How to Troubleshoot an iRobot Roomba

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The dream of owning the Roomba is putting it down and forgetting about it. In reality, though, an iRobot Roomba can run into issues like any other vacuum. Whether it has a stuck wheel, it's overheated or its bumper has compression, you can potentially solve your Roomba's issues from the comfort of your home. If you are unable to do so, locate your Roomba model's manual. If you don't still own it, it's available on the iRobot website, or you can call iRobot's customer support line at 1-877-855-8593.

How to Troubleshoot an iRobot Roomba
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Listen To Roomba’s Error Message

When you run into a performance error with your Roomba, it often will verbally say its error code along with a potential solution. For instance, "Error five, spin Roomba's side wheels to clean." If you didn't hear the error message, you can press the "clean" button to hear it again. Then, follow Roomba's instructions, as unnerving as it may be to take orders from a robot.

Clean Your Roomba

Some errors occur in a Roomba because it needs basic maintenance. Remove and clean Roomba's brushes and extractors by lifting both yellow tabs. Remember, the yellow parts of the Roomba are the parts you can remove. If you don't see these tabs, you might have a later model where you have to remove the brush with a screwdriver. Use the brush-cleaning tool that came with your Roomba. Clean hair and debris from Roomba's side wheels, making sure they can turn properly, and wipe the robot's sensors with a dry cloth. Tap the bumper to dislodge anything that may be stuck under it. Empty Roomba's bin. Then, start Roomba in a new location.

Let Roomba Cool Down

If your Roomba has a charging error, letting it cool down for at least an hour may solve the problem. After the Roomba has cooled, try charging it again.

Reset Roomba

If all else fails, you may wish to reset the Roomba. This works slightly differently depending on what model you have. For the 900 and 800 series models, press and hold the "clean" button for 10 seconds until the robot's indicators light up, then release it. For the 600 series models, press and hold the buttons above and below the "clean" button for 10 seconds. Note that this will clear all scheduled cleaning times and reset the clock on your Roomba, but it may also resolve certain software and charging issues.

Order Replaceable Parts

If one part of your Roomba has damage, you don't need to buy an entirely new model. iRobot sells replacement parts including drive wheels, side brushes, main cleaning heads, vacuum bins, caster wheels and batteries. These are available for purchase at


Jaime Lutz

Jaime Lutz

Jaime is a writer living in New York City.