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Roomba Won’t Charge or Won’t Charge Fully

Roomba Won’t Charge or Won’t Charge Fully

For a Roomba to do its thing, especially in a larger room, it needs to be charged. They last long enough on a charge to clean a room before heading back to their charging station, but what do you do when you are having trouble with charging it in the first place?

When your Roomba isn’t charging or charging fully, clean the charging contacts on both the charging station and the Roomba itself. It is easy for these to get dirty, considering we are talking about a vacuum. 

We will be covering several charging-related problems a Roomba can have and how to troubleshoot them. Continue reading if you’d like more details on each specific solution.

Roomba Won’t Charge: Causes/How to Fix

Roomba Won’t Charge: Causes/How to Fix

If your Roomba is not charging, the first thing you should do is to factory reset the device. Sometimes an electronic’s charging logic can get finicky; it’s nothing more than a software bug. Doing a hard reset is a good troubleshooting method before moving on to other things.

Different models will have a different way of doing this, and on the Wi-Fi enabled models, you can simply do it from the app. 

But if you want to do it on the Roomba itself, here are the instructions for the various models from iRobot’s support page: 

  • s Series/i Series: Press Home+Spot Clean+CLEAN buttons until the light running around the CLEAN button starts flashing.
  • On the e Series Roombas: Press Home+Spot Clean+CLEAN buttons for 20 seconds.
  • On the 900 Series Roomba: Press+Dock+Spot Clean+CLEAN buttons down until all the LEDs activate.
  • On the Wi-Fi Connected 600 & 800 Series Robots: Press Dock+Spot Clean+CLEAN buttons down until you hear a beep.
  • On the Roomba Combo: Open the lid and locate the Reset button. It will be located near the power button. Push down the Reset button for at least ten seconds.

Cleaning the Charging Contacts

Next, Roombas pick up a lot of dust, dirt, and debris during a cleaning session, especially if the floor has not been vacuumed in a while. Roombas are low to the ground, and thus this debris gets on the device itself as it is picking stuff up.

Roombas have a charging contact at the bottom for charging at their base, and if it gets dirty, electricity won’t be able to pass through. You also have to keep in mind that the charging base will also get dirty, and thus both should be cleaned regularly for optimal charging performance. 

This is something that many new Roomba owners learn. It’s easy to think that they are almost entirely hands-free machines. Still, in reality, they require regular maintenance like a regular vacuum or even more so given the increased complexity of these devices. 

You can clean both charging contacts with a lightly damped melamine foam. Once you think it is sufficiently cleaned, try charging again. The issue should be resolved, but if not, it can indicate a faulty charging base, charging circuit, or a bad battery. It’s quite rare that it is a hardware issue, but it is possible, and you’ll have to contact iRobot about getting service for the device.

Roomba Won’t Charge Fully: Causes/How to Fix

Roomba Won’t Charge Fully: Causes/How to Fix

If your Roomba is only charging partially, this can also come down to the charging contacts needing to be cleaned. Take a lightly damped melamine foam and clean both the Roomba’s and Home base charging contacts. A Roomba that is only partially charging indicates that the contacts aren’t dirty enough to prevent charging entirely; but, it struggles to get a consistent flow of electricity, to put it simply.

How Old Is Your Roomba?

You also have to consider how old your Roomba is. The first model debuted all the way back in 2002, so we are talking about a large time scale where someone could have a Roomba that is 3 months old or 10 years old. If your Roomba is an older model, the battery likely can’t hold the charge it used to. 

This is because Lithium-ion batteries are only rated for so many charge cycles from 300 to 500. As a device ages, it will eventually surpass this rating and start to deteriorate in battery life over time. This isn’t immediately noticeable at first unless the device is particularly old and heavily used.

You can likely replace the battery in your older Roomba provided the correct battery is available for sale. However, we recommend checking out some of the newer models that feature Wi-Fi connectivity. The Roomba 675 is a good starting point that won’t break the bank.

In short, it is charging fully in this case, but only to what the battery can physically handle. 

Roomba Charge Doesn’t Last: Causes/How to Fix

Roomba Charge Doesn’t Last: Causes/How to Fix

If your Roomba’s charge is suddenly draining rapidly, this is likely not due to the battery itself; rather, the battery drainage logic has been thrown off. You can factory reset your Roomba to fix the issue. Here are the instructions for the various models from iRobot’s support page. Or you can refer to the first section in this article if you’d like to stay within this webpage. 

Resetting will generally fix the issue on the current models since they aren’t old enough to where the battery would have depreciated to such an extent that you notice less battery capacity. If you do have a faulty battery, iRobot has thankfully made it easy to swap it out. Here is a video demonstrating the process on the 600 series:

Roomba Charger Light Won’t Stay On: Causes/How to Fix

Roomba Charger Light Won’t Stay On: Causes/How to Fix

Roombas, like most electronics, give the user feedback that the device is charging. Otherwise, you wouldn’t know unless you come back after a certain amount of time. 

This is the case with the Roomba charging station, but if your charger has the energy-conserving feature enabled, then the light that indicates that everything is functioning goes out after 4 seconds. 

You can check to see if your Roomba is properly charging by pressing the “CLEAN” button to see the battery status. If it is charging properly, then the status should show that the device is receiving power. 

Roomba Not Connecting to Charger: Causes/How to Fix

Roomba Not Connecting to Charger: Causes/How to Fix

If your Roomba is not connecting to the charger, likely, the charging contacts on the bottom of the device and the charging station are dirty after kicking up debris. Simply used a dampened melamine foam to clean both contacts and try charging again. 

The other explanation is that the charging station is faulty, it is rare for this to be the case, but it happens. You can contact iRobot about the issue, and if you are under warranty, you should be able to get a replacement or your Roomba and dock serviced. 

Roomba Battery Not Holding Charge: Causes/How to Fix

Roomba Battery Not Holding Charge: Causes/How to Fix

If your Roomba’s battery is suddenly not holding a charge, this is likely due to compromised battery logic. You can reset your Roomba to fix this. Here are the instructions for the various models from iRobot’s support page. You can also refer to the first section in this article if you don’t want to leave this webpage. 

Additionally, as we stated in a previous section, if you have an older Roomba unit, the battery life will be less than when you had initially bought the Robot. Roombas have existed since 2002, and so when discussing them as a whole, we are talking about a very large span of time. It would be similar to discussing battery life in a Thinkpad laptop or a Macbook. 

If you have a Roomba that is 5+ years old, an upgrade is worth looking into. There have also been many competitors to the Roomba that have been excellent such as the Eufy Robovac.

Final Thoughts

Many of the Roomba battery-related issues can come down to dirty charging contacts, bugged charging logic, or an aging battery. Rarely does a Roomba defect in this regard, but if you believe that your device isn’t working properly after using the troubleshooting methods above, you can get your Roomba serviced.

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