Vacuums

Roomba Docking Station Not Working

When the Roomba dock light goes off, that’s an indication that the home base is facing problems and not working correctly.

In this situation, Roomba neither docks nor charges the battery on the pocket. There can be various reasons behind the strange dock behavior, like poor maintenance, the battery age, sensors not working correctly, etc.

Let’s troubleshoot the problem to get the Dock and iRobot running again.

Roomba dock not working and Roomba not docking are different things, and we will discuss both separately to help you understand how to take care of your Roomba and the Dock.

Roomba Docking Station Not Working

Roomba Docking Station Not Working

When Roomba Docking Station is not charging the Roomba, then check if the charger line might be damaged because if Dock is getting power supply, it must show a solid green light. Similarly, check if there are obstacles around the Dock if there are no stickers placed on the bumpers or sensors, if the robot is within a 6 ft range, or if the charging points of the Dock are not covered with dirt or anything.

Troubleshooting Roomba Home Base

Power cycle the Dock

The easiest and most effective way of getting the Dock working again is the power cycle in which you discharge the device from the power source, remove the adapter from the Dock, and let it lay for a few minutes. After that, you can reconnect the power adapter, and charging must work.

Check Charging Poles

Charging points at Dock can get gunky and discolored over time, and that layer of dirt or gunk won’t let the robot make a solid connection preventing the robot from charging.

You can blow off the dirt with compressed air or suck it up with a vacuum cleaner, but if the dirt buildup is too severe, you have to clean it; make sure to unplug the Dock before doing that.

You can get a melamine foam sponge and alcohol to rub the charging poles or use a wet and dry napkin, and once you have cleaned the charging entries properly, plug the Dock back into the outlet. Now the charging points must contact the battery transmitters, and Roomba will detect the charge. 

To ensure the Roomba is charging correctly, check the light on the Roomba. If it blinks green and turns off, that means Roomba is charging.

Test Roombas Room Confinement sensor

Roomba won’t dock if the confinement sensor is not working correctly or there is a lot of dust or dirt on it. On top of the vacuum is a small nub that detects IR ( Infrared ) signals from the base. To test this out, you can put the Roomba at six feet from the Dock and press the dock button manually to see how Roomba reacts. Do clean the sensor before doing that so that the sensor can detect signals coming from the Dock and can scoot itself over to the base. If Roomba cannot see the bottom, the RCON is damaged, and you may have to replace it.

The dock sensors are not working correctly.

Another scenario is when the sensor of the Roomba is working correctly; still, the Dock cannot detect the Roomba, so you should also clean the sensor on the Dock that is sending infrared signals to the Roomba. If the sensor is faulty, then it won’t let the Roomba come back for charging and let it sit on the Dock.

The Dock was clogged with dirt.

If Dock is clogged with accumulated dirt, it may not work correctly. Although Roomba automatically empties the dust bin into the Doc, the Dock will be complete with nasty stuff and clogged after some time. So, you can check the transparent tube under the Dock, and if it’s stopped,d, you can unscrew it and unclog it so it can collect dirt from Roomba, and now the Dock will be working perfectly fine.

Try Charging Roomba Without a Dock 

If Dock isn’t functional, you can still charge your Roomba, but the cleaning schedule will be disrupted, and you have to press the clean button to get it started manually.

You can charge your Roomba with a regular charger until the Dock is fixed, and Roomba will keep operating normally. 

Find the dedicated charging port on the side of the Roomba to plug the charger, or read the user manual to locate the port. Insert the Roomba charger straight into the harbor, and Roomba will be charged ultimately in about 2 hours. Once fully charged, Roomba will crease charging and won’t take current anymore, so it stops charging automatically even without Dock.

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When fully charged, you can unplug the charger from the Roomba and press the clean button, and Roomba will start cleaning where it left off. Remember that Roomba won’t be able to perform self-emptying and self-charging actions without the Dock, so be mindful about emptying the bin until the Dock is operational.

All Roomba robot vacuum comes with docking stations, and the best part is that multiple Roombas can share bases like Roomba models that belong to series i7, i3, e5, and 675 are interchangeable. However, all other Roomba models need a dedicated base to perform and function properly.

When the Dock is fixed, please keep it dry or calm, keep it well-nursed and well-maintained for a long lifespan, and keep it away from pets and kids.

If you connect the charger with hardware on a respective power source and Roomba starts charging, that could also mean the Dock is faulty, and you may have to replace it or get it fixed or replaced if under warranty.

Outlet or Power adapter issue

Check for any physical damage to the charger cable or see if the outlet is functional because the faulty outlet won’t let electricity reach the Roomba, making you feel bad for your Roomba that your robot has some issue while the culprit is something else.

Or if you are using the charging strip or divider, they could also be faulty.

Try checking other electrical appliances in the outlet or try changing the outlet, or the breaker might be tripped in the electrical box.

Once you have made sure now, check if the adapter is inserted into the outlet or socket carefully. If the adapter has interruptions, that means the Roomba isn’t getting good energy, and lack of power won’t let the Roomba perform well.

Therefore, do a proper inspection and investigation of the wiring and circuits of your home before pointing fingers at your Roomba. If the Dock isn’t receiving a charge, how will it provide it to the robot?

Check for Virtual walls.

You must cross-check for virtual walls because the lighthouse must be placed within 2.4m ( approx eight ft. ) of the home base to stay out of the infrared beam.

Roomba must not leave the virtual wall or Dock, won’t be able to call it back, or Roomba won’t be able to find the port. Therefore, the beam must face toward the area where the vacuum has to operate so that it stays in the base’s parameter and can easily trace itself back to the home base. The Dock can detect Roomba if it’s within the six-foot range, but if it can’t locate the port, you can manually press the dock button.

Base Placement

The base must be placed in an open area, but if you have a crowded room or well-trafficked area, then make sure that floor has a clear surrounding of at least 1.5 feet and try to move any shoes, boxes, power cords, and obstacles away from that area for a base to work properly.

You can always check the Dock’s location and ensure that the virtual wall barriers are eight feet away from the pier.

Roomba Not Charging

When you have made sure that it’s not that Dock that is preventing the Roomba from charging, it’s the Roomba itself, let’s see what things can come in the way of Roomba preventing it from getting a proper charge.

Let me tell you what happens or what you can do when Roomba isn’t charging.

The flashing lights of Roomba mean the battery needs resettings. The charging ports or the charging contacts of the Roomba can be dirty enough to prevent Roomba from making contact with Dock charging poles. Cleaning the ports, charging points or sensors can be helpful. If nothing works, resettings Roomba can also help you; then you should replace the batteries of Roomba.

Do Roomba Light displays when charging?

All battery-operated device requires proper charge to deliver optimal performance. Like other devices, Roomba offers light indications to help you understand the charging levels or charging status when you are unsure what the remaining battery status is and when the entire Roomba battery will be drained.

When Roomba blinks green light, it is fully charged; amber means it’s partially set, pushing amber means its charging, and a red light means discharged. Finally, the flashing red light means the Roomba will die soon, so put it on a charge.

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Roomba gives light signals regarding power, which are different for different Roomba models.

  • Roomba 500 and 600 series show a blinking light every four seconds
  • Roomba 700, 800, and 900 models show blinking light after 60 seconds,
  • Roomba models that belong to series i3 and i7 has no blinking light,

So, how to tell if Roomba i7+ is charging? You can press the clean button, and Roomba will show the battery status on the original display mode.

Below is the battery status indicator table to help you understand battery indications for different Roomba models.

Why is Roomba beeping during the charge

Things will be easy to sort out if you hear any beep sound coming from the Roomba. Most probably, the Roomba will give beeps followed by a narrated voice if it encounters any error, and I have listed a few mistakes for you to help you understand if anything is wrong with the Roomba.

If Roomba

  • Blinks once mean the battery is not connected.
  • Two, three, or five blinks, a charging error is occurring
  • Six blinks mean the battery is too warm
  • Seven blinks mean the battery is too hot or cold
  • Eight blinks mean the battery is not connected
  • Nine  blinks mean Roomba has an error related to the battery

Troubleshooting When Roomba is Not Charging

Without proper maintenance of your Roomba, you won’t be able to keep up with your vacuuming sessions. So let’s see how to troubleshoot the Roomba to fix the charging issue.

Dirty Electrical Contact Points

Roomba demands your love and attention to work correctly and uninterruptedly, and without proper care and maintenance, it can run into errors.

With that said, the electric contact points or metal plates underneath the Roomba can get dirty over time, or an oxide layer builds up on them that can get too severe that it prevents Roomba from maintaining a connection with the contact poles of the Dock. Also, metal can oxidize over time, but you can get rid of it by wiping it with a dry microfiber cloth and a 99% isopropyl alcohol or damp melamine foam.

Once you have removed the trapped dirt and piled debris from the plates, the robot should start charging.

Cleaning the wheels

After continuous vacuuming, the robot wheels can get dirty over time; in fact, the piled-up dirt on the reels can grow over time, increasing the height of the Roomba and making it difficult for it to make contact with the charging poles of the Dock.

To fix this, you can flip over the Roomba and peel off the stuck dirt on the caster wheels and main wheels to ensure the robot connects with the charging points.

Reposition the battery

During the shipping process, the battery can get displaced or deposited. To fix the displacement or loosened mortar, you can unscrew the battery compartment, remove it, and reinstall it properly or adjust it, so it is adequately seated. Make sure to pull the yellow tab. Once you have placed the batteries in their original position, unscrew the compartment and try charging them.

Replace the battery

Replacing the faulty or underperforming battery will always work in your favor. But make sure you never purchase inexpensive third-party batteries to save some dollars, as it will be a wrong decision in the long run. Instead, you have to buy the original battery by iRobot either from the official website or from Amazon and perform regular maintenance; You will never face charging problems again with your Roomba.

These rechargeable batteries of Lithium-ion must be constantly charged, protected against dust or hair, and kept in a cool or dry place for longevity. The newly purchased battery must be charged overnight and then for two hours max and must never be left empty once fully drained or set all the time. To handle this, Roomba gives flashing light indications to understand the battery power status.

The extended initial charge can boost the battery life, but you should also charge the battery after each use to extend the battery life. The extensive first charge will prolong the battery life; never forget to charge and discharge batteries to prevent degradation, as only a well-maintained battery will last longer than a spoiled one.

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A good Roomba battery can take 2 hours to charge and last for around 400 cleaning cycles; after that, it loses the ability to hold the charge.

When Roomba isn’t charging, the batteries could be dead, and with flat batteries, the robot won’t hit the floor. You can get the idea from the light indicators on the Roomba. Roomba is equipped with rechargeable batteries that take 2 hours to charge fully and can last 400 charging cycles depending on the care and maintenance.

Replacing the battery is straightforward and requires a screw opener to unscrew the battery compartment and remove the dead battery. Then, insert the new battery, but don’t forget to remove the yellow pull tab, put the case back, and tighten the screws.

Reboot, Soft Reset, and Hard Reset Roomba

A quick reboot or restart can fix software-related problems, and the rebooting process can differ for different Roomba models.

Soft reset of Roomba is much like a reboot, but it can remove software bugs but cannot remove hardware issues; to do that, you can press and hold the dock button and leave when Roomba beeps.

Hard reset will revert Roomba to default settings. It will remove all configurations and customizations done with the robot and all the bugs and errors with the Roomba, and after the update, you get to have a brand new Roomba model.

To Hard reset Roomba, press and hold the clean button for at least ten seconds, and when the light indicator flashes, release the button, and Roomba will restart like a new model.

Contact Customer Support

If things seem beyond your understanding, you can call Roomba customer care and let them figure out the hardware or internal power component issues or get assistance to fix them. You can also claim a warranty for a faulty Roomba or refurbishment from iRobot if the unit is still under contract, but if it’s not, you may have to spend a little extra on repairing issues.

Charge up Roomba or Get Charged for a New One

The dead Roomba battery needs replacement, but you can also jump-start it with a charged battery to squeeze out a few more charges. But remember that it’s not a recommended approach, but helpful, and this battery can last a few cleaning cycles.

Although the battery won’t be efficient but will keep Roomba alive for a few days, you can connect the dead battery with one charged terminal using 14-gauge copper wire and tape them for two minutes, and the dead battery should be set now. Next, try to read light indications of Roomba, like red flashes, which mean the battery is getting hot, and flashing green means the battery isn’t seated correctly.

FAQ

Are Roomba Docks Universal?

Roomba docks are not universal except for a few, and different models have different batteries and require separate Docks for that particular battery.

How do you dock a Roomba?

Roomba docks automatically by detecting the IR Infrared sensors by Dock, which helps Roomba come back, and for that, Roomba must be within 5 feet range of Dock.

Why won’t my Roomba leave the Dock?

Sometimes the battery isn’t working correctly, and sometimes Roomba is stuck, or Roomba will stay at Dock to recharge before starting cleaning.

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Robert Smith

Robert Smith is a technology lover and loves to write about laptops, monitors, printers, tablets, Apple products and anything that's related to computers and games. He is passionate enough that he maintains this blog regarding tech updates on a daily basis.