Roomba Not Charging – 10 Ways to Fix It

Last updated on January 8th, 2024

Are you having trouble charging your Roomba? You must have thought the battery is the culprit. But that’s not always the case. There are a couple of reasons why your vacuum is not able to charge. And we aim to discuss all of those in this article.

If your Roomba is not charging, you should check whether it is getting the required power input. If that’s settled, then clean the charging contacts, take care of the battery, and replace it when needed. The last resort is to reboot or reset the vacuum.

Why is Roomba not charging?

A Roomba charging properly
A Roomba charging properly

The table below shows some of the common reasons why a Roomba won’t charge and their possible fixes.

Why Roomba won’t charge?How to fix it?
Faulty power plugUse a different power plug
Damaged power cordBuy a new power cord
The docking station is not workingCharge directly with the power cord or buy a new docking station
Charging contacts are uncleanClean the charging contacts
The robot is not aligning on the dockManually align the robot
Obstructed wheelsClean the main wheels and the caster wheel
Incorrect battery installationRemove and reinstall the battery
Degraded batteryReplace the old battery with a new one
Heated batteryLet the battery cool down
Software issueRebbot or reset the Roomba
Roomba not charging troubleshooting guide

Let’s discuss all of these in more detail.

New robots or robots with new batteries need to be completely charged before first use.

Troubleshooting a Roomba that won’t charge

Let’s look at some of the major reasons why a Roomba does not charge.

First thing first, identify whether your Roomba is really not charging. You can do that by checking the indicator lights. Once you are extremely sure the vacuum isn’t able to recharge, it’s time to look at all the above-mentioned issues one by one.

Faulty power plug/cable

You have to identify what the main issue is in this case. Start step by step from the plug on the wall to the docking station.

Step 1: Check whether the plug on the wall is working.

Insert your working phone charger or anything else to confirm. If the plug is faulty, place your docking station somewhere else and connect it to another plug. If the plug is working, move on to the next step.

Step 2: Check the power cord for damage.

Move the entire length of the cord through your hands to check if it’s torn, ripped, or broken at some point. If it is damaged, you need to buy a new cord to charge your Roomba. If it is completely intact, move on to the next step.

Step 3: Check if the charging station is working.

In a Clean Base dock, open the top lid of the dock and partially pull on the dirt disposal bag. If a red indicator light turns on, your base is completely fine. If it doesn’t, you have to buy a new base to charge your Roomba. Or you can charge the vacuum without a docking station.

Charging a Roomba without a docking station
Charging a Roomba without a docking station

If all of these check out, then move on to check the charging contacts.

Charging contacts

There are a total of 4 contacts.

  • 2 on the docking station
  • 2 on the robot

You need to check all these contacts for accumulated dirt and debris. The thing with these contacts is that they should always remain clean and shiny. That’s what ensures proper charging. So, if you find dirt on even one of the contacts, that could be the reason why your vacuum is not able to charge.

To clean the contacts, get a soft cloth or a foam such as the Clean Eraser and wipe the contacts clean. You can use an alcohol-based cleaning solution, but avoid using water. Make sure they are dry when you dock the vacuum back.

If the contacts were already clean, then check the alignment of the robot with the dock. Ensure that all the contacts are perfectly aligned with each other. Otherwise, it won’t take charge.

If the robot is wrongly docked, try to place it in the proper place manually once. It should start charging. Make it undock and dock again, and check its alignment. If it is out of place again, the issue is with the wheels of the vacuum.

Obstructed wheels

The vacuum’s wheels constantly come in contact with all sorts of debris. This sometimes gets stuck in the wheels and obstructs their movement. Due to the obstructed movement, the robot is not able to properly dock into the charging station. But once you clear out the wheels, the problem should be resolved.

  • Get a screwdriver and take off the back panel to get a clear view of the main wheels.
  • Free them of any hair and debris that’s stuck inside.
  • Rotate the wheels with your hand and check whether they are moving freely.
  • Once confirmed, place the base back and fix the screws.

You’ll also need to clean the front wheel of the vacuum. Check out the detailed cleaning guide for the caster wheel. If all of these were not the reasons for your vacuum’s charging issue, it’s time to look at the battery.

Battery issues

If you had recently replaced the battery and yet the vacuum is not charging, there’s a chance you placed it wrong. Go back to the battery and check whether you have aligned it properly. That should do the trick.

But if the battery has not been changed for a long time, it could be time to replace it with a new one. Check out our guide on ‘How to change the battery on a Roomba?

If that wasn’t the case, it could be an issue with the battery’s temperature. Sometimes, a battery tends to overheat or get cold.

This hinders the charging process. The Roomba indicates this temperature change with Error codes 6 and 7 for charging. The table below gives a detailed explanation of different charging error codes.

Charging error codeMessageSolution
Error 1Roomba does not detect a battery.Check whether a battery is installed in the vacuum.
Error 2 and 17Ensure you are using an authentic iRobot battery.Ensure you are using an original iRobot Lithium Ion battery.
Error 3Charge fault has been detected.Check for leakage in the battery.
Error 4 and 5A low current fault has been detected with the charging base or the robot.Check the charging contacts and clean them.
Error 6 and 7Battery temperature is too high(6) or too low(7).Let the battery come to normal temperature.
Error 8Roomba cannot communicate with its battery.Ensure you are using an authentic iRobot battery.
Error 9 and 11A battery failure has been detected.The battery needs to be replaced.
Error 19Charging timed out.Remove and reinstall the battery.
Error 20Battery fault or battery not ready to charge.Remove the battery for 15 minutes, and then reinstall.
Error 21The robot is docked but unable to charge.Clean the charging contacts.
Charging error codes for Roomba

These are all the possible hardware issues you can resolve to get your vacuum to charge again. But if it’s a software issue, that’s another story.

Roomba not charging – software issue

Let’s not get into the technical details of what software issues could be preventing your Roomba from charging. We will get straight to the point where you can resolve those issues. The best option is to reboot the robot. If it doesn’t charge even after a reboot, you’ll have to do a hard factory reset.

For those who don’t know the difference between reboot and factory reset and how to do those, we have a separate article you can refer to.

Conclusion

Roomba not charging is a common issue amongst several users. We have listed all the possible reasons and what you can do in each case to get it charged. Even after all of this, if your robot is not charging, you have to contact iRobot Customer Care. They will be best able to help you in this case. If your vacuum is under warranty, you might even get a replacement.

FAQs

How do I know if my Roomba battery is bad?

If changing the charging method didn’t fix the charging issue, you must know that your Roomba battery is bad.

How do you reset a Roomba battery?

You can reset a Roomba battery by taking it out and placing it in the robot again.

Why is my Roomba battery not holding a charge?

Your Roomba battery is not holding charge because it is exhausted and needs replacing.

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Siddhi Gurav

She is the editor and content writer at Smart Home Bulls. Siddhi merges her passion for language with SEO expertise. With 4 years of experience as a creative writer and a passion for smart home technology, she fits in perfectly at Smart Home Bulls. Her wide experience in content marketing has been an excellent addition to our team.

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