troubleshoot steps iRobot Roomba

Steps To Troubleshoot iRobot Roomba?

The Robot Roomba is probably the best machine ever invented. With automated cleaning, minimal maintenance, and hassle-free operations, this robot is definitely a must-buy for modern households. But, even the best would fail at times. If you are facing issues with operating your iRobot Roomba, this blog will walk you through the steps to troubleshoot them in no time.

Common issues with iRobot Roomba

In February, several users reported having navigation issues with their Roomba devices. According to them, the 3.12.8 firmware update was the alleged culprit. Some of them even described Roomba acting drunk, spinning itself around and bumping into the furniture and other things, getting stuck, and not making it back to the charging home base. Well, this issue was fixed by iRobot releasing another update in late April. But, there may be more than just firmware update issues that you might encounter with your machine.

Here are some issues that you might face:

  • Docking Issues;
  • Boot-up issues;
  • Brush Not Spinning;
  • and some General Errors.

Troubleshooting iRobot Roomba related issues

Roomba Docking Issues

If you find that your iRobot Roomba is not returning to its home base upon completion of the cleaning cycle, here are some steps you can follow:

  • Inspect the charger line cable and look for any damages
  • Plug your charger into the wall socket and make sure that the power indicator lights are solid green.
  • Plug the robot’s charger into the home base to make sure that it is not loose and connected correctly. Also, check the power LED for any flickering.
  • Check if there are any virtual walls or secondary home base installed within a few meters of the primary home base. This could generate infrared beam obstacles and interfere with your robot’s ability to dock back.
  • Clean the charging contacts on the Home base and the robot using a dry cloth to remove any debris. Afterward, check if the Roomba returns to the charging base when you manually press the Dock button.

Roomba Boot-up Issues

Most people may mistake the sleep mode or drained battery issues as boot-up issues. If your Roomba is facing any such issues, check if it’s actually not turning on, not charging, or is not responding in some way. Moreover, if you have just unboxed your Roomba robot, chances are, the battery may have been displaced during the transit. Remove the battery and place it back in the robot to confirm accurate placement and contact. If that doesn’t help, follow the steps:

  • Plug the home base into a power outlet and verify the indicator LED is flickering every 4 seconds. If it doesn’t, try plugging it into a second outlet. If it still doesn’t work, your Home Baseline cable may be damaged and would need replacement.
  • If the Home Base LED is lit up but the robot is not charging, there must be some debris or dirt accumulated on the charging contacts. If possible, use a soft and dry cloth to clean them and plug in the charger again.
  • Try removing the caster wheel from the charging base. Check if there is any debris in the caster wheel since it cannot reach robots for charging pins. If you find any such things, clean them off the surface using a soft-bristled brush.

Brush Spinning Issues

If you find that the Brush on your iRobot Roomba is not spinning, you can always follow some steps to resolve the issue. You might need help from an experienced person as these may include some dismantling exercises.

  • Remove the side brushes by removing the center screw using a flat head screwdriver. Next, also take off the four screws that hold the bottom panel intact.
  • You’ll see the side brush motor and housing secured in their places using some screws. Take off the screw which is away from the edges and you will see another screw beneath it. This one has a plastic head and you would want to use a different screwdriver to remove it.
  • Once you remove the same, you’ll see a snap-latch on one of the ends of the Blue-colored motor housing.
  • Carefully take one part of the motor housing off. One section of the housing will have some gears and an electric motor. The other part of the housing will have a metal axle and a wide gear. You’ll also see a hexagonal piece protruding from the other portion of the housing where the side brush is mounted.
  • Check if the axle turns within the housing using pliers. You will find that the axle will spin once it is freed from the stuck gear. You can use some gear oil to lubricate the same and then putting it back in place.

Now, follow back the steps back to assemble your Roomba.

Resolving General Errors

Apart from the issues discussed in this blog, there are some error messages which you can get while using your iRobot Roomba. The table below mentions Common errors and the possible reasons behind them, while also briefly explaining ways to fix the same.

Error Messages

Possible Reasons

Possible Fixes

Error Code 1

Battery Issues

Clean the battery, the charging contacts, and RESET the iRobot Roomba

Error Code 2

Brush Issues

Clean the brushes thoroughly and remove any clogged dirt

Error Code 3


Perform a factory RESET and Recharge your Roomba

Error Code 5

Charging Issues

Remove the yellow-colored pull tab

Error Code 6


Clean the Sensors and RESET your iRobot Roomba

Error Code 9

Dirty Bumpers

Clean and RESET

Error Code 10

Dirty Wheels

Clean the Wheels and remove any dirt.

Error Code 17

Navigation Issues

Delete the Maps and record a cleaning cycle, increase the lighting and clean the contacts as well.

How to factory RESET your iRobot Roomba?

If you wish to RESET your Roomba device, you will need to follow some steps as mentioned. Though the reset process can vary model-wise, we’ll brief the RESET process for the 900-series model. Follow the steps:

  • Press the “Dock,” “Spot Clean” and “Clean” buttons at the same time till the LEDs on the top panel of the vacuum cleaner light up.
  • On other models, you can use the same buttons but release them as soon as the device starts producing a beep sound and wait for a light.
  • Now, allow the device to boot up, and follow the setup process once again to set up your Roomba device. You can use the iRobot app to do so.