Roomba pioneered the home robot vacuum market, and they’re still one of the most popular brands today. However, while their devices last for many years, you’re likely to encounter some common problems from time to time. This guide will help you through that.
Some common Roomba problems revolve around its power supply, such as a Roomba that won’t turn on or won’t charge its batteries. Besides that, some Roombas might experience brushes that won’t turn to pick up dirt from the ground. These robot vacuums are also known for performing a ‘circle dance’ where they turn around in circles instead of moving forward as they should.
These Roomba problems are common, and they’re nothing to worry about. Still, this guide will show you why these problems happen, what parts they affect, and how you can fix them to get your house clean again.
Common Roomba Problems and Solutions
Here are some common Roomba problems that you might experience, along with steps to resolve the issue:
Roomba Not Turning On
Why this happens: When you try to use your Roomba, but it fails to turn on, there are two likely reasons: a battery issue or a technical glitch.
Firstly, it could be an issue with the battery. For example, you might have a dead battery or a problem with the battery’s contacts.
Secondly, it could be that there’s a technical glitch in your Roomba that requires a reset.
How to fix it: The solution to this problem will depend on the root cause.
- In the case of a battery issue, let’s suppose the battery is brand new or you didn’t charge it after you last used it.
In that case, you must charge the battery and ensure that it’s receiving power. A Roomba battery needs at least 2 hours to charge to full capacity before you can use it in the device.
While you do that, check that the Roomba’s battery and charging contacts are clean. Any sort of dirt on the contacts will prevent power from flowing in or out of the battery as it should.
- In the case of a technical glitch: However, if your battery is fully charged and in excellent working order, the Roomba is likely suffering from a technical glitch. Be sure to reset the Roomba to clear the glitch and get the device working again.
The first way to do that is by pressing and holding the Clean button for at least 12 seconds. Alternatively, you can also perform a ‘power cycle’ by removing the battery for at least 5 minutes and reconnecting it.
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Roomba Not Charging
About this part: There are two components involved when it comes to Roomba’s charging process.
Firstly, there is the charging dock that’s connected to a power source. The charging dock’s purpose is for the Roomba to connect to it and recharge its battery.
Secondly, there are the electrical contacts on the Roomba unit itself. These contacts are on the Roomba’s underside, and they connect to the Roomba dock to receive power and charge its battery.
Why this happens: Let’s suppose your Roomba enters the dock but doesn’t charge. In that case, the most likely reason is that one of the electrical contacts has become dirty.
Remember: your Roomba is exposed to lots of dirt, dust, and other debris as it cleans your floors. Over an extended period, some dirt will stick to the electrical contacts and prevent the unit from charging.
How to fix it: Firstly, brush off any loose dirt on the electrical contacts. Next, you should do the same for the contacts on both the Roomba unit and the charging dock itself.
Isopropyl alcohol, also known as ‘rubbing alcohol’, is perfect for cleaning electrical contacts. Rub a little on a cotton pad or cloth and use that to clean the electrical contacts.
Be sure to disconnect the dock from its power source during this cleaning process. Then, you can plug it back in a few minutes after cleaning the contacts with rubbing alcohol.
Roomba Brush Not Turning
About this part: Some of the most crucial components of any Roomba are the brushes. There are two turning side brushes, a rolling bristle brush, and a flexible beater brush in the device’s middle.
The side brushes help to bring dirt in from the sides towards the middle so that the other central brushes can then pick up the dirt into the Roomba.
Each of those brushes turns continuously whenever the Roomba moves around, cleaning your floors.
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Why this happens: It’s pretty common for one or more of the Roomba’s brushes to stop turning. That most likely occurs when long pieces of dirt or hair wrap around the brushes or their bearings so tightly that they can no longer move.
As a result, the brushes will seize, and the Roomba loses its ability to pick up any more dirt from your floors.
How to fix it: Thankfully, you can solve this problem quickly and very straightforwardly.
Firstly, remember that all of your Roomba’s brushes are removable. You can unthread the screws that hold the side brushes and open the bottom frame that holds the bristle and beater brushes.
Then, you can remove any stuck dirt or hair by hand. For more stubborn buildups of dirt, you can cut through them with a pair of scissors.
Just be careful not to cut the bristles by accident, though.
Roomba Is Going Around In Circles
Why this happens: Your Roomba is meant to move around the room following its preset routes. The Roomba will turn around if it comes into contact with an obstacle like a wall or furniture around your home.
However, if the Roomba only moves around in circles, also known as performing the ‘circle dance’, it’s most likely because the front bumper is stuck. Alternatively, there’s also a chance that the bumper has become dislodged from the Roomba’s body and isn’t working correctly.
The bumper could be stuck because of a debris buildup inside, which you’ll have to clear out before the device can continue working normally. Besides that, a strong impact could have dislodged the bumper, leading to this problem.
About this part: The front bumper on your Roomba is one way for the device to know there’s an obstacle in front of it. For example, when the Roomba hits a wall, that will push the bumper towards the Roomba and trigger a switch.
As a result, the Roomba will turn in a partial circle to find a way around the obstacle to continue cleaning the floor.
How to fix it: You can fix this problem by repeatedly tapping on the bumper. You’ll do that to shake out any debris that might have gotten stuck inside.
Once you’re sure there’s no debris inside, you can then try to reattach the bumper that might have gotten dislodged. You can do that by pushing it firmly into place until you can press and release the bumper like normal.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some additional questions that might help you troubleshoot your Roomba:
Why Is My Roomba Not Working Properly?
There are three initial troubleshooting steps you can use to check your Roomba. Firstly, check your battery is fully charged. Then check the brushes for debris that might prevent them from turning normally. Lastly, ensure the bumper on the Roomba’s front isn’t stuck.
How Many Years Does A Roomba Last?
A Roomba can typically last you 2-6 years. That will depend on whether or not you maintain the device regularly, such as cleaning out any debris built up around the brushes and their bearings.
Besides that, it also depends on how often you use your Roomba. Heavier usage and excessive wear will lead to a shorter overall lifespan.
How Do You Reset A Roomba?
You can reset your Roomba by pressing and holding the Clean button for 12 seconds. You can also cycle the Roomba’s power by removing its battery for a few minutes before putting it back.
Why Isn’t My Roomba Picking Up Dirt?
Check that your Roomba’s brushes are turning normally. Then, check that the bin and filters are clean. A full bin or dirty filter will restrict smooth airflow, preventing the Roomba from picking up dirt from your floor.
Where Is The Best Place To Put My Roomba Dock?
It’s best to place your Roomba dock on a flat surface with 2 feet of clear space around it. That way, the Roomba can enter the dock without any problems to charge itself before it continues cleaning your home. Of course, the dock must also be close enough to a power source so you can plug it in to charge the Roomba.