Considered the “Tesla of robot vacuum cleaners,” Roborock has brought house cleaning to the highest level of comfort.
With a Roborock, you can forget about having to manually sweep or wipe floors. Moreover, you can program the unit to do the chores even if you are in a faraway location through a cellphone app and WIFI programming.
While the unit can auto-charge by returning to its docking station or base (depending on your Roborock model) and power itself on as programmed, there are also rare occasions that the unit will not power on.
If the unit is new and this occurs, we can say that the machine needs to be properly or sufficiently charged. In a worst case scenario, even if the device is defective, it will be covered by a manufacturer’s warranty.
However, if said technical concern occurs after months or years of usage, you will experience an uneasy feeling while wondering if the device has reached the end of its life.
This article will provide possible reasons why your Roborock vacuum cleaner won’t turn on and some possible fixes. The troubleshooting steps we will give are general and considered applicable to all Roborock models.
Primary Causes of Roborock Vacuum Cleaners that Won’t Power On
We have to consider two factors if the robot won’t turn on; we have to check if the unit is new or old.
For the newly purchased unit, one of the main causes why the unit fails to power on is battery installation. Therefore, there is the possibility that the battery simply needs to be properly installed in the machine (later, we will provide the steps to do it).
Secondly, the vacuum cleaner’s charging ports may not be able to touch the charging contacts in the charging dock when returning to the base or docking station. For vacuums that have heavy buildup of dirt, debris, or pet hair, this is a common cause of charging issues and subsequent device failures.
Thirdly, the unit may have overheated, so that it won’t turn on anymore.
Lastly, a defective battery or charging dock may be the culprit. Thankfully, both of these issues are fixable — albeit at an additional cost.
In the following sections, we will provide detailed steps.
1. Check the Battery Installation
It is one of the common concerns for new users of vacuum cleaners. Sometimes, vacuum cleaners’ built-in batteries are loosely attached or installed in the unit.
It doesn’t happen often, but if your unit won’t turn on, it is the first place I would look. Below are the steps.
- First, turn your Roborock vacuum cleaner upside down to see its bottom portion. Then get a screwdriver and remove the screw in the middle of the brush. After taking the screw out of the hole, take off the side brush.
- Then remove the 8 screws at the bottom. Afterward, remove the bottom case or cover.
- You will see the battery installed on the top of the main brush. Then take off the battery, and pull it off gently to avoid damaging the cables and connectors. Next, disconnect the battery cables from the unit.
- Open the battery case and check if the battery is fine and if there is no damage.
- Return the battery inside the case and close the battery cover
- Place the battery back in the battery hole and connect the connectors. Ensure that the battery cables and connectors are securely connected to the machine
- Then put the bottom case cover back and the 8 screws back in.
- Install the side brush again and put the screw back in
Reminder: Once you are done performing the said procedure, make sure to connect the robot vacuum again to the charging dock to charge. Then wait for the vacuum cleaner to get sufficient power before turning it on again. A white light on the power indicator indicates that the unit has already charged more than 20% of the battery level.
2. Check the Charging Dock (for S7 and Q model series users) and Base (for E series users)
First, you need to be aware that the charging dock may move from time to time, from its original position to another location. For example, if you have children (or dogs) at home, they may have unintentionally hit or sideswiped the charging dock, causing it to move.
Suppose the charging dock is moved from its original position. In that case, the Roborock vacuum cleaner will have trouble returning and connecting to the docking station to recharge since the Roborock is accurately programmed on the app and directed to move only to a specific location. Below are the steps to ensure that your docking station is securely in place.
- Position the charging dock or docking station on a level surface or flat against the wall. Ensure that the charging station is placed at a level that is reachable for the robot. They should be at the same level. Chances are, if your charging dock is not placed on a level surface position, the vacuum cleaner will need help reaching or connecting to the dock after every cleaning session. Also, the docking station’s charging contacts must securely touch the Roborock’s charging contacts. If this contact can’t be made, charging will be unsuccessful, which may be the root cause of the unit not turning on.
- Ensure that the docking station’s surroundings are neat and without any wire tangles. If the place is untidy and has a lot of wire tangles, it can cause the robot to get blocked and struggle to return to the docking station to charge.
Important notes to always consider:
- Ensure that the power cable of the docking station hangs vertically to the ground because if the vacuum cleaner catches it, it can cause the charging dock to get disconnected
- Always ensure at least 1.6ft (0.5m) of clearance on each side of the docking station and more than 4.9 ft (1.5m) in front of the charging dock. That way, it gives enough space for the robot to move conveniently, going in and out of the docking station.
- Refrain from positioning the charging dock in a place exposed to direct sunlight. Doing so may block the location beacon of the unit. Consequently, the robot may not be able to return automatically to the charging dock to charge. So the next time you use the machine, it will not turn on due to battery drain.
Before proceeding, verify that the charging station is functional and that it is charging the Roborock when docked.
- If the charging station is working, the status light (on top of the charger) should be on when the vacuum is not docked
- If the system is working properly, the status light should then turn off when the vacuum enters the dock
If your Roborock still won’t turn on, at this point you should make sure the charging contacts are clean and that your battery is charging properly.
3. Power Reset and Restoring to Factory Settings
If your Roborock vacuum cleaner still needs to turn on after trying the first two procedures, it is time to attempt a reset.
We will do the power reset first. In performing the power reset, ensure that the robot is not connected to the docking station or the base. Next, take it out and do the following step.
- Press and hold the power button for 10 to 20 seconds and see if the power indicator light will flash several times. If that happens, it means the unit is successfully reset.
For Restoring Factory Reset
For the Roborock E model series.
Press and hold both the power and home buttons on the top of the robot until you hear a voice alert that says, “Restoring Factory Settings.” Once you hear that, the unit is successfully restored to its factory setup.
For the Roborock S model series
Press and hold the arrow up button at the same time as the “Reset” button until you hear a voice prompt that says “Restoring the Initial Version.” This indicates that the machine has been restored to factory settings.
4. Consider Possibility of Water Damage
Occasionally, a Roborock can fail as a result of water damage. Although you probably didn’t send your Roborock vacuum to clean the bottom of the pool, it is still possible that your vacuum encounters water in the kitchen, bathrooms, or entry areas.
Water damage is a frequent cause of a Roborock that won’t turn on. In a worst-case scenario, your device will need to be refurbished or replaced.
In a more hopeful scenario, you can remove the battery cover and a few other components and simply wipe them dry. After allowing the affected pieces to air dry further, re-assemble and attempt to turn the device back on.
5. Consider Replacing the Charging Dock and/or Battery
We touched on this briefly in the above sections, but it bears further discussion.
Oftentimes the device simply “won’t turn on” because the charger is not providing power to the battery. Rather than a device that has failed, you simply have a battery or charging dock that isn’t working.
Thankfully, this will be significantly cheaper than replacing your vacuum. Because spare batteries and chargers are somewhat hard to find, you will want to be sure that you are buying from a legitimate manufacturer.
- Lastly, be certain to check the compatibility of any replacement parts you buy. Different Roborock models will require different components!
6. Mainboard Failures/Blown Fuses are Common (& Fixable!)
We won’t get too far in the weeds here, but it is worth mentioning, nonetheless. For anyone with some DIY skills, there are a handful of frequent failure points that can be repaired/replaced with (relative) ease.
Blown fuses commonly cause Roborock failure. A failed mainboard is another likely culprit.
Thankfully, you can find entire teardown videos online — God bless the internet!
If you have attempted every fix above and your Roborock still won’t turn on, it’s probably time to contact customer service. This is especially true if your device is still under warranty.
If your warranty has expired, it might be worth doing some further digging to see if the fix is as simple as a blown fuse.
But hopefully, the issue was as simple as dirty charging contacts, a device that needed a reset, or a failed (and easily replaceable) battery or charging station.