Roomba Water Damage and Solutions


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Your Roomba is designed only to clean dust, dirt, debris from dry floors, rugs, and carpets. Some Roomba parts can become damaged by cleaning liquids, food remnants, or pet pee/poop. 

Before using your Roomba, it’s best to clean up any messes made by pets, spilled drinks, and leftover foods.

If your Roomba gets too wet, then it might get damaged. If it was by a window or door that was open, it might have been exposed to the rain.

If you must keep your vacuum cleaner close to windows, be sure they’re covered up, so they don’t get wet or have direct sunlight shining on them.

Roombas are very smart robots, but they can’t clean themselves when they get wet. This article will let you know what to do when the Roomba gets wet. 

Signs That Your Roomba Got Wet

When your Roomba gets too wet, it might stop working. You should try to dry it out by placing it on a towel and leaving it alone for at least an hour. If this doesn’t work, you need to take it apart and clean off any dirt or debris. Then reassemble it and see if it works again.

Roombas are great vacuum cleaners that help people clean their floors. They work by sucking up dust and dirt. But when it’s damaged, you may see these signs and symptoms that your Roomba is wet: 

  • Your Roomba loses suction and is unable to suck up any more dirt and debris.
  • The battery won’t hold its charge or won’t charge. If it doesn’t retain a charge, then it won’t be able get enough power to operate properly.
  • The Roomba won’t turn on, even after letting it air dry. 
  • The Roomba won’t move, is moving in circles, or only in one direction. 
  • Roomba is moving weirdly, won’t follow instructions, or is having difficulty with docking. 

Before trying to fix any components on the Roomba, make sure to turn off the Roomba before opening it up. 

Damaged Motor and Wheels

If your vacuum cleaner doesn’t move when it gets wet, if it starts spinning randomly, or if its movements don’t seem synchronized, then either the motor or the wheels may be damaged.

You may need to replace the vacuum cleaner motor or the wheel control mechanism if they’re faulty. Run some checks first just to see whether there’s anything wrong.

If you see the Roomba only moving to the right, it means the left wheel is broken, and vice versa. 

If replacing the vacuum cleaner’s motor doesn’t solve the issue, then the motherboard may be broken. Will cover motherboard damage further below. 

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Damaged Sensors

If your robot vacuum cleaner works fine when it gets wet but no longer seems capable of detecting objects and avoiding them, check its sensor first before replacing anything else.

To start off, run a manual built-in test to confirm whether there are any issues.

If you discover that the sensors are broken, replace them immediately. Replacing Roomba’s sensor isn’t easy. You might break your vacuum if you attempt it. It would be best if you gave it to a professional. 

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Damaged Battery and Filter

When water gets sucked up by the Roomba, it can wet the battery and filters. If it had already sucked in dirt and debris, the water could cause a bigger mess. 

Here’s how to fix a damaged battery and filter: 

  1. Remove and clean the filter. Replace the filter if it’s broken. 
  2. Remove the Roomba battery and let it dry.
  3. Once the battery is dry, put it back in and see if the Roomba will work. 
  4. If the Roomba won’t charge or isn’t holding the charge, replace the battery. 

If replacing the battery still doesn’t work, the motherboard could be damaged.

Last update on 2022-09-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Motherboard Is Damaged

Majority of the time, water entering the Roomba will damage the motherboard.

Run tests first before immediately replacing the motherboard. Make sure the motors and sensors are functioning properly. Check to see if the motherboard is still giving any voltage.

If the results aren’t conclusive, take apart your Roomba and look at its motherboard for physical damage like rust or burns. If you see any of these signs, then your motherboard needs replacing. That should fix the issues and get your Roomba working again. 

If there aren’t any visible signs of damage on your motherboard, but your robot has these symptoms, replace your motherboard. Most often than not, replacing the motherboard will solve the issue.

If there’s damage to the motherboard, then some other Roomba components might stop working too. It could cause the wheels and motor to stop working. 

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iRobot Roomba Warranty Coverage

If there’s any problem with your robot vacuum cleaner during its first year of use, iRobot repair or replace it for free.

However, this excludes normal wear and tear, damage from improper use, misuse, or natural disasters like fires, floods, and storms.

If there was any kind of water damage, unfortunately it wouldn’t be covered under the iRobot warranty. If you want to fix or replace your Roomba, then you’ll need to take care of it yourself.

Can Roomba Avoid Water?

Roomba cannot detect and avoid water. Water, dog poop, or even pet urine won’t stop your Roomba from continuing to move around your house.

If these things happen, they might damage your robot vacuum cleaner. It’s important to clean everything up before vacuum cleaning because otherwise liquids can damage your Roomba. 

Careful With Your Pet’s Water Bowl

People should not fill their dog’s water bowl to the top. Topping the bowl off with water could cause damage to the Roomba if it were to bump into the bowl and spill some water onto the Roomba. 

Fill one third of the bowl instead. Water shouldn’t spill over the edge of the bowl and make it onto the floor. You’ll need to fill the bowl more often, but it’s better than a broken Roomba. 

Can You Wash a Roomba?

Don’t wash your Roomba! You can empty, clean, and wash the dustbin, but never wash the Roomba itself.

Rinsing the Roomba with water will damage your robot vacuum, and you’ll be stuck cleaning up the mess yourself.

Can You Wash the Air Filters?

Roombas use air filtration systems to catch pet hair, debris, and dirt that’s been sucked up. These robots are used to clean carpets, floors, rugs, and other floor surfaces, so they can get dirty.

Many people will want to wash the Roomba filter to clean them, but not all Roomba models have filters that are washable. 

Only the models that are in the e, i, j, and s series have washable filters. If you replaced the original iRobot filter with a third-party filter, you’ll need to double-check the replacement’s instruction manual to see if they’re washable. 

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Can You Rinse the Sensors?

There are sensors at the bottom and on the top of the robot vacuum. You should not wash them. Instead, use a microfiber cloth to clean them gently.

Final Thoughts

Roomba robot vacuums are very sensitive to liquids when it’s sucked up. You should avoid scheduling them to clean while you’re away.

Keep an eye out for leaks and spills before using your Roomba. Clean spills as soon as possible to prevent damage, especially if you have the Roomba on a cleaning schedule. 

There are other ways to clean your Roomba than rinsing it.You might be interested in these articles: 

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Written by:

Michael Hoyt
You could say I’m the Founder as I was the first one to write about my smart home and smart devices. I started out writing about robot vacuums on my first site (Vacuum Cleaners Lab), because that’s what I knew best. My day job before was as a robot vacuum expert, before expanding into smart homes and helping others with installing and fully automating smart homes.