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Roomba Won’t Turn On/Start/Stay On/Automatically Start

Roomba Won't Turn On/Start/Stay On/Automatically Start

Roombas are convenient pieces of technology that have been around since 2002. They keep floors clean for people who want to save time or otherwise wouldn’t vacuum as often as they should in the first place. Thus, it is a huge problem when you are having issues with it turning on or staying on.

If your Roomba won’t turn or stay on, make sure that the charging station is providing power to the device. A common reason why a Roomba isn’t charged is dirty charging contacts. If your Roomba does have a charge and is refusing to run, this could be either a hardware or software issue.

We will be going over the various issues a Roomba can have with turning on and staying running. If you’d like to learn more, read further.

Roomba Won’t Turn On/Start: Causes/How to Fix

Roomba Won't Turn On/Start: Causes/How to Fix

If your Roomba isn’t turning on at all, the most frequent reason is due to dirty charging contacts. All that debris the Roomba is picking up will inevitably get on the bottom of the device and where the charging contacts are.

When the Roomba returns to its dock, it is now making the base’s charging dirty also. This won’t prevent the Roomba from charging after a single cleaning session. However, over time, if you don’t remove any of the debris getting stuck on the device, it will build up to a point where the Roomba won’t be able to connect to the dock and charge. 

This is a really easy fix. Simply use a lightly damped melamine foam to wipe off the excess dirt, hair, etc. Put the Roomba on the dock for 30 minutes and come back to check if it is charging properly, and try to boot it up. If the lights illuminate, then you are in the clear. 

It might be a good idea to clean the contacts bi-weekly if not weekly to avoid this suddenly happening when you least expect it. After all, you spent good money on a robot that’s supposed to work when you need it to!

Roomba Won’t Turn On/Run Even With Charge: Causes/How to Fix

Roomba Won't Turn On/Run Even With Charge: Causes/How to Fix

If you have determined that your Roomba is charging properly but isn’t turning on, there are multiple things you can do to troubleshoot the issue.

When a Roomba isn’t booting at all, check the battery. The battery might not be secured enough. iRobot themselves claim that the batteries can sometimes shift during shipping. Remove the battery and securely place it back in. Additionally, ensure the battery pull tab is removed.

Next, do a factory reset. You can do this from the app, but if you want to do it on the vacuum itself, here are the steps for each model. Ensure that your device is secured to its home base:

  • S Series/I Series: Press the Home + spot clean + CLEAN button down until the light ring  swirls.
  • E Series: Press the Home, spot clean, and CLEAN button down for 20 seconds.
  • 900 Series: Press and hold the dock and spot clean, and clean button down until all the LEDs activate.
  • WiFi Connected 600/800 Series Robots: Press the dock + spot clean + clean button until you hear a beep.
  • Roomba Combo: Open the lid and press the reset button for 10 seconds, which is found on the left of the on/off switch. 

If you are still having issues, contact iRobot about what is going on and see if you can get a replacement or have the device serviced. 

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

Roomba Won't Stay On: Causes/How to Fix

If your Roomba isn’t staying on, it is likely dying before it has the chance to clean your home. If you have left your Roomba on the charger overnight but still find that the battery life isn’t what it should be, then the first thing to check is the charging contacts. If these get dirty, then the debris will prevent power from being transferred. Use lightly dampened melamine to clean the contacts. 

Next, consider how old your Roomba is. These robot vacuums have been around for ages, debuting back in 2002. If you haven’t upgraded in quite some time, then what is likely happening here is the lithium-ion battery has lost its charge capacity. These batteries are rated anywhere from 300-500 charge cycles, and an old device that is 7+ years old has probably well surpassed the maximum amount of cycles. 

Roombas, even the most affordable options, are excellent these days. While you might find a replacement battery for an exceptionally old model, we recommend looking at newer models starting with the Roomba 675. It is at a compelling price and includes features that most people want, such as WiFi, Alexa, and good cleaning power. 

At the time of writing this, you can also pay it off monthly without dealing with credit. It’s worth a look.

Roomba Not Following Schedule: Causes/How to Fix

Roomba Not Following Schedule: Causes/How to Fix

One of the great features of the WiFi-enabled Roombas is being able to set a schedule for it. This allows the device to be even more hands-free than ever. Non-WiFi models can also have a schedule set, although not as convenient or flexible. 

But when the time comes for it to start cleaning but it isn’t doing anything, or it started cleaning at the wrong time, that can be frustrating because troubleshooting the thing now takes more time than if you tried to start it manually.

  • WiFi Enabled Models. Press the clean button to turn off standby mode. Press again to start a cleaning session and wait one minute. This deactivates standby mode, and you can now set your desired schedule in the iRobot Home App.
  • Non-WiFi Connected Models. Roombas without internet capabilities can be set on a specific schedule by adjusting the time you want the robot to head out each day. The steps differ depending on the model, and if you don’t know how to do this, we included two videos below showing how to do this for current non-WiFi-enabled models.

Roomba Not Starting Job: Causes/How to Fix

Roomba Not Starting Job: Causes/How to Fix

If your Roomba is not starting at all, check to see if the charging contacts are dirty. This is a common reason why a Roomba is suddenly not starting since debris on the charging contacts is blocking power from being transferred. Use dampened melamine foam to clear any dirt and debris.

Roomba Won’t Start Cleaning: Causes/How to Fix

Roomba Won't Start Cleaning: Causes/How to Fix

If your Roomba is not starting to clean at all, even if it has power, you can try to do a factory reset either through the iRobot HOME app on the WiFi models or on the robot itself:

  • S Series/I Series: Press the home+spot clean+clean button down until the light ring swirls
  • E Series: Press the home+spot clean+clean button down for 20 seconds.
  • 900 Series: Press the dock+spot clean+clean button down until all LEDs illuminate
  • WiFi Connected 600/800 Series: Press the dock+spot clean+clean button down until the device beeps
  • Roomba Combo: Open the lid and press the reset button. It is on the left of the on/off switch. Hold the reset button for ten seconds.

Final Thoughts

If your Roomba isn’t turning on, following schedule, or doing its job, there’s likely software issues or problems with charging. In the worst-case scenario, you legitimately have a bricked robot, contact iRobot about a replacement, or have the vacuum serviced. 

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