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Roomba Troubleshooting Guide

What to do when your Roomba Malfunctions?
Just like all appliances, Roombas are not invincible and time after time, your robot will face several malfunctions. Today, we are going to look at some of the major problems you will encounter and how to fix the problems.

But just before we dive deeper, you need to keep in mind that once you open your Roomba by yourself, the warranty becomes void. Second, while disassembling your Roomba may be very easy, assembling it is quite hard.

I say this because time and again, I come across frustrated homeowners who rant about how iRobot’s warranty policy is fake yet they are the ones who failed to comply with it.

Troubleshooting Guide: Charging & Battery Errors

What to do when your Roomba MalfunctionsOne of the common problems Roomba owners face is with power. More often, you will find homeowners complaining about one thing or another about their Roomba’s charging system and battery. In this segment, we will look at some of the major problems and how to solve them.

For the record, there are 6 common errors that can be discerned by checking the number of blinks the robot shows or using the Smartphone App to diagnose the problem. So, without further ado, here are the common errors and fixes regarding charging and battery.

Charging Error 1 (Single Beep)

Even though it is categorized as an error, it isn’t actually caused by a malfunction but rather, the unavailability of the battery.

It occurs mostly to first time buyers who forget connecting the battery once they assemble the robot.

Charging Error 2

This error will manifest itself with two beeps and in most cases, it points to an overheating battery because of current above 1250 mA or a fake Roomba battery. Once you have confirmed this error code, unplug the robot from the mains and allow it to cool for like 3 hours or so. If you have just replaced the battery or you are not sure if it is authentic, you may need to check with iRobot if it is genuine. This error seems to be very common in the 500 series as well as the latermodels, especially if you swap the battery.

Charging Error 3

When you hear 3 beeps or you get a Charging Error 3 on your iRobot App, the most probable culprit is the failure of FET test. The first thing you should do when you encounter this error is to reset the unit and recharge it.

Charging Error 5

questionThis is not really a charging error as it sounds but it is related to the power system. Normally, it affects first time buyers and is caused by a yellow strip that breaks the circuit. Once you find this error, reset the robot and it should solve the problem.

Charging Error 6

At times, the battery of your Roomba overheats to the point that it doesn’t charge anymore. It gives an error called ‘Error 6’ that means your battery is not charging because of overheating. In this case, just put it off and let it cool for around 3 hours preferably in a very cool environment. In most cases, the error will be solved for good but at times, it may persist and you’ll have to replace the battery.

Charging Error 7

This is not a very good sign and signals a defective battery that is not able to cool down properly. If you get this error several times, you might want to replace the defective battery.

Troubleshooting Guide: Operational Errors

While charging problems may point to something serious, operational errors are just bugs that you will face from time to time and in most cases, you will definitely find an easy solution. These errors will manifest themselves with beeps or if you have a Wi-Fi Roomba, you will get the diagnosis on the App.
Please note, if you don’t have the App, it is important to be sure of the error before embarking on finding a solution. Always remember, with the wrong diagnosis, you will never find a solution.

Error 1

This error is very common with the older models and is signaled by a single beep. In the event you encounter this error, go to your Roomba and lift it up to see what’s the holdup. In many occasions, the error is caused when the robot is on an uneven surface or is standing on an obstacle. Another culprit could be obstacles that have jammed the wheels. Place it on a flat surface and see if it moves fine. In case it doesn’t, try to roll the wheels; they should move freely.

Error 2

If you have pets, especially long-haired species, this is a common error that is caused when the brushes are not able to turn. This error will always be raised by the sounding of two beeps and in select models, the sound ‘’Uh-Oh’’ will precede the beeps.

First, if it is a new unit, make sure the brushes or extractors were installed correctly. If all is okay, check if there is anything in the vacuum that could be causing the malfunction. If you have the 800 or 900 series, a simple fix will be cleaning the debris extractors thoroughly to remove the tangled hair. In the older models, open the unit and clean the entire brush cage and brushes as well before restarting it. Here is a video of how to solve Error 2.

Error 5

This error is quite similar to Error 1 only that in this case, it is one of the side wheels that is stuck for one reason or another. It is manifested by 5 beeps and as usual, the beeps may be preceded by the ‘Uh-Oh’ sound in select models. Lift it up after resetting and check the wheels for anything that may stop its movement.

Error 6

Personally, I consider this error an emergency as it involves the stairs. Once you get the error message, quickly find your Roomba because one of the reasons for the error is that it could be desperately stuck hanging on the stairs. The other reason could be the Roomba’s cliff sensors are dirty. If you find it somewhere safe with this error, please uses a cloth to clean the sensors and the problem will have been solved.

Error 7

This is another common malfunction that is concerned with the wheels not moving. While the other similar errors may be caused by obstacles, Error 7 is caused by tangling and debris that make the wheels immobile. At times, the front caster wheel is the problem because of dirt. Here’s a video of how to clean caster wheels.

If this doesn’t work, then the wheels may either be deformed or worn out so a replacement is needed.

Error 8

This is another error that requires you to be on red alert as the Roomba may be stuck somewhere. Here, it is most likely that the front wheel is unable to rotate for some reason or is jammed – at times, it may be both wheels stuck. Immediately you get this error, reset the Roomba and check it beneath to ascertain whether the wheels can roll freely. Also, make sure there’s nothing that can hinder the free movement of the wheels.

Error 9

This error got me quite confused at first as its cause is quite similar to Error 6 in that the sensors seem to malfunction. However, in this case, it is the bumpers that may have the problem. Make sure to clean them all round and ensure they are not compressed in. In the event it is dirty or compressed, press the bumper inside slowly and make sure you feel the reflex and also for any debris trapped to pop out.

Error 10

This is one problem that is common especially in the 900 series. I have never experienced it in my house so one of the culprits I suspected was the navigation system. It is only when I narrowed down my diagnosis that I discovered that it happens mostly in large rooms where the system doesn’t recognize any obstacles. A quick workaround is to use Virtual Walls to at least partition the floor.

Error 12

This is another error that can be quite confusing because its manifestation also points to a problem with sensors. Even though at times it may just be dirt on the bumpers or directly on the sensors, in worst case scenarios the sensors may be worn out. If you face this problem, first clean the bumper and sensors and even blow the entire unit. If the error persists, you might have to replace the sensors.

Error 14

This is a pretty new one and is common in the 900 series. This error is caused by the absence of the bin. If you encounter it to make sure the bin is present and correctly fixed.

Error 17

This is a very weird and also rare operational error that mostly points at light inadequacy or at times too many obstacles. In short, the Roomba can’t execute the cleaning procedure so you must first ensure there is adequate light and there is not too much clutter in the rooms. For some models, like 500, and select 700 series may also show this error when the floor area is too large with no obstacles in its view.

Roomba FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. My Roomba is not moving at all after pressing CLEAN. It is on with full charge but there’s no movement, what could be the problem?

There could be a lot of reasons that might be causing this. Here are some of the possible causes and solutions
First, it is possible that a wheel may be broken. Examine all the wheels and if all is good, turn to the internal wheel components and see if there is some debris that has jammed the wheels.

Another possible reason would be a full bin especially for older models than t don’t have a bin indicator.

FAQ

2. My robot vacuum’s performance has suddenly gone down and is not thoroughly cleaning floors as it used to.

A lot of homeowners often find themselves in this situation but the problem is more of maintenance as opposed to malfunctions. If your robot seems to just pass on the floors and coming back to an empty bin, then there are a few parts you need to consider replacing.

If you have not changed your filters, maybe its time you consider buying a replacement because they get worn out very fast especially when used for daily cleaning. If you have just replaced the filters or you can’t get new filters, use compressed air to clean the entire filter system, and vacuum.

The brushes may also be the issue so if you haven’t replaced them in a while, it could be the main culprit. You can also use compressed air to clean it, this will at least boost its performance for a short while.

Another reason for dismal performance would be a dead battery. Remember, suction power highly depend on the battery so when it is less powerful, the suction power goes down. Consider replacing your battery if all the other solutions fail and most importantly if the battery shows signs of fading.

3. My Roomba is moving in a strange and very funny pattern. What’s the matter?

This is a rare occurrence but one that makes homeowners desperate. My friends have called me severally complaining that their robots had gone mad. In all these instances, I found debris in the wheel axles. So, thoroughly checking the wheel system will solve the problem.

4. Help! My Roomba goes off before reaching the charging base.

The problem of your vacuum cleaner is definitely the battery, The little power that is left for enabling it to reach the power source is used up before it reaches the charging station. The only solution to this is buying a new genuine battery.

Another reason would be the Home base is too far or there is too much clutter on its way to the charging base. Ensure the distance is just short and there is no heavy traffic on the way.

5. My robot can’t navigate or locate Home base without hitting obstacles. What do I do?

At times, the system gets jammed and the Roomba may start behaving funny. To solve this problem, just reset the vacuum cleaner and it should go back to normal.

Have you ever experienced any of these errors? What was the problem? How did it go?
Please tell us in the comments section. Also, if you have a problem with your Roomba, talk to Dr Robotbox and he might give you a solution!

Ray Stone

Roomba 690 message states to clean the brushes. The brushes are not dirty & has been cleaned repeatedly, still receiving the same message.

Heidi

My little spin brush on the side ( the one that gets the corners and sweeps it towards the suction in the middle) is not working, not moving at all.. I’ve cleaned it and replaced it. It seems loose to me. I clean brushed regularly, n change them out.

Pyros

Your current good information along with kindness with actively playing with all the pieces was very useful. My spouse and i don’t know very well what I’d personally did plainly hadn’t came across this kind of phase this way.

Denise

The red triangle is showing up and the robot will not move

Stanley Scolnic

Roomba stops and says empty the bin but the bin is not that.
Remove items from the bin and it starts working again.

Steve

My new Robit V7S Pro will not start and repeats the message that the duster box is not installed. Any suggestions?
Steve

Karen E Polys

My roomba won’t pickup dirt some dirt is in the bend

Mike

My early (original?) Roomba Model 02001 will not start. The charging cycle looks OK with the green light on for about 12 hours, then off as normal. The battery shows about 14 volts on a multitester. But pressing the On button get no action, zero response. I gave not found any RESET instructions for this one so what can I do to get this back running? Thanks.

Mary

My Roomba makes it to the charging base but has trouble getting up on the base. Nothing is blocking it. The Roomba will turn and get to the correct position then it has trouble moving up. Eventually it just turns around and stops. Next I hear, “Please charge Roomba.”

william e wilson sr

I have a 7i and it is not emptying into the main bin. The bin in the robot gets clogged and when the unit docks it does not empty. I have changed the cord that was sent to me for an upgrade. The lights are on in the robot and the bin. I have changed the bag in the upright bin as well and it is installed properly. Any suggestions.

Richard Harrison

Hello, William! Thank you so much for your question and trust! Unfortunately, neither our team nor our familiar users have faced such a problem before. Your situation looks like a complex tech issue that may be related to inner bot breakage or product defect. Anyway, we’d recommend you contact the iRobot User’s Service team for further problem solution. The RobotBox wishes your bot a speedy recovery!

Janet

Why is my 615 Roomba stopping before it is finished? The battery is still good.

Richard Harrison

Hello, Janet! Thank you very much for your question! Your Roomba 615 cleaner may interrupt the cleaning cycle because of the dirty sensors, tangled brushes, wheels got stuck, or a full bin. Please check all these elements and perform a total maintenance cleaning. If the bot keeps stopping, try to reset the battery and the robot. If neither of these procedures helps restore proper operation, please contact the iRobot Customer Care service.

Ken Schumm

My roomba 770 starts, moves about a half inch, then stops with no error indication. For awhile cleaning the bin contacts worked but now it doesn’t. Worn contacts? How to replace contacts? Thanks.

Richard Harrison

Hello, Ken! Thank you for your question! In your situation, we’d recommend you contact the iRobot User Support service. Their specialists will definitely help you solve any technical problem.

Judy

My Roomba 900 just makes a ping when told to vacuum. App says it is vacuuming, but it isn’t. I’ve reset a couple of times to no avail. It shows full charge.

Richard Harrison

Hello, Judy! Thank you very much for your question! Please check the brushes on possible tangling and the dustbin fullness. The problem may also lie in the wrong app-bot connection. If neither of these checks helps you solve the problem, please contact the iRobot User’s Support Service.

Sharon Novak

My Roomba leaves base circles and returns to base without cleaning

Richard Harrison

Hello, Sharon! Thank you very much for sharing your problem with us! The possible problems may lie in improper charging (or old battery), a full dustbin, brush tangling, wrong app-bot connection, and minor errors. Please, check all technical parts and perform standard maintenance procedures. Then try to reset your vacuum. If neither of these checks helps you solve the problem, please contact the iRobot User’s Support Service.

alyssa

my roomba leaves it home base simultaneously without it being told to, im not sure how to stop it from doing that

Richard Harrison

Hello, Alyssa! Thank you very much for your comment! Please try to check your schedule settings. If you don’t find any extra settings, the reset procedure can help restore the proper notification protocol. If neither of these actions helps, please contact the Irobot user’s service.

Pat Sherrer

After a two week vacation, our Roomba will not run. Lights are on, fully charged, but will not move. I tried unplugging it for a couple of hours, but same situation.

Richard Harrison

Hello, Pat! Thank you very much for your comment! Please try to reset your Roomba and reset the app/WiFi connection. If these procedures don’t help, the problem may lie deeper in the battery or cleaner’s brains. Then we recommend consulting the iRobot user’s service.

Victor

Hi Richard, I have a model 677 roomba, I just replaced the trash bin contact terminals, one of them was broken. However now when I click clean button, it just spins around (in circles) it self and not move forward or backwards as normally do.

Richard Harrison

Hello, Victor! Thank you very much for your comment! I’m afraid the problem lies outside of the area of our expertise. There are several possible reasons for such a behavior, but in any case, we’d recommend you contact the iRobot user’s support service. They will do their best to help you solve the problem and will ensure you won’t break the warranty conditions.

Victor Hugo

ok thanks!!

Anton Karl

the little spin brush is not turning what is wrong ?

Richard Harrison

Hello, Anton! Thank you very much for your question! Please check your brush on possible tanglings. Also, check whether the brush is properly installed and fits all connections. If you still have this problem, please feel free to contact the iRobot user’s support service.

Pat Sherrer

Thank you. My Roomba is only 6 months old. Not programmed or linked to wifi. I will leave it unplugged for a couple of days.
Pat

Richard Harrison

Hello, Pat! Hope your problem will be successfully solved and you’ll be able to continue enjoying your little home assistant.

Patty L Pike

my roomba has docked but the clean light, battery light, and sound symbol light are still on an hour later, the sound symbol is flashing. What do I do?

Richard Harrison

Hello, Patty! Thank you very much for your question! Please try to reset your cleaner and unplug and plug back the dock. There may be some temporary error. If you still have this problem, please contact the iRobot user’s support service.

Margaret Pepe

My room a 690 needs to have the schedule changed. I’ve never used the wifi, always just the buttons on robot. However, the clock and schedule button don’t light up for some reason and it goes off at 6am -driving me crazy. Help?

Richard Harrison

Hello, Margaret! Thank you very much for your question! There are several possible reasons for such an error – temporary brain overload or a break in the buttons themselves (wear-out). Please try to reset your cleaner. If this doesn’t help, please contact the iRobot user’s support service for further checkout and repair.

DENNIS TRASK

MY ROOMBA MDL 645 IS NOT DIVERTED BY THE TOWERS. I ASSUME THE PROBLEM IS IN THE UNIT SINCE I USE TWO TOWERS AND THE UNIT IS NOT DIVERTED BY EITHER ONE. I HAVE PUT NEW BATTERIES IN BOTH TOWERS.

THANKS

Richard Harrison

Hello, Dennis! Thank you very much for your comment! I’d agree with you that the problem probably lies in the robot itself. However, in your case, it would be better to contact the iRobot user’s support since there may be breakage in the robot’s brains.

Ashling

Hi Guys, I was really excited to get the newest irobot s9+ and demoted my i7 to for my office. The biggest problem which is super frustrating is my house spans 3 levels and the home base is stored on one. With the i7 I would move the hoover everyday to the level I wanted cleaned and when I got home Id empty the bin and put it back on its charger. The i7 had no problem cleaning up after my shedding dog. With newest hoover there seems to be a lot less storage capacity and it never ever completes the job that the i7 easily completed. I had set the i7 to keep hoovering when its full and it would really compacted the hair and do a great job. Is there a way I can set the S9 to do this? if not I have the hoover less than a month. It was a huge decision paying the extra grand for the s9+ and its totally impractical to keep moving the base with the hoover just so it can finish the job. Please can you find a working solution Which id imagine I would not be the only one experiencing this reduction of service between the machines. Many Thanks

Richard Harrison

Hi, Ashling! Sorry for the delay in responding but your question is very important for us. We have to admit that though Automatic Dirt Disposal greatly simplifies our life, it’s also a way of profit increase for the manufacturer. That’s why they reduce bin size but offer stations and bags in return. Despite multi-floor cleaning/mapping, all Roomba models complemented with smart bases are designed to have immediate reach to their bases during cleaning. That means they need to have the base on the same floor they are hoovering at the moment. So, the only wayout for us is taking cleaner to the station after every cycle (or when the bin is full) or purchasing extra stations for each floor.

Judy Forsen

My roomba 900 series keeps giving me the error 60 place on flat service. I have placed it on a hardware floor, carpet and tiled floor to no avail. What can I do?

Richard Harrison

Hi, Judy! Sorry for the delay in responding but your question is very important for us. All users that face such an error can try to reset the robot. We may also recommend wiping sensors (dirty sensors may analyze the surface wrongly and resturb cleaning).

Billie Diane Totten

I have a roomba j7 (just got it). It cleaned part of the house, went back to its charging station, got charged up and went back out. After it ran for a short time, the app on my phone stated not charging but the roomba kept on cleaning. It finished its job and went back to the charging station and all this time the app showed not charging. After is went back to the charging station the app kept on showing not charging. How can I fix this problem.

Richard Harrison

Hi, Billie! Sorry for the delay in responding but your question is very important for us. The porblem seems to be in the app itself which displays the charge level incorrectly. That’s why you may try to reset the connection procedure between your phone and robot (you’ll need to reset the bot and the app for it). You may also check whether all other app functions work correctly. Reinstallation of the app may be useful as well.

Margy

Hi RICHARD,

After fully charging my Romba , it will not perform and every time I hit 5he clean button it blinks a few times! Your blog and the troubleshooting guide indicate battery problems? Thanks fo4 your response!

Richard Harrison

Hi, Margy! Sorry for the delay in responding and thank you for your question! The problem solution depends on many things like your robot model, cable and connection state, maintenance, etc. Apart from the standard attempt to contact Roomba User’s Service we’d recommend you to check whether the battery and charge station are installed correctly. Also try to check the connections, clean all sensor zones, empty the bin and reset your robot. If neither of these actions helps, the problem may lay in the battery breakage.

Deena Jackels

This is really interesting, You are an excessively professional blogger. I have joined your feed and look forward to searching for more of your wonderful post. Additionally, I have shared your website in my social networks

Richard Harrison

Hi, Deena! Sorry for the delay in responding and thank you for your kind words!)

Phil Gifford

My I6 roomba moves around the floor, but the vacuum is not running. Is there anything I can check, clean, or further troubleshoot?

We have run through normal clean/maintenance procedures as my wife normally does on a weekly basis but nothing has helped thus far.

Richard Harrison

HI, Phil! Sorry for the delay in responding and thank you for your question. We’d recommend checking clogs (in bin, suction port, hose system) as well as remove and clean brushes. If you notice no physical obsticles that prevent cleaning, the trouble may lie in brains. Then reset is an option. However, if you still face trouble, Roomba user’s service is the best way to solve the problem.

Paula Pettit

I purchsed my J7 in mid-December and have been happy with it until this morning. When I push the button to start the cleaning cycle nothing happens. If I put the unit back on the charger the white light on the charger stays on for less than a minute and then goes off. Still the Roomba does nothing. No lights, no sounds.

It worked fine the last time I used it last week.

Richard Harrison

Hi, Paula! Sorry for the delay in responding and thank you for your question. There may be several reasons for such an error in your Roomba. The most common are battery destruction, impoper contact joint between the bot and the charging base, failure in app/wifi connection or failure in bot “brains”. That’s why it’s better first checking those potential errors that are easy to fix (app/wifi connection, bot reset, reinstallation of base, recharging). By the way, some models do not work with a full bin, so please also make sure you checked this moment as well. If nothing of these works, please contact the user’s support cervice as the reason may be much more complicated.

conway proctor

My roomba 890 will not vacuum black carpet, what do I need to do?

Richard Harrison

Hi, Conway Proctor! Sorry for the delay in responding and thank you for your question. Roombas of early generations often have problems with vacuuming dark/black carpets because of the anti-drop sensors. You can quickly overcome the obstacle by taping these sensors on the bot bottom.

Janette

My room a is not doing anything no lights at all
I have unplugged and plugged back in the only light that comes on is on the charger for 10 seconds

Richard Harrison

Hi, Janette! Sorry for the delay in responding and thank you for your question! Please make sure you got acquainted with the installation manualquite thoroughly. Try to reset the base, the robot, repeat all wifi/app connections (if your model supports any). The problem seems to be in some inexactness of intallation and improper charging. However, if nothing of these helps overcome the problem, please contact the official user’s support services.

Jenelle Boucher

My Roomba i3 will be cleaning, then goes totally quiet and returns to the dock. Immediately upon getting to the dock, it takes off again and continues cleaning. It follows this pattern over and over. What’s wrong with it?

Richard Harrison

Hi, Jenelle! Sorry for the delay in responding and thank you for your question. The problem seems to be in connection. We’d recommend reinstalling the app, repeat robot-app-wifi connection and conduct one more initial flat mapping. If you notice no changes in bot behaviour, the trouble may lie in brains. Then please contact the user’s support service.

Esther Graciani

When I started my Roomba 614, the red triangle showed up and the robot will not move.

Richard Harrison

Hi, Esther Graciani! Thank you very much for your question! Roomba 614 informs users on verious errors, but the clue depends on the number of light blinking. Since we have no info on how often your robot blinks and whether it provides you with any sound indication, please try to find an answer in the user’s manual. Here is the link on iRobot Roomba 600 Series online manual. You’ll find information on error indication on the page 22 in the section Troubleshooting. Hope you’ll find this information helpful!

Alan Ray Leiran

My iRobot Roomba 805 was working fine when it ran over some dog poo. Yuk. I cleaned off all the parts and sensors and the bottom and tried to run it. The right wheel would not turn. It gave the error message #5, clean the wheel, of obstructions. There were no obstructions and the wheel turned freely. I thought I must have got some water in the power head. I ordered and replaced the power head as there was a crack in the (gray) part. Not sure when that happened. It still didn’t work. I ordered a new wheel module and installed it. Same problem. I called support and they were no help. There is no power going to the right wheel. Any suggestions?

Richard Harrison

Hi, Alan Ray Leiran! Thank you very much for your question! In fact, if you tried all repair options like checking for obstructions, cloggings, equal resistance and even install a new module, the problem seems to be quite serious. Here is a question – your wheel doesn’t work at all or it doesn’t start spinning automatically but if you push the robot a bit it start working? If the wheel doesn’t work at all, the brains and wires may be damaged. If anyone of our readers has faced such a problem and managed to fix it, we’ll be greatful to hear your suggestions.

Terry Sch

Hello Richard. I have a Roomba 805. I run it on a daily schedule at 10AM. Recently, it will launch on time but with the ‘dock’ light already indicated. It will run for less than 5 minutes and return to the dock. If I unplug the dock and manually run it, the ‘dock’ light is still indicated and will run normally for a little more than an hour. I don’t know why it returns to the dock so quickly after it begins running. Any thoughts?

Richard Harrison

Hi, Terry Sch! Thank you very much for your question! The broblem seems to be either in the battery or in the dock. Many users recommend trying to wipe charging connection elements on the dock with alcohol or special solutions (cause verious obstructions shorten the runtime). Another variant is to remove the battery for half an hour, clean it and its spot inside the robot, then install it back and reset the robot. Then leave it recharging for the whole night. If nothing works, you’ll probably need to contact the service center for dock/battery replacement. Hope anything of these will work for you.

Pat Fuscia

my Roomba 960 will turn on what just sits in one spot running. I can shove it with my foot & sometimes it will take off sometimes not. I have cleaned it everywhere & still have same problem

Richard Harrison

Hi, Pat Fuscia! Thank you very much for your question! Sorry it may seem too obvious, but if you haven’t done it yet, please try to reset the bot and reinstall the base. The robot seems to lose connection with the dock or app. If it doesn’t work, the “brain” problems will be solved by the service center only.

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