Roomba is a popular robot vacuum that cleans your floors automatically. Part of its appeal is that it can function every day with little or no input from you. But what happens when the unit fails to turn on at all?
A Roomba that won’t turn on is likely experiencing a power supply or software issue. First, check that the battery is working. Then, ensure that the base station is plugged in and capable of charging your Roomba. Lastly, clean any dirt off the charging contacts on the Roomba and the base station. Also, ensure that your Roomba’s software is up-to-date, and reboot the device if necessary.
This guide will walk you through the most likely reasons your Roomba is not turning on. You’ll understand each affected component, why they’re not working, and what you can do to fix it.
Why Won’t My Roomba Turn On?
Roombas are some of the most cutting edge robot vacuums on the market today. However, many of their components are more straightforward than we might realize.
That’s good news because it allows us to troubleshoot any problems quicker. So, when your Roomba doesn’t turn on, it’s likely an issue related to its power supply or onboard software.
Here are the most likely reasons your Roomba won’t turn on and what you can do to fix each one.
Battery Not Charged
What it is: All Roomba vacuums come with a rechargeable onboard battery. The battery is completely removable, allowing you to check it for any signs of damage.
Depending on the age and condition of your Roomba, you can also remove the battery to replace it with a new unit if that ever becomes necessary.
The onboard battery holds enough power for your Roomba to clean your floors for 1-2 hours, depending on your model.
When it runs low, the Roomba will return to its base station to recharge.
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What’s likely happening: When your Roomba won’t turn on, the most likely reason is that the battery no longer has a charge. That could be the result of user error or because the battery cannot charge.
How to solve it: Remember: your Roomba battery only holds enough power for 1-2 hours. So after that, you must give it enough time to charge back to full capacity.
Under normal conditions, you’ll need 2 hours to recharge your Roomba battery.
But let’s suppose your Roomba battery is several years old, and you suspect that it’s not working as well as it should. In that case, you can leave it to charge overnight instead.
What’s likely happening: The batteries on your Roomba won’t last forever. So, if you’ve had it for more than 1 or 2 years, it’s likely that the battery has failed.
A Roomba battery will last about 400 charges. That adds up to approximately 2-4 years of regular use for average users. After that time, the battery will no longer hold a charge normally, and that would prevent your Roomba from turning on.
Besides that, a battery can also fail if you do not store it properly. For example, if you remove the battery from your Roomba and store it in extreme temperatures, that can cause your battery to fail.
As a result, that battery will also fail to hold a charge, leaving your Roomba powerless when you try to use it.
How to solve it: Unfortunately, you can’t fix a failed battery. Instead, you’ll have to purchase a new battery compatible with your Roomba model. Always purchase original batteries from the manufacturer and not third-party or counterfeit batteries for the best results.
Base Station Not Charging Battery
What it is: The base station is where your Roomba goes to charge. Depending on your model, it might also be where the robot vacuum goes to empty its bin.
When your Roomba returns and docks at the base station, its onboard batteries will recharge automatically. The base station plugs into a wall socket and charges the Roomba through electrical contacts on both the Roomba and the base station.
What’s likely happening: As you’ve seen above, the most likely reason your Roomba won’t turn on is that the battery is dead. However, the root cause of that issue might not be a user error or battery problem but an issue with the base station.
When the base station fails to charge the battery, it’ll leave your Roomba without any power and cause it to stay off.
The base station won’t charge the Roomba when:
- The charging contacts are dirty or damaged
- The base station isn’t plugged into the wall socket
- The base station is faulty
How to solve it: The solution to this problem depends on the root cause. So, you should troubleshoot the issue step by step and rule out one issue at a time.
Firstly, check that your base station is plugged into a working wall socket. You can test the socket by plugging another appliance into it to ensure that it works.
Secondly, check that the charging contacts are clean. With the base station unplugged, you can clean them using isopropyl or rubbing alcohol to remove any dirt.
Lastly, if the base station is faulty and still doesn’t charge your Roomba, you’ll likely need to replace it with a new one.
What it is: While some parts of the Roomba are pretty straightforward, that’s certainly not the case with its onboard software.
The software controls all of the Roomba’s behaviors and ensures that it can deliver the cleaning results you expect.
Much like any other computer software, the one in your Roomba must be updated from time to time. Besides that, they can also suffer from software glitches that affect the robot vacuum’s behavior.
What’s likely happening: Assuming your Roomba has no power supply issues, the next likely reason it won’t turn on is that there’s a software issue. For instance, there might be a glitch that’s preventing it from turning on and proceeding to clean your home.
How to solve it: Software issues on a Roomba typically only have two solutions. Firstly, check that the software on your Roomba is up to date. If that’s not the case, you should immediately download and install the latest software updates.
When you’re done updating your Roomba, the next step is to reboot the robot vacuum entirely. You can do that by pressing and holding the Clean button for 20 seconds and then releasing it. That will cause the light around the bin lid to swirl clockwise.
Alternatively, you can also reboot your Roomba through power cycling. To do that, remove the Roomba battery and leave it alone for at least 5 minutes. Then, reinsert the battery and continue using the Roomba normally.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some additional questions and answers that you’ll find helpful when troubleshooting a Roomba that won’t turn on.
How Do I Wake Up My Roomba?
You can wake up your Roomba by pressing the Clean button one time. Doing that will cause the button to light up to let you know that it’s turned on. Then, press the same button again to start a new cleaning cycle. The Roomba will automatically clean your floors until its battery runs low. Then, it’ll return to the base station to recharge.
What Do You Do If Your Roomba Won’t Turn On?
If your Roomba doesn’t turn on, check that there are no problems charging the battery. Start by checking the Roomba battery for any signs of damage. Then, inspect the base station to ensure it’s plugged into the wall socket and can charge your Roomba. Lastly, clean any dirt off the charging contacts underneath the Roomba and on the base station.
Is There A Reset Button On Roomba?
There is no dedicated reset button on a Roomba. However, you can press and hold the Clean button for 20 seconds. When you let go of that button, you’ll see a light ring move around the bin lid clockwise. The Roomba will need about a minute and a half to complete the reset process.
How Do You Factory Reset A Roomba?
You can perform a factory reset on your Roomba by pressing and holding the Home, Spot Clean, and Clean buttons together. You should hold those 3 buttons until there’s a light ring turned on around them. Once that’s done, the Roomba will reset itself.
How Many Years Does A Roomba Last?
A Roomba has a lifespan of anywhere from 2-6 years. The lifespan of your unit will ultimately depend on how much you use it and how well you maintain it. For example, using the Roomba in exceptionally dirty environments without cleaning its brushes will often cause plenty of wear. As a result, its overall lifespan will be shorter than others.