Why Roomba Can’t Get Over Threshold? 5 easy things to check and Fix

The Roomba manufactured by iRobot continues to be a market leader in robot vacuums. One reason for that is how well Roomba models can navigate over and around obstacles in your home. But what would prevent a Roomba from getting over a threshold to enter another room?

The most likely reason your Roomba can’t get over a threshold is that the threshold is too high or has pointed angles. The threshold must be below 5/8 of an inch and have rounded angles for the Roomba to get over it. Besides that, worn-out wheels and dirty cliff sensors can also prevent the Roomba from overcoming a threshold.

If your home has thresholds that your Roomba must get over, you’ll want to keep reading this guide. Here, you’ll discover why your Roomba can’t overcome a threshold and what you can do to make that possible.

Can A Roomba Go Over A Threshold?

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Yes, the Roomba robot vacuum can get over the different thresholds in your home. That ability is crucial to continue cleaning the other sections in your house seamlessly.

Your Roomba can overcome various types of thresholds thanks to its wheels. Firstly, all Roomba models have a caster wheel on the front that helps them navigate over small obstacles like thresholds.

More importantly, the Roomba has two main drive wheels supported with springs on either of its sides. 

Together, those wheels generate the power the Roomba needs to push itself over a threshold and get it to the other side.

Don’t worry about the cliff sensors underneath the Roomba. They can sense that the Roomba is trying to go over a threshold and not a staircase or a balcony. So, those sensors won’t stop the robot vacuum or put it in reverse.

Read: Can Roomba Do Multiple Floors?

How Big Of A Threshold Can A Roomba Get Over?

Despite the Roomba’s many capabilities, the robot vacuum still has a few limitations. 

When it comes to thresholds, a Roomba can only go over one that’s a maximum of 5/8 of an inch or 1.6 centimeters high. The higher the threshold is beyond that level, the less likely your Roomba will get over it.

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Besides that, you must also know that the threshold’s height isn’t the only concern. Your Roomba robot vacuum will find it much easier to get over a threshold with a rounded shape. Angular door thresholds with pointed edges will likely stop the Roomba’s wheels from getting enough traction to go over.

Read: Roomba Flashing Red Trash Can. How To Clean?

What Happens If Roomba Gets Stuck On A Threshold?

You don’t have to continuously keep an eye on your Roomba robot vacuum to know if it gets stuck on a threshold. The device will have several ways to let you know that it needs help.

When a Roomba struggles to get over a threshold, here’s what will happen:

  • Turn around: Firstly, the Roomba will try its best to go around any obstacle it faces. So if it struggles with a threshold, it’ll reverse itself and try to go around. After several attempts, it’ll give up and clean other areas instead.
  • Sound an alarm: Let’s suppose the Roomba tries to go over the threshold but gets stuck. In that case, it’ll spend a few minutes trying to free itself. When it gives up, it’ll sound an alarm and shut itself off.
  • Send a notification: In some cases, you might be too far from the Roomba to hear when it sounds its alarm and call you for help. Another way it can communicate with you is through the iRobot HOME App. Not only will it notify you that it’s stuck, but it’ll also let you know where you can find it.

Once you see that your Roomba is stuck, you’ll then have to lift it up so that it can resume and complete the current cleaning cycle.

Read: Roomba Docking Station Not Working – Troubleshooting Guide

Why Can’t My Roomba Get Over A Threshold?

At this point, it should be clear that the Roomba is an excellent device that can navigate over and around many kinds of obstacles. Still, thresholds can be a unique challenge for the robot vacuum.

Here are 5 reasons why your Roomba can’t get over a threshold, even though you think it should:

#1 Part Of The Threshold Is Too High

Earlier, you saw that a Roomba robot vacuum could overcome thresholds below 5/8 of an inch or 1.6 centimeters high. That maximum height is the same for all parts of the threshold for the Roomba to get over it.

So, if the robot vacuum gets stuck, the most likely reason is that part of the threshold is beyond what the Roomba can manage.

#2 Threshold Is Angled

Another thing that’ll prevent your Roomba from going over a threshold is its angles. Rounded edges are much easier for the Roomba to navigate over, unlike pointed edges.

#3 Drive Wheels Are Dirty

Even if your threshold is within the acceptable height, a Roomba could still struggle to get over it if the device’s wheels are dirty.

Remember: your Roomba deals with a lot of dirt, dust, and debris every day. All of that will build up around the drive wheels and their treads.

As a result, the wheels won’t have as much traction or grip on the floor as they should. That will make it much more challenging for the Roomba to climb over a threshold in your doorway. 

#4 Drive Wheels Are Worn Out

Next, consider that the drive wheels or the wheel module overall have become worn out. Like the wheels on your car, those on a Roomba will experience plenty of wear the longer you use them.

Besides the drive wheels themselves, the module also contains the suspension springs and several gears. Unfortunately, these crucial components could have also worn out, preventing your Roomba from navigating over thresholds.

Read: IRobot Roomba Cant Find Home Base/Dock – Troubleshooting Guide

#5 Cliff Sensors Are Dirty (Roomba can’t get over threshold)

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Lastly, you should also check the cliff sensors if your Roomba can’t get over thresholds. All Roomba models have several cliff sensors underneath them. These sensors scan the floor to prevent the Roomba from going over ledges, balconies, staircases, and the like.

Unfortunately, a dirty cliff sensor could mistakenly think that the robot vacuum is going over a ledge when it tries to get over a threshold.

As a result, the dirty cliff sensor will trigger the Roomba to stop, turn around, and go the other way.

You can solve this issue by wiping all cliff sensors clean with a dry cloth or with rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol).

Read: Why Roomba Won’t Start Cleaning? – Troubleshooting Guide

How To Get Roomba Over The Threshold?

Thankfully, there are a few steps you can take to help your Roomba get over the thresholds in your home.

For example, you can:

  • Lay a small carpet: Firstly, laying a small carpet over a threshold will make it much easier for the Roomba to navigate over it. The carpet will cover any pointed edges, allowing the Roomba’s wheels to maintain traction and get the robot vacuum over.
  • Prepare a small ramp: Alternatively, you can also buy or build a small ramp that allows the Roomba to move over the threshold without a problem. But if you do this, remember to prepare another ramp on the other side so the Roomba can get back over the same threshold later.
  • Carry the Roomba: Lastly, if you live in a place where the thresholds are just too high, you can carry the Roomba manually into the other room. This approach might be a bit tedious, but at least the Roomba can clean the other room once it’s in there.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are a few additional questions and answers you might find helpful:

Can You Adjust Roomba Height?

No, you cannot adjust the Roomba’s height manually. However, the Roomba’s drive wheels do have springs that give them some flexibility as it navigates the surfaces in your home.

Can Roombas Go Over Ledges?

No, your Roomba will not go over a ledge. That’s because the robot vacuum has several cliff sensors underneath it that will detect when the Roomba is about to go over an edge. When that happens, the sensor will trigger the Roomba to stop, turn around, and head to safety.

Will A Roomba Work On Uneven Floors?

Yes, the Roomba will navigate uneven floors easily. That’s because each model has a caster wheel on the front and two drive wheels. Those drive wheels have springs that give it plenty of flexibility, allowing the Roomba to clean floors that are uneven.

Can Roomba Go Over Obstacles?

Yes, Roomba robot vacuums can go over obstacles as long as they’re less than 5/8 of an inch in height. However, if an obstacle is too high for it to climb over, the Roomba will instead try to navigate around it to continue the cleaning cycle.

Can Roomba Use A Ramp?

Yes, the Roomba can use a ramp to get around our home. A ramp creates an ideal path for the Roomba to get over a threshold or even to move to another floor in the building. 

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