A blog with stuff. Lots of very random stuff.

Yes, I have robots 😉  If your Roomba won’t hold a charge anymore, here’s some help:

First off, contact iRobot.  They have excellent support staff and while they can’t bring a dead cell to life over the phone, they’ll certainly help.

They may recommend the 16-hour reset.  I think this is essentially telling the electronics to not monitor the charging depth, and perform a deep charge … I’m guessing.  To do this: 

  1.  Remove the battery
  2. Press and hold the power button for at least 5 seconds (some will say 15, but iRobot themselves told me 5 for my Scheduler 4260 model)
  3. Replace the battery, and then charge the robot for at least 16 hours.  Some advise to plug the cord directly into the robot versus using the docking station, in case it gets knocked off the dock.  Some advise to charge for 3 days, but iRobot told me 16 hours.
  4. After 16 hours if it’s green and happy, set it to max and let it run until it’s exhausted itself ( heh, like kids 😉 and see if that improved the runtime. 

If it didn’t improve the runtime (as is my case) , you can return to iRobot for help and they may well issue a new battery. 

By the way, that expensive “Advanced” Power Supply in your roomba is basically a set of ni-cad rechargeable c-cells in series, so you can make or repair your own  although I can’t be bothered with that and just ordered a brand-new one from All-Battery  for a mere 48 bucks with shipping; about half of what iRobot, Amazon, and others charge.   

In the meantime, I’ll plug mine back in and let it sit.  If I manage to actually resuscitate it or iRobot proffers me a new one, worst case I’ll have spent 48 bucks for a spare battery; not bad at all.


Comments on: "If your Roomba won’t hold a charge anymore …" (30)

  1. Great advice. Roomba batteries are very expensive. After market batteries are much cheaper.

    • HEy.. the same thing happened to me. I have a 4000 series. We moved a couple years ago and just got the roomba out of being packed away for a coupple years. I plugged it in,left it charging for 24 hours and it was completely dead. Or so I thought. I went on ebay and purchsed a new battery (w extra wattage). Got it home, charged it overnight,and it worked. Well, for about 20 mins. It must have been the charge that was already on the battery. So, I did the unplug and hold the power button thing. What I didn’t realize was, the battery was not connect all the way or something. Hence, while it was charging, it wasn’t. SO, MAKE SURE, WHEN YOU BATTERY WILL NOT HOLD A CHARGE…. WHEN IT’S CONNECTED TO THE POWER STATION, OR STRAIGHT TO THE WALL, MAKE SURE THE THE LIGHT IS ON AROUND THE POWER BUTTON (RED OR GREEN). If not, you have the same prob. These batteries have a tendency to not connect totally. Turn it over and play with it. You might have to plug it into the wall and push your battery in towards the machine, like you a installing the battery again until that power light comes on. Then you know it’s charging! found out the hard way.. LOL!

  2. Always check aftermarket for everything before buying official. Also, check reviews of the batteries to make sure you aren’t buying a lemon product.

  3. laurie Niessen said:

    bought a new battery for my roomba. It works but stops 2-3 times with each cleaning. weird

  4. Thanks all. I found these comments and Matt’s blog very helpful. Now I’m off to try what was recommended! Blessings-

  5. My battery would not charge. I thought the battery was dead so bought a new one. The new one won’t charge either. The red power light was barely visible. I just went in and did the reset and plugged the power cord directly into the roomba. The red light is doing nothing so I tried it on the charging station again. Still nothing. Since I bought my roomba used will the roomba folks help in any way? Or does anybody have any suggestions as to what might be wrong?

  6. Carol, it could be that the charging system in the Roomba itself is bad. There are external chargers available on ebay usually for $42.50. Make sure what you get is an external charger, though, since some sellers list the plug-in charger or the home base as an “external”, which they are not. (With the external, you literally take the battery out of the Roomba and set it down into the external charger).

  7. Jeff Williams said:

    Found this by accident. Can’t believe its by you. Thx!

  8. Jeff ! So you found it searching for Roomba tips ? Too funny. As you can see this blog has turned alot less about cyber and alot more about interesting things I learn in general. No shame, I still keep my chops, just different chops and not as publicly anymore 😉

  9. It works! Thanks.

  10. Thanks for your link to All Battery, the batteries are on sale for $36 and free shipping
    and hope that solves my issue as I love the Roomba

  11. i have a romba for 16 months and may be worked 20 times maximum now is not charging and calling irobot for help they say not fixable and need to buy new one very good supporting company please let me know how to fix it thanks

    • Ira, a couple tips – first, try the “reset” instructions I posted above. They’re now 8 years old, so it may pay to google up new ones. Then look at the external charger Bobbi mentioned and think about if that would fix the problem, finally you can buy new batteries online.

      Unfortunately, it’s remarkably challenging troubleshooting technology remotely without a lot of detail, and I haven’t heard of a lot of folks really diving deep into Roomba internals, so if iRobot themselves say it’s not fixable, then it probably isn’t.

      Unfortunately that’s the world of pricey new electronics 😉

  12. Chris Case said:

    Bought a new battery. Wouldn’t charge. I tried your suggestion…it worked. Thanks for posting.

  13. Only had the Rumba less than 6 months and it now won’t charge….. really!

  14. Holy fuck, I removed the battery, pressed Power for 16 seconds, put the battery back, and now it’s back to life!!! AWESOME!!!!!

  15. bought a roomba for 20$ at a thrift store…battery won’t hold a charge for more than 5 minutes…did your reset, but still only 5 minutes….since the roomba was sold in 2008 i’m amazed it holds any charge…off to buy a new battery…thanks for the instructions, helped specify the exact problem…

  16. Katerina Delmonte said:

    I’ve had my Roomba for 2 years and lately its not making it back to the charging station, I find it under the bed or in the middle of the room with no charge. When I place it on the base to charge sometimes it keeps saying “Please Charge Roomba” so I have to move it slightly back and forth until it finds a spot it likes and then it will charge….Weird….Before I buy a new battery I’m gonna try your tip above. Thanks for the info!!!! I will say that even if its the end of the road I’m totally ok with that because I have sucked the life out of this baby and used it to its fullest capacity!!!!

  17. James Snyder said:

    Thank you. My wife brought me the dead Roomba. I searched for battery dead and found this article. All I did was remove the battery, hold the power button for 15 seconds, and replace the battery. That’s it. When I replaced the battery it sang it’s opening song and when I put the unit on the floor it danced the rumba.

  18. Another method instead of buying a new battery — is to replace the sub “c” battery cells in the pack itself. Usually the first 2 cells after the positive terminal are the problem and opening a roomba battery can be a bit tedious, but the sub C battery cells are about $7 for 2x ; and if you know how to use a soldering iron this is your best course of action. You may also be able to find / remove and replace just the problematic cell in the pack with a multi-meter test each cell to find out which one is bad

    • Kyle, thanks for leaving this tip. You’re absolutely right – replacing the individual cell itself is by far the economical and ecologically sound route and it’s quite easy to do with some basic skills. At the time I wrote this up I personally didn’t have the time and couldn’t be arsed (plus I soldered really, really poorly back then) but this is the route I would take now for sure.

  19. T. Antony said:

    Yo can try this. It worked for me.

  20. Jessica Adams said:

    Thanks for the best advice to say the least. I followed this and saved my roomba as well as my budget

  21. June L Creson said:

    Thank you so much for the tip to go to All-Battery!! They saved me 50% over iRobot’s price for my Roomba 560’s NiMh battery. That was the best piece of advice ever!

  22. June L Creson said:

    How can I follow your blog?

  23. John Hansen said:

    I have two Roombas that had trouble charging. I did a lot of battery swapping and charger swapping and finally had one Roomba working ok with a new battery and I bought a new battery for the other one also. Both Roombas are ok now. The instruction sheet with the new Tenergy battery suggested using Roombas regularly and keeping them charged. I suggest also letting the battery cool down after charging and before the next use. Allow at least a couple of hours. After trouble shooting the Roombas for a couple of days, I finally concluded that diagnosing battery charging problems is more difficult than, for example, diagnosing a bad transistor or capacitor. This is because a battery is essentially a pot of chemicals with two electrodes and the state of the battery is more than just the voltage and current at the battery terminal. The “state” (a technical term) of most other components such as a capacitor is completely defined by voltage and current at the terminals. The state of a battery must be viewed not only as the voltage and current at the terminals, but also as the condition of the chemical goop the battery is made of. To determine the complete state and condition of a battery requires a complex instrument that charges it, then discharges it, and does so in a controlled manner. Such an instrument is available for around $200,not a bad price. I was also not impressed with the performance of the batteries that came with the Roombas. I think the problem may be that the Roomba sits on the shelf too long with the original battery before it is sold, whereas the new aftermarket batteries I bought probably do not spend a lot of time sitting in inventory.

  24. John Hansen said:

    Additional information: I disassembled the two failed Roomba batteries. Each contains 12 cells of about 1.2 volts each. I found one battery had five failed cells and one of these was leaking. The failed cells measured from zero to about 1 volt. The other battery had two failed cells. The rest of the cells seemed ok. I am planning to use the good cells in a hobby application and perhaps do some testing to familiarize myself with charging methods for nimh batteries. The Roomba batteries are a beast to get apart and I would not hold out hope of replacing one or two failed cells in an otherwise good battery. It would be very difficult and there is a danger that an improper reassembly would be prone to shorting between the cells and resultant catastrophic failure (i.e. fire or explosion).

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