Roomba robot vacuums can work perfectly fine on their own. Still, most people prefer the convenience that comes with using it alongside a docking station. The station allows the Roomba to recharge anytime it needs to, and some will also help remove dirt from the vacuum’s bin.
To troubleshoot a Roomba docking station that doesn’t work, start by checking that it’s receiving power. With no power, it can’t perform any of its tasks. Dirty charging contacts on the docking station will prevent it from charging your Roomba. Besides that, a dirty infrared sensor will prevent the station from helping your Roomba to dock, and a clog can also stop it from working.
This guide will walk you through all the ways that your Roomba docking station will not work correctly. As you continue reading, you’ll discover the most likely reasons behind those faults and how you can get them fixed quickly.
Roomba Docking Station Troubleshooting Guide
Roomba docking stations are pretty straightforward devices.
This section will help you understand the most common reasons a dock won’t work, which part is affected, and what you can do to fix it quickly.
Dock Has No Power
The affected part: Roomba power plug and wall socket.
Why this happens: When you find that your Roomba docking station is not working, your first troubleshooting step should be to check for power.
No matter the kind of Roomba model or docking station type you have, a lack of power will prevent the unit from performing any of the tasks it’s supposed to do.
For example, the dock won’t charge the Roomba, guide it during docking (with infrared signals), or evacuate dirt from its bin (for Clean Base units).
How to fix it: When checking the Roomba docking station for power, there are three specific parts to inspect:
- The docking station and its plug
- The wall socket
- The circuit breaker
A problem at any of these three points will prevent the docking station from getting the power it needs to function correctly.
Firstly, check that the docking station is plugged into the wall socket. When it’s plugged in and receiving power, you’ll see a blinking light on the docking station.
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At the same time, inspect the wall socket. You can test the socket by plugging other appliances in to see if they function correctly. Alternatively, you can plug the Roomba docking station into another wall socket nearby.
If the docking station still has no power after you’ve taken the two steps above, check the circuit breaker. You’ll find it in your household’s main electrical box.
When the circuit breaker is in the OFF position, there will be no power going to the wall socket for your docking station. Push the circuit breaker back into the ON position.
Dock Won’t Charge The Roomba
The affected part: Charging contacts at the base of the Roomba docking station.
Why this happens: When the docking station is plugged into the wall socket but won’t charge your Roomba, the likely reason is that the charging contacts are dirty.
Roomba docking stations have charging contacts on the base. These contacts are designed to line up perfectly with similar charging contacts on the bottom of your Roomba when it docks.
Over an extended period, all of those charging contacts will become dirty from all the dust and debris that the Roomba brings around. When that buildup of dirt becomes too severe, it’ll prevent the charging contacts from touching each other and stop the docking station from charging the robot vacuum.
How to fix it: Firstly, disconnect the docking station from its wall socket. That will make it safe for you to clean the charging contacts without any problems.
iRobot, the manufacturer of Roomba robot vacuums, recommends using slightly dampened melamine foam sponges to clean the charging contacts. Take the sponge and rub the charging contacts on your docking station clean.
It would also be an excellent idea to do the same for the charging contacts underneath your Roomba vacuum cleaner.
Once those charging contacts are clean, the docking station can resume charging your Roomba as it should.
Station Is Not Guiding The Roomba To Dock
The affected part: Infrared (IR) sensor on the Roomba docking station
Why this happens: Your Roomba robot vacuum can automatically find its way back to the docking station’s general location.
Once it’s close, however, the docking station’s role is to emit infrared signals that guide the vacuum closer so it can dock in perfect alignment.
When the Roomba docking station isn’t working correctly, this docking process will not happen. That’s likely because the infrared sensor on the docking station is dirty or faulty.
How to fix it: Firstly, wipe the Roomba docking station clean. Be sure to clean around the infrared sensor that’s on the station’s front, facing towards the Roomba.
If that doesn’t help, it means the infrared sensor is faulty. You’ll need to replace it with a new one by purchasing the part yourself or having a technician repair the docking station for you.
Docking Station Not Evacuating Dirt From The Roomba
The affected part: On Clean Base Roomba docking stations, the affected part is the transparent plastic tubing underneath the unit.
Why this happens: The primary purpose of any Roomba docking station is to dock and recharge the Roomba robot vacuum. However, the Clean Base docking station also collects dirt from the Roomba automatically.
When that function of the docking station does not work, it’s likely because there’s a clog somewhere in the unit. That clog will prevent the docking station from evacuating dirt from the Roomba.
How to fix it: Firstly, unplug the Clean Base docking station. Then, lay it on its back so you can see the transparent plastic tubing underneath it. That will allow you to locate the clog for removal.
Next, remove the five screws that hold the plastic tubing in place so you can remove the clog.
When the docking station is free from clogs, reattach the plastic tubing.
Charging Your Roomba Without A Docking Station
Troubleshooting and repairing your Roomba docking station can take a bit of time. Even though that might disrupt your regular cleaning schedule, you’ll be glad to know that it doesn’t have to!
While getting the docking station fixed, you can charge the Roomba unit manually. That will allow the Roomba to continue operating normally, keeping your floors as clean as it always does.
To start, first, make sure that you have the Roomba charger. Then, all you have to do is plug the charger directly into the Roomba’s charging port.
Finding the charging port on your Roomba is easy to do manually. However, you can also locate and identify the charging port on your Roomba manual by referring to the user manual.
It typically takes about 2 hours for the Roomba battery to charge completely. Once the Roomba’s battery is full, the charging process will stop automatically.
However, you must remember that your Roomba won’t begin its scheduled cleaning if the charger is still plugged in.
So, unplug the charger and start the cleaning process manually. You can do so by pressing the Clean button on top of your Roomba.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are a few additional questions to help you troubleshoot your faulty Roomba docking station.
Does A Roomba Need A Docking Station?
No, a Roomba robot vacuum does not need a docking station to continue working. That means the Roomba can continue cleaning your floors even while you troubleshoot the docking station that’s not working.
Can You Buy The Roomba Dock Separately?
Yes, you can buy a compatible docking station from iRobot separate from the Roomba. In the meantime, you can charge and clean the Roomba manually.
Are Roomba Docks Universal?
No, Roomba docking stations are not universal. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, some Roomba models use different types of batteries. As such, the Roomba needs a compatible docking station that can charge its particular type of battery.
How Do You Dock A Roomba?
A Roomba will dock automatically by finding its way back to the docking station. However, you can also force the Roomba to dock by pressing the Spot and Clean buttons together. You may have to carry the Roomba and place it within 5 feet of the docking station first.
Why Won’t My Roomba Leave The Dock?
The Roomba might refuse to leave the docking station if its battery is no longer functioning correctly. That’s because the Roomba will stay at the dock in an attempt to recharge the battery before it can begin its next cleaning cycle.