My Roomba Won’t Hold Its Charge

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Wondering why after 15 minutes, your Roomba is already searching for the home base unit to recharge? You’ve come to the right place in trying to figure out why your Roomba won’t hold its charge.

Roomba vacuum cleaners are incredibly efficient at cleaning all the dirt, dust, and debris which have accumulated in your home. But such painful work takes a toll on the efficiency of their function over time. Specifically on the battery’s ability to hold a charge.

The good news is iRobot Roomba vacuum cleaners are resilient and the battery holding problem is often very easily fixed.  Let’s take a look at symptoms, causes, and solutions.

Symptoms

You’ll easily be able to determine whether your Roomba vacuum cleaner isn’t holding charge properly if it spends more time at the docking station than it does cleaning your home.

For example, if instead of running for the usual amount of time (around 2 hours), it will run for about half an hour (maybe even less). Then the CLEAN button pulses red, indicating that it needs to return to the docking station to charge for the full charging time (another 2 hours).

So dirt, dust, and debris quickly accumulate in your home. Let’s take a look at reasons why that could be happening.

Causes

Be sure to check each of these causes for why you’re seeing the Roomba not holding its charge and cleaning for less and less time on each run.

  1. The wasn’t fully charged to begin with
  2. The electrical outlet doesn’t generate enough electricity to power the vacuum cleaner
  3. There is a problem with the wiring inside the Roomba
  4. The Roomba’s battery is older and near the end of its life cycle
  5. The battery shifted during shipment, so internally, the battery is out of place
  6. The Roomba is clogged with dust or debris
  7. The Roomba is overheating

Solutions To These Problems

  1. Not Fully ChargedThe problem may not lie in the Roomba itself but rather, the devices used to charge it. Make sure that the power cord doesn’t have any kinks or frays, and is securely plugged into the outlet.

    Or maybe the Roomba wasn’t charging for a long enough time before it started cleaning.
  2. Wall Outlet – The outlet that the charging dock is plugged into may not be transmitting enough electricity through the power cord into the charging dock. That would lead to the battery in the Roomba to function improperly. Try charging at a different wall socket.
  3. Roomba Wiring – If the internal wiring of the Roomba is damaged, it may cause some problems to the vacuum cleaner’s battery holding capacity. You can take a look inside the Roomba for any damaged wires or have an expert examine it for you.
  4. Battery Life Cycle – Since batteries are not eternal and do degrade over time, an old battery may be the source of your charging problems. Roomba batteries last around 400 charges depending on the model. If your current battery isn’t functioning properly, try purchasing a new battery to replace it. iRobot has its own branded batteries (1800mAh) or you can purchase third-party ones that are more than 2x the battery power capacity at 3800mAh.

iRobot Batteries

3rd Party Batteries

  1. Battery Out of Place – If your Roomba is new, then the shipment process may have resulted in internal components of the robot vacuum shifting. To correct this issue, simply take the battery out and put it back in again.
    
  2. Clogged Roomba – A common factor contributing to an inability of the battery to hold a charge is an accumulation of dust and debris. Clean the charging contacts on both the home base and the Roomba, preferably with a melamine foam sponge (see below image). Be sure to also check inside the vacuum cleaner by flipping it over and disconnecting the caster wheel. The debris found in and around the wheel may be causing the vacuum cleaner to be unable to reach the charging contacts.

    Additionally, if there is an excess of debris inside the Roomba, it makes the motor work harder, which results in quicker depletion of the battery. To avoid this, check and clean the Roomba brushes and rolls once a week.
Extra Thick Magic Cleaning Pads - Eraser Sponge for All Surfaces
  1. Overheating – If a battery is too hot it will not charge. Turn the Roomba off and take the battery out for 20-30 minutes. Give it time to cool down before you try charging it again. Make sure you also store your Roomba out of direct sunlight 

Reset the Roomba

How to Replace the Battery | Roomba® 600 series | iRobot®

If the above solutions aren’t working, try to reset/reboot to fix a Roomba battery. Check out this post on reset instructions for specific Roomba models.

  • Resetting the Roomba (make sure device is off first)
    • Roomba 500 and 600 series models: Press CLEAN and hold SPOT and DOCK for 10 seconds.
    • Roomba e5 and e6 series: Press the HOME and SPOT Clean buttons on either side of the large CLEAN button in the center and hold for 10 seconds
    • Roomba 700, 800, and 900 series models: Press and hold the CLEAN button for 10 seconds
    • Roomba s9 and i7 series: Press and hold the CLEAN button for 20 seconds 
iRobot Roomba - How to Reset the Roomba

More information regarding rebooting can be found on the iRobot’s site if needed.

Alternative Reset if the above doesn’t help:Take out the battery

  • Press the power button and hold it for around 10 seconds
  • Reinstall the battery
  • Plug the power cord directly into the Roomba instead of into the docking station and let it charge for around 16 hours
  • If the light on the Roomba let it run as normal until its battery has run out

Roomba Lifespan Maintenance Tips

Make sure the Roomba doesn’t come into contact with water as it may damage it and possibly impair the battery’s charge holding capacity.

Recharge the Roomba’s battery after each use because keeping the battery without charge for several days can damage it.

Maintain and clean the Roomba. Clear the dust and debris on a weekly basis to help keep the battery functioning optimally.

Keep the Roomba stored in a cool, dry place. Don’t put the home base and Roomba where there’ll be any direct sunlight throughout the day.

Conclusion

Even though a malfunctioning battery is a frustrating situation for any Roomba owner, it’s also one that’s can be easy to fix on your own. And even if you can’t fix it yourself, the iRobot team is ready to help you with any issues you may have with your Roomba vacuum cleaner. Contact Roomba’s technical support on their website.