Robot Roomba not charging fix

The Roomba i7 is an amazing robot vacuum cleaner, but like all electrical devices sometimes they fail. In this post, we will show you how to fix your Roomba i7 vacuum cleaner to get it running at full charge again.

Roomba i7 not charging fix

There are 4 reasons why your Roomba i7 is not charging and we will show you how to fix your expensive iRobot vacuum cleaner yourself in 5 minutes. You may have one of the following issues.

  • Dirty contacts on either the charge base station or the Roomba vacuum cleaner.
  • Dirt or hair build up under the front wheel.
  • Failed lithium-ion battery that will need to be replaced.
  • No power at the wall outlet.

Dirty contacts on vacuum or base station

Roomba i7 Not Charging Fix Easy
If your Roomba i7 is not charging then clean these two charge contacts.

When you have dirt on the charging contacts this causes a high resistance joint and the Roomba will fail to charge. What I found that works well to clean the contacts is to use a magic eraser. It is like a rubber sponge that will not scratch or damage the charging contacts.

What do you do if your Roomba won't charge?

In fact, Roomba themselves recommend using the magic eraser to clean the cliff sensors. So I figured if it is good enough to clean the cliff sensors it will be good to clean the charging contacts. You will be amazed at how well it works. Even if you can’t see any dirt just give the contacts a good clean once a month. Especially if the vacuum is used every day.

It is a trick I picked up as an electrician fixing plug-in power modules at a factory. This is the No1 reason why the Roomba i7 is not charging and it’s an easy fix.

Dirt under the front wheel.

With dirt or hair build-up under the front wheel, this will cause the Roomba to sit higher on the charging station. With a lot of build up the charging contacts will not touch. All you need to do is pull off the front wheel and remove any buildup. It is an easy fix.

  • Pull firmly on the front wheel to remove it.
  • Remove any debris from inside the wheel cavity.
  • Spin the wheel by hand. If rotation is restricted, remove the wheel from its housing and push firmly to remove the axle and clear any debris or hair wrapped around it.
  • Reinstall all parts when finished.
  • Make sure the wheel clicks back into place.

Check out the video below on how to remove the front wheel to remove the dirt buildup. It is a simple 2-minute job.

Failed lithium ion battery in the Roomba

Lithium-ion batteries have an estimated life of about two to three years or 300 to 500 charge cycles if used every day. If your cleaning cycle is less often like every 2nd day expect to get around 4-6 years before the battery may need to be replaced.

What tends to happen is the battery run time will become less due to the battery capacity only being able to hold a 70% charge or less. When the battery is beginning to fail the Roomba sometimes is unable to return to the base charging station.

Battery Runtime of the Roomba i7

You should get around 75 minutes (1h 15 minutes) of runtime out of the Roomba i7 per charge. Over time this charging capacity will drop. Once you reach 70% capacity you should replace the battery for optimal performance. This drop-in capacity is normal for Lithium-ion batteries and will take many years to degrade. Just like your phone battery, they don’t last forever.

Roomba troubleshooting guide

How do I know if my Roomba is charging?

When your Roomba returns to the home base station you should see a battery icon displayed on the iRobot vacuum. The base station charge light will also come on but may go off due to a power-saving feature.

How to hard reset the Roomba i7

When the Roomba i7 battery is not charging, it might need a reboot of the internal memory. To do this, hold the CLEAN button for 20 seconds until the light ring around the CLEAN logo starts spinning around. It will shut down and restart. The Roomba i7 will then take up to 2 minutes to turn on again. When the light turns off, the reset is complete.

Roomba home base light not on all the time

When you first plug your Roomba i7 into the home base charging dock the light will come on to indicate it is charging. This light will then go off to save power. The charging LED on the Roomba will stay on while charging to indicate that everything is good and charging is in progress.

How do I manually charge my Roomba?

You can lift up your Roomba and place it gently onto the home base contacts to begin charging. It may need a little wiggle to make the contacts bed in to begin the charging process.

Roomba is not leaving the docking station.

Roomba won’t leave the Home Base for a cleaning cycle if its vacuum storage bin is full of dirt. In this case, remove and empty the storage bin. Reinsert the bin and place it on the home base before starting a cleaning cycle.

It also will not leave the docking station if the Roomba battery is low. Recharge the Roomba vacuum.

What do you do if your Roomba won’t charge?

If you have cleaned the charge contacts and your Roomba i7 still won’t charge then do a hard reset.

To do this, press and hold the CLEAN button down for 20 seconds. Release it when all the indicator lights come on. The device will then reboot and restart.

You can also use the iRobot Home App to do a factory reset

Log into your account on the app on your smartphone.

Navigate to the “Settings” and select the “Factory Reset” option. Your Roomba i7 will reset and restart.

If Roomba encounters an error while charging, its troubleshooting indicator will blink, and you will hear an audible charging error
message. Charging errors can sometimes occur with counterfeit batteries. Check to ensure that you are using an authentic iRobot
Lithium-Ion Battery.

Does the Roomba base light stay on when charging?

When the Roomba has docked successfully, the Home Base power indicator turns solid green and the battery indicator begins pulsing to signal that it is charging. Due to a power-saving feature, some home station green lights may go off after a few minutes.

Within a few minutes of docking, Roomba will enter the standby mode with just the battery indicator on the Roomba illuminated to
show the charging status.

Why is my Roomba not returning to base?

If its battery gets low before finishing, Roomba returns to the home base to recharge. After its battery has been recharged,
the Roomba automatically returns to where it left off and completes the cleaning cycle. Sometimes the reason your Roomba is not returning to base.

This can be for a number of reasons.

  • Did you move the home base during the cleaning cycle?
  • Did the Roomba get caught up on an item?
  • Is the battery old and failing?
  • Is the cleaning bin full and need emptying?
  • Did the Roomba cliff sensor get activated?

If you pick up Roomba and manually move it to another location, it may have difficulty finding its home base due to not knowing where it is. For best results, allow Roomba to complete the cleaning cycle without interruption before moving the docking station.

How to Replace the Battery on a Roomba i7

Replacing the battery on the Roomba i7 is harder than the previous models but it can still be replaced in under 5 minutes with only a Philips head screwdriver.

How to Replace the Battery on a Roomba i7
Remove these screws to replace the Roomba i7 battery.

Turn the Roomba vacuum upside down. Remove the 6 screws shown in red in the picture above. They are the edge brush screw, the two front screws, two side Philips head screws, and one screw near the back sensor. You can now lift off the plastic cover to get access to the lithium-ion battery.

Pull out the battery and replace it with a genuine 14.4V 1800mAh (26-watt hour) Lithium-ion battery. Model No ABL-D1. (Amazon)

Roomba Error Codes

Error CodeError MessageLikely Cause
Error 1Uneven ground. Place on a flat surface, and then press CleanThe Roomba’s left wheel is hanging down or Roomba is stuck.
Error 2Clear the brushes, then press CleanThe multi-surface rubber brushes cannot spin due to dirt or hair buildup. Clean rotating brushes.
Error 3Uneven ground. Place on a flat surface, and then press CleanThe Roomba’s right wheel is hanging down, free-spinning or Roomba is stuck
Error 4Clear the wheels, then press CleanLeft wheel drive stall. The left wheel is jammed. Clean the wheel from dirt.
Error 5Clear the wheels, then press CleanRight wheel drive stall. The right wheel is jammed. Clean wheel
Error 6Drop off detected. Move to a new area, and then press CleanConstant cliff detected. Check that the cliff sensors are clear of debris wipe cliff sensors.
Error 7Wheel problem. See the app for helpThe left wheel encoder is not registering
Error 8Vacuum problem. See the app for helpThe vacuum has poor suction. Clean storage bin.
Error 9Tap the bumper to unstick, then press CleanConstant Bump. The bumper is jammed with debris or dislodged. Clear.
Error 10Wheel problem. See the app for helpThe right wheel encoder is not registering
Error 11Vacuum problem. See the app for helpVacuum motor not activating
Error 12Drop off detected. Move to a new area, and then press CleanCliff Sensors clean
Error 13Uneven ground. Place on a flat surface, and then press CleanBoth wheels are on an uneven surface
Error 14Reinstall the bin, and then press CleanBin is not present in the iRobot. Ensure the filter is installed in the bin. Check bin detect switch
Error 15Error 15Internal navigation error. Hold CLEAN button for 20 seconds to reset.
Error 16Move to a flat surface, and then press CleaniRobot bumped upon start. Gyro Error. Bumper possibly dislodged
Error 17Navigation problem. See the app for helpRoomba ends its mission at a different location than Home Base or starting point. Do not move the home base when the Roomba is in motion.
Error 18Docking problem. Place on the Home Base to chargeRoomba stuck in Home Base IR after undocking. Clean charge contacts.
Error 19Undocking problem. Clear obstacles, and then press CleanFailed to undock. It may have bumped something near Home Base
Error 20Please see the app for helpRoomba i7/i8 is experiencing an internal communication error.
Error 21Please see the app for helpLost communication with mobility board. Reboot robot. 
Error 22Move to a new area, then press CleanRoomba’s Environment
Error 23Error 23Battery Authentication Failure. Ensure the battery is iRobot authentic. Replace battery.
Error 24Place on a flat surface, then press CleanRoomba’s Environment
Error 25Please see the app for helpInternal Communication Error. Reboot robot press clean for 20 seconds to reset.
Error 26Vacuum problem. See the app for helpVacuum stall. Filter clog possible
Error 27Vacuum problem. See the app for helpVacuum Motor Over-temp: Clogged filter or bad impeller of the vacuum motor
Error 29Please see the app for helpError while upgrading software
Error 30Vacuum problem. See the app for helpThe vacuum failed to start
Error 31Please see the app for helpInternal Board Error. Press CLEAN to restart.
Error 32Please see the app for helpSmart Map version on robot does not match map saved on App
Error 33Move to a new area, then press CleanThe robot was unable to clean the path detailed in Smart Map. The path may be blocked
Error 34Please see the app for helpInternal COMM’s Error. Reboot robot. Hold the Clean button for 20 seconds.
Error 36Empty the binBin Full Sensor Not Cleared when debris evacuated
Error 38Please see the app for helpPower Comms. Issue. Reboot robot.  Hold the Clean button for 20 seconds.
Error 39Please see the app for helpPower Comms. Issue. Reboot robot.  Hold the Clean button for 20 seconds.
Error 40Roomba® s Series (No spoken Message) Error 40Robot Stuck in Virtual Wall Beam
Error 41Please see the app for helpMission timed out before completion. Press CLEAN to restart the mission
Error 42Roomba® s Series (No spoken message) Error 42Failed to re-localize when direct cleaning
Error 43Roomba® s Series (No spoken message) Error 43Started in Home Base® IR Halo off Home Base®
Error 45Close the Lid Error 45The lid was open during the start of a cleaning job.
Error 46Low Battery. Please chargeRobot Ended Mission with the low battery not on the dock
Error 47Please see the app for helpInvalid Robot Calibration. Reboot robot. 
Error 48Roomba’s pathInvalid Robot Calibration. Reboot robot. 
Error 53Please see the app for helpNew Cleaning Head not compatible with current Software, update required
Error 66Please see the app for helpMemory limit reached
Error 68Please see the app for helpThe camera failed during the cleaning job
Error 74Please see the app for helpArea limit for cleaning reached
Error 75Please see the app for helpStuck around obstacle
Error 76Please see the app for helpInternal Communication Error


Hopefully, these tips have helped you with your Roomba i7 not charging fix. The majority of the time it is either dirty contacts or dirt under the front wheel. Every couple of years I like to replace the battery once the runtime starts to drop off.

I really like my Roomba i7 saves me pushing around the Dyson vacuum every day. But like all battery vacuum cleaners, even my Dyson v10 has charging issues and a fix. Often it is a simple repair so don’t throw them away once they stop charging.

All the best fixing your Roomba i7 charging problem. With a little bit of DIY maintenance, your robot vacuum will be running around your house forever.

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