you make replacements for?
  2. How do I wire an apartment station?
  3. How many wires does the intercom system use per apartment station?
  4. What manufacturer's amplifiers do you make a replacement for?
  5. What voltage is your system?
  6. What voltage is your Door Strike?
  7. What type of wires do you use?
  8. What are the ADA Act's requirements for intercom lobby panels and apartment stations?
  9. What can I do about the "humming" coming from my intercom system?
  10. I have a different amplifier than Housing Devices. How do I hook it up to your one of your intercom systems?
  11. Where can I get an amplifier crossover chart for Housing Device amplifiers?
  12. My apartment station "Talk and Listen" buttons work fine, but the "Door" button doesn't work. What do I do?
  13. My apartment station "Door and Listen" buttons work fine, but the "Talk" button doesn't work. What do I do?
  14. My apartment station "Door" button works fine, but the "Talk and Listen" buttons don't work. What do I do?
  15. What is the difference between "Flush" and "Surface" lobby intercom panels?
  16. What are the standard sizes of the lobby intercom panels?

Emergency Call Systems Questions

Mailbox Systems Questions


Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Building Entry Systems Answers

  1. What manufacturer's apartment stations do you make replacements for?
    We make replacements for ALL manufacturers stations, EXCEPT Nutone for which we make a replacement system (you cannot just replace the stations). (See our Apartment Station Specification Sheet for more information.)

  2. How do I wire an apartment station?
    • 2 common system:
      Black wire to "1" on the amplifier
      Red wire to "5" on the amplifier
      Blue wire to "B or BW" on the amplifier
    • 3 common system:
      Black wire to "1" on the amplifier
      White wire to "2" on the amplifier
      Red wire to "3" on the amplifier
      Blue wire to "B or BW" on the amplifier
    • 4 common system:
      Red wire to "1" on the amplifier
      Yellow wire to "2" on the amplifier
      Blue wire to "3" on the amplifier
      White wire to "5" on the amplifier
      Black wire to "B or BW" on the amplifier

  3. How many wires does the intercom system use per apartment station?
    • 2 common system uses 3 wires: One "ring wire" and 2 common wires. The apartment stations will be labeled either "TALK, LISTEN, DOOR" or "ON, TALK, DOOR".
    • 3 common system uses 4 wires: One "ring wire" and 3 common wires. The apartment stations will be labeled "TALK, LISTEN, DOOR"
    • 4 common system uses 5 wires: One "ring wire" and 4 common wires. The apartment stations will be labeled "ON, TALK, DOOR".

  4. What manufacturer's amplifiers do you make a replacement for?
    Our ACS-35 universal amplifier replaces all manufacturer's amplifiers EXCEPT Nutone, for which we make a complete replacement system.

  5. What voltage is your system?
    All of our systems are 16VAC.

  6. What voltage is your Door Strike?
    Our door strikes are 16VAC unless you specify another voltage.

  7. What type of wires do you use?
    Intercom installations typically use #20 or 22AWG stranded or solid twisted pair.

  8. What are the ADA Act's requirements for intercom lobby panels and apartment stations?
    The panel or station should be mounted in such a way that the highest button may be no higher than 52" on center from the floor. More information is available in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

  9. What can I do about the "humming" coming from my intercom system?
    Check all connections. Make sure you have no shorts. Try using shielded cable from the "S" or "SP1" connections to the intercom's lobby panel speaker.

  10. I have a different amplifier than Housing Devices. How do I hook it up to your one of your intercom systems?
    We describe how to hook up amplifiers in our Amplifier Crossover Chart

  11. Where can I get an amplifier crossover chart for Housing Device amplifiers?
    You can view and pring out the Amplifier Crossover Chart found in our web site.

  12. My apartment station "Talk and Listen" buttons work fine, but the "Door" button doesn't work. What do I do?
    Check the DOOR button's continuity. If it is "0" replace the station. If not, check for an ohm reading of 45-60 on the apartment station's speaker. If that is ok the then call the factory for technical support.

  13. My apartment station "Door and Listen" buttons work fine, but the "Talk" button doesn't work. What do I do?
    Check the TALK button's continuity. If it is "0" replace the station. If not, check for an ohm reading of 45-60 on the apartment station's speaker. If that is ok the then call the factory for technical support.

  14. My apartment station "Door" button works fine, but the "Talk and Listen" buttons don't work. What do I do?
    Check the TALK and LISTEN button's continuity. If either or both are "0" replace the station. If not, check for an ohm reading of 45-60 on the apartment station's speaker. If that is ok, then check the intercom lobby panel speaker for an ohm reading of 45-60. If that is ok, then call the factory for technical support.

  15. What is the difference between "Flush" and "Surface" lobby intercom panels?
    A flush panel sits flat on the wall and necessitates cutting a hole in the wall for the components on the back of the panel to fit through.

    A surface panel is attached to the wall surface and sticks out 2" from the wall. No cutting is necessary.

  16. What are the standard sizes of the lobby intercom panels?
    The standard lobby intercom panel sizes are described in our Intercom Systems Size Options Data Sheet.

Emergency Call Systems Answers

  1. My Master and Area Stations are flush against the wall. Do I need anything behind them?
    Yes. Master and Area Stations must either be surface mounted using a "surface mounting collar" or flush mounted into a Housing Devices supplied "Back Box."

  2. If I have a Battery Backup system already do I need to purchase an amplifier and an amplifier cabinet?
    You need an amplifier cabinet if you are connecting the system to an existing fire alarm system and utilizing that system's battery backup system or if you are using a separate UL listed battery backup system. If either of these examples apply then you must mount the amplifier into a separate amplifier cabinet.

Mailbox Systems Answers

  1. What is the difference between "new style" and "old style" mailboxes?
    New style are 5.5" wide and are approved by the US Postal Service.
    Old style are 4" wide and are not approved for new installation by the US Postal Service. They may only be used as direct replacements for existing old style mailboxes that were previously approved by the US Postal Service.

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