Ever find yourself complaining that your Roomba won’t charge?
When it comes to keeping your home clean, the convenience of having a Roomba is second to none. It tackles dirt, dust, debris and for those who own pets – it solves the hairy problem of constantly having pet hair on your carpet and floors. You’re able to control your Roomba robot vacuum through a smartphone app any time and from anywhere.
With all it’s good points however, the Roomba is not without its limitations. It’s battery-powered and all batteries start to wear down after lots of use.
One of the more common issues reported with Roomba vacuums is that the Roomba won’t charge when docked on the Home Base.
I’ll 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 just 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.
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 Older
Batteries in all electronic devices have a lifespan and the Lithium-Ion battery in your Roomba is no different.
If you’ve completed a couple of hundred cleaning cycles from full to empty on your Roomba robot vacuum, your battery will hold considerably less charge than when it was brand new as the Lithium-Ion cells inside it wear down with age and usage.
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, not allowing the Roomba to correctly charge.
The Roomba’s charging contacts are susceptible to the 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.
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.
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 caster 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.
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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 (5150)
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 i7 and i7+, Roomba 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.
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: