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A colleague here at Robovac.co.uk recently wrote on the issues they encountered with their Roomba 671, specifically that it wouldn’t charge. With their blessing, I wanted to dig a little deeper into Roomba battery issues to cover the various codes and warnings your device might alert you to.
Something that sets Roombas apart from cheaper models is that they’re pretty good at letting you know when something is wrong. As noted in the last article, these devices still count as fairly new technology and things will go wrong. To their credit, iRobot does an excellent job of giving you a fighting chance of fixing things up, thanks in no small part to Roomba error codes.
Roombas in the 500, 600, 700 and 800 series all share the same warning system when a charging error is encountered.
How to Tell When There’s a Roomba Charging Error
All Roombas include a screen of sorts. You can’t watch TV on it, but you can get a reasonable idea of what’s going on. During normal use, you’ll see a wi-fi indicator and also a battery indicator. When something goes wrong, your Roomba’s screen will display something to let you know, such as a hazard symbol or a red battery indicator – although the latter can mean that you simply need to recharge your device.
Those visual cues are somewhat useful, but they do little to point you in the direction of a resolution. Fortunately, most Roombas can talk and the helpful voice inside your machine will usually tell you what’s happening by way of an error code.
You’ll receive different information as part of the announcement depending on the specific model. Wi-Fi-connected Roombas will advise you to open the iRobot app for further information, while all models will say, at a minimum, “Charging Error X”, where ‘X’ is the number related to your issue.
That doesn’t tell you everything, but at least gives you something to go on. Next up, I’ll talk about what the codes mean and what you should do to resolve them.
Roomba Charging Error 1
Charging Error 1 on a Roomba robovac does give your device a good excuse for not charging – it can’t tell the battery is there. According to Roomba themselves, one of the main reasons for encountering this error is the use of counterfeit or third-party batteries.
In our previous article on Roomba battery issues, we mentioned that we would only ever advise using the real thing. My colleague didn’t mention the link between third-party batteries and errors, but it’s another one to add to the list. With that in mind, I also recommend an official battery replacement such as this one:
- Compatible with Create 2 and Scooba 450 robots and Roomba 500, 600, 700 and 800 Series robots
- Fits all Roomba vacuum cleaners
Conversely, while there are cheaper options out there, the saving might not be as attractive as it appears.
Before you go ahead and buy a new battery, the fact that you’d have to open up your Roomba to switch out the battery anyway means you might as well get in there now and check the connections. If the battery is in place and the connections are all hooked up correctly, that’s the time for a replacement.
Roomba Charging Error 2 and Roomba Charging Error 3
As before, different Roomba models will indicate Charging Errors 2 and 3 in different ways, but virtually every model will announce them verbally. These errors are relatively rare and that’s a good thing given that they aren’t overly specific. Indeed, all we know about these errors is that there is indeed a problem with charging.
Once again, iRobot advises that users should ensure the correct use of an authentic Roomba battery. If you can confirm this and still have the same error, they advise that you contact their customer service team directly.
Roomba Charging Error 5
Roomba Charging Error 5 is similar to Charging Error 1, and follows the same procedures to get it resolved. Your Roomba will announce the error in the same way as before and, assuming you’re using an authentic iRobot battery, it’s time to open up your robovac and have a look around.
The specific definition of this error is that the internal charging system of your Roomba is not working correctly.
Once inside your device, having removed any screws as required, the first job is to remove the battery. The most common issue is dirt or debris on the contacts between the battery and your Roomba’s other innards. Give these contacts a wipe, both on the battery and the robot vacuum and replace the battery itself. Take care to ensure there’s nothing that could potentially prevent a strong connection between battery and Roomba and replace the outer cover.
Roomba Charging Error 6
If you encounter Roomba Charging Error 6, it’s time to cool things down in your house. The error means that your battery isn’t charging specifically because it’s too warm.
If your home is too warm for a battery, it’s probably to warm for you to be comfortable, so this is rarely a case of turning down the thermostat. Instead, you should consider any external but localised factors that may get in the way of a successful charge.
It’s best not to position your Roomba’s base station too close to radiators, vents or any other sources of heat, but the good news is that resolving this issue generally involves nothing more than moving it to a cooler location.
Roomba Charging Error 7 and Roomba Charging Error 8
Roomba Charging Errors 7 and 8 are the indecisive cousins of Charging Error 6. Essentially, your device is unable to charge because it’s either too hot or too cold. Something, whether that’s the standard room temperature or another external influence, has made charging difficult or impossible.
With Error 7, the Roomba knows the battery is there, but it’s unable to charge it. For Error 8, your Roomba has trouble communicating with the battery and cannot tell whether it’s charging or not.
As before, you need to consider anything near the base station that may cause these extremes of temperature, and you don’t usually need to do anything other than move the Roomba and its base unit to somewhere more appropriate.
Roomba Charging Error 9
This Charging Error is reserved for higher-end Roomba models, but isn’t dissimilar to what we’ve already covered. This code indicates a battery error, and it’s not one that you’ll be able to solve alone.
As with Charging Errors 2 and 3, your best option is to contact Roomba’s support team directly.
So there we have it – all the Roomba Charging Error codes currently in use at the time of publication. Generally speaking, if you can’t solve something yourself, the Roomba support team is high quality and they know their devices inside and out. There will be times when you need a new battery or docking station, but it may be worth speaking to them first if you don’t need your Roomba to stick to its schedule right away.
If you have any Roomba questions that you feel we might be able to help with, don’t hesitate to drop them into the comments!
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