How Do I Know if My Roomba is Charging?

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A common question I get a lot when I go to a customer’s house is “How do I know if my Roomba is Charging?”

Imagine this scenario: your house is a mess, it’s dirty and dusty as you just haven’t found the time to clean and you have guests coming for dinner in a few hours. You have to get the food going, get yourself ready and worry about the cleaning as well.

So you turn on your trusty little Roomba robot vacuum who can easily get the job done, while you do everything else. 10 minutes later and barely halfway into cleaning the living room your Roomba runs out of battery and dies or shows an error message like “Roomba charging error 5.” Uh oh!

Roombas take on average about 2-3 hours to fully charge from an empty battery. This means that every time your Roomba does a cleaning job, it’s best to recharge again immediately. Otherwise, you’re waiting around for it to recharge and constantly asking yourself, “Is my Roomba charging?”

Thankfully the Home Base that comes with your Roomba allows it to automatically find its way back to it and dock to recharge when it senses that the battery is running down.

But as we’ve sometimes seen, even if the Roomba is at the Home Base, it’s sometimes won’t dock or won’t charge or just won’t hold the charge. So when the Roomba is near the docking station, how do you know whether or not the Roomba is charging?

Plug Charger Directly Into The Roomba

The easiest way to tell if a Roomba is charging is when it’s plugged straight into the charger plug to the wall socket. The charger will have a solid green power light on to indicate that power is flowing through the plug and going into the Roomba’s battery to recharge it. But for homes that use a Roomba and a Home Base together, this is a different story altogether.

Home Base Overview

Roomba i7+ and its Clean Base Unit

When first docked into the Home Base, the Roomba’s power indicator light will turn on for a couple of seconds before eventually turning off – this is due to an energy-saving function in the Roomba’s CPU when it senses that the battery is charging.

Overview of Flashing Lights and Colors

There are a number of colored lights that the Roomba uses to tell you certain things. Here is a list of the more common ones that occur in a Roomba robot vacuum and what they mean for the user.

  • Green power indicator – means that the Roomba’s battery is fully charged and is ready to use
  • Flashing amber power indicator – means that the Roomba battery is still charging and is not full yet
  • Red power indicator light – means that the Roomba battery is drained and needs to be charged
  • Quick pulsing amber light – means that the Roomba battery is in refresh charging mode and should be left for at least 16 hours for it to complete the refresh charging cycle
  • If your Roomba light is flashing red while charging – that means it’s a battery problem and needs to be addressed immediately.

More often than not, the flashing red light will result in needing to replace the battery. You can purchase third-party batteries that are usually cheaper and have more capacity than iRobot batteries. But I usually still get the manufacturer certified ones.

How to Tell if Your Roomba is Charging (By Model)

Different Roomba models have different ways of indicating that they are in recharge mode.

Roomba 614, 670, 671, 675, 690

Roomba 675

The 600 Roomba series will show a flashing green light for a few seconds.

If there’s a red light on the LCD display on the top of the unit, there’s a charging error. To fix this, try using a dry cloth and wipe down the electronic contacts on both the Roomba and the Home Base until there are no traces of dust or debris. Try docking it manually again and unless your battery has an internal issue, it should charge properly now. There’ll be the flashing green light for a few seconds, then all lights on the unit will turn off.

Roomba E5 (5150)

When your Roomba E5 is charging properly when docked into the Home Base, the unit will flash green for about 4 seconds and then turn off to save energy.

Roomba 805, 890

The Roomba 800 series has a power indicator light on the top and it will also indicate that it’s charging with a flashing green light for a couple of seconds. Then it’ll start its full charge and save energy, turning off all the lights on the unit

Roomba 960, 980, 985

Roomba 960

If the battery is completely drained on your Roomba 900 series before you charge it in the Home Base, the battery indicator (shaped like a battery) on the LCD display on the top of the Roomba will slowly flash red. It will continue flashing red until it’s fully recharged when it turns green.

Roomba i7 and i7+ 

When it is charging, the ring light around the CLEAN button will pulse red to signal that it’s charging. After a few seconds, the lights will turn off as the Roomba goes into deep charging mode to save energy.

Roomba s9 and s9+

If there is a red light around the CLEAN button on the Roomba s9, that means it’s starting to charge. It’ll stop flashing after a few seconds while the Roomba continues charging for the next 2-3 hours.

Roomba Charging Error 5

There is a particular error message that your Roomba will show to indicate a battery problem. If the battery in your Roomba is causing issues with the operation, the LCD display will show an error message saying Roomba Charging Error 5.

This means you would need to have the battery looked at, or replace it. You can find replacements on Amazon for any model of Roomba you have but it’s advisable to use certified manufacturer batteries as they’re more trusted products.

3rd Party Batteries

iRobot Batteries

Conclusion

With all its benefits like autonomous cleaning and leaving it to work by itself, the iRobot Roomba has really made life easier for those who are constantly busy.

However, with all the automation there is still a need to double-check to see if your robot units are working properly. That won’t take too much of your time each day to check that your Roombas are working properly or see if it’s fully charged for the next cleaning.