I’ve had 5 different Roomba robot vacuums in the past 10+ years and one of the most frustrating things is when my Roomba won’t charge.
No matter what Roomba model, at some point, your Roomba will also have charging problems. The Roomba not charging on the charging station is a very common issue. But not to worry, the majority of cases, it’s an easy fix.
The electrical contacts could be dirty, so wiping them down with a soft cloth could easily resolve the issue. Or it could be issues with the power outlet or Roomba battery.
This article will go through the symptoms, causes, and solutions for your Roomba not charging on the Home Base. Read on below if you’re facing that same situation or to be prepared for the future.
The common symptoms that your Roomba will show if it’s not charging or holding its charge are rather clear.
The Roomba won’t switch on and is not operating as it should. There are no lights or beeping tones emitted by the Roomba at all, meaning that it’s not switched on, and requires attention.
Roomba charging issues may also show error codes on your Roomba. The common charging errors are:
- Charging Error 1 – The lithium-ion battery is disconnected, so it can’t charge.
- Charging Error 2 – Battery is unable to charge.
- Charging Error 3 – There’s a charging issue, but it’s not clear what the issue is.
- Charging Error 5 – The charging contacts are the cause of the issues. Try to clean them.
- Charging Error 6 – Battery is too hot, so Roomba won’t charge.
- Charging Error 7 – Battery is too cold, so the Roomba won’t charge.
- Charging Error 8 – Roomba and the battery are unable to talk, so it won’t recharge.
- Charging Error 9 – This is a major battery issue that will require the battery be replaced or contacting Roomba customer care.
6 Causes of Roomba Not Charging
There could be a number of reasons that your Roomba isn’t charging. Go through the list below and use it as a guide for diagnosing your Roomba.
1. Battery Is Old
The original battery in any electronic device has a lifespan and the Lithium-Ion battery in your Roomba is no different. It could be a dead battery or a faulty battery.
If you’ve completed a couple of hundred cleaning cycles from full to empty on your Roomba robot vacuum, your rechargeable battery will hold considerably less charge than when it was brand new. The Lithium-Ion cells inside it wear down with age and usage.
Before looking at replacement battery options and spending an additional cost, try fixing these other potential causes.
2. Electrical Contacts Are Dirty
Because it does so much cleaning, the electrical contacts that connect the Roomba to the Home Base could be dirty. That would prevent the Roomba to charge correctly.
The Roomba’s charging contacts are susceptible to dust and debris that the Roomba collects on its vacuuming adventures around the house. The dust on the contacts results in less efficient charging or no charging at all.
3. Faulty Charger Plug
When your charger plug is faulty, electricity from your power outlet (wall socket or otherwise) will not be able to pass through the charger. So no power is transferred to the Home Base in order for it to charge your Roomba.
In these cases, even the Home Base will not work, so this is a relatively easy and identifiable problem to diagnose.
Try a different power outlet that’s on a separate circuit to check if the power outlet is the cause of the Roomba not charging. If the Roomba doesn’t start charging on another power outlet, check that the cords on the docking station are tight, and the cord isn’t ripped.
4. Faulty Home Base
A faulty Home Base could mean that the Roomba will not be able to detect where the Base is after it cleans. The docking station might not be transferring electricity through to the Roomba too, but there is a solution to still charge.
Charging can still occur with the charger plug by connecting it straight to the Roomba robot vacuum. If the battery indicator on the Roomba is pulsing, that means it’s charging and you know it’s a potential Home Base issue or charging contact issue.
This method is not recommended as the Home Base and the Roomba should work as one combined unit together. You can use this method to test and see if it’s a Home Base issue though.
If the docking station is the issue, you’ll need to replace the dock. If you’re still under warranty, contact iRobot and they should be able to send you a replacement dock in a week.
5. Caster Wheel Debris
Check the caster wheels for debris build-up, because that can cause the Roomba not to be able to fully connect the charging contacts to the Home Base.
If there is debris, remove the wheel and clean the debris. Also clean the charging contacts as well, since you’re already cleaning. Many users like to use a magic eraser or other melamine foam.
Last update on 2023-03-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Caster wheel maintenance is important to perform every few weeks to keep your Roomba running smoothly.
6. Yellow Battery Pull Tab
If you have a brand new Roomba, double-check that the yellow pull tab is removed from the bottom of the Roomba. That’s used to block the battery from the robot’s power, so it won’t accidentally run while on the shelf.
Another thing you can check if it’s a new robot is to remove the battery and place it back in. The battery may have loosened during delivery, so there’s no power flowing through.
Solutions to Charge Again
If the battery in your Roomba is giving you some issues, you can try a Roomba battery reset. What this does is recalibrate the battery’s internal power capacity sensor.
After constant usage, the Roomba’s battery will actually start to show signs of exhaustion and it cannot produce power to operate the Roomba as efficiently as when it was still new.
To reset the Roomba battery, follow these steps:
- First, ensure the Roomba is turned on by pressing the CLEAN button until it powers on with a tone or emits light.
- Next, press and hold the SPOT and DOCK buttons simultaneously for 10 seconds and then release them at the same time.
- It will then beep to confirm that your Roomba battery has been reset.
- Double-check that your Roomba unit has been reset by pressing the clock button.
- If it’s been properly reset, the time should go back to 12:00 as a default setting.
For dirty electrical contacts, use a dry cloth and wipe down the electrical parts of both the Roomba and the Home Base that connect to each other. Repeat this process until you see that there is no visible dust or debris on the contact points.
If the Roomba charger is not working, first check the plug itself to see if either a fuse has been blown – fuse issues are common and are easy to replace.
However, if you don’t have much experience in electronics or it looks like something more than just the fuse, don’t do it yourself. Call an electrician or someone with more experience for help.
If the problem is a faulty Home Base, it’s recommended to contact iRobot customer service for a replacement (if you are under warranty) or see how they can help if your warranty period is over.
If nothing else works, a replacement battery is needed. Replacements are easily found on Amazon.
3rd Party Batteries
Known Issues of Specific Roomba Models
Roomba 614, 670, 671, 675, 690
As the 600 series of Roomba are the earliest gen models released by iRobot, the batteries may run down faster than the higher models and extra care should be taken to maintain the battery life.
Roomba E5, E6
The Roomba E5 battery is the same as the 600 series and requires more maintenance than the more advanced models.
Roomba 805, 890
The mid-tier 800 series have the same battery capacity of 1800mAh as the 600 series but it uses a stronger motor which results in more efficient cleaning with less juice required.
Roomba 960, 980, 985
With 2600mAh of battery capacity, the Roomba 900 series battery is more advanced and made with better quality parts. The batteries can stand more charging cycles and they are quite reliable.
Roomba i, j, and s Series Models
This covers the Roomba i3, i3+, i4, i6+, i7, i7+, i8+, j7, j7+, s9, and s9+
These are the newest models of Roomba released by iRobot and the batteries are not known to cause any issues unless they have been tampered with or used incorrectly.
Roomba Not Charging Final Thoughts
If all else fails, you can actually replace the batteries on your Roomba. Replacement batteries can be easily found for any model of Roomba you own. It is also advisable to do a battery reset once or twice a week for optimum performance of your battery.
Here are other Roomba articles to learn more:
- List of Roomba Error Codes and Fixes
- Which Roomba Do I Have?
- Stop the Roomba From Talking
- Roomba Water Damage and Fixes
- Do Roomba Robot Vacuums Work in the Dark?
- Setting the Roomba Schedule
Roomba Not Charging FAQs
How do I know if my Roomba is charging?
You can know if your Roomba is charging by looking at the LED light indicator around the CLEAN button. Look for these colors:
Solid Red – The battery is not charged or charging
Flashing Amber – Charging is in progress
Solid Green – Charging is finished
Pulsating Amber – The Roomba is in the middle of the 16-hour charging mode
How do I know if my Roomba battery is bad?
The battery drains out unusually fast. It can empty within minutes after starting a cleaning cycle. After 15 to 20 minutes, the robot vacuum cleaner stops working.
There’s no power light activity and doesn’t even flicker. Resetting the Roomba does not help with fixing the issue
Does the Roomba charging dock light stay on when charging?
No, the Roomba charging station light does not stay on when charging. The light will flash for about 5 seconds and then stop flashing to save its energy.
The Roomba base light flashes for about four seconds and then goes off completely to save energy.
How many years does a Roomba battery last?
Depending on the size of your house and how often you run the Roomba, the battery should last for about 400 recharges, which is about 2 to 4 years. If you have a smaller house or don’t use the Roomba as much, you can extend the Roomba battery’s life. Replacement batteries aren’t too expensive though, so it’s better to have a clean home than buying for a new battery.