Troubleshooting Your Roomba – How To Correct Error Codes

Roomba vacuums are incredibly convenient, as they essentially just do the vacuuming for you by themselves, and you don’t have to put any effort in! You just supervise every now and then, and make sure they’re working properly, and forget about the rest! 

However, as little robotic vacuums, they require some maintenance, and sometimes they suffer from different issues and need assistance.

Usually, when a Roomba has a problem, it will sound an “uh-oh” message (which is rather cute), and then this is followed by a series of beeps (which indicate a certain error code), or if the Roomba is more advanced, a narrated message of the error at hand.

And this means that it’s time for you to intervene, applying the right solution so that your Roomba can go back to cleaning. 

But what does each error code mean? How do you know exactly what is wrong with the Roomba? And how do you fix it? 

Don’t worry, in this guide for troubleshooting your Roomba we have compiled all of the main error codes, and how to fix them!

However, just to be on the safe side, we have to remind you that Roomba vacuums are constantly updated and improved, and with them, the different error codes can change.

So always make sure to check the error code guide and instruction manual of your vacuum!

With that said, let’s get into troubleshooting! 

Cleaning Errors And How To fix Them

The most common errors on a Roomba vacuum are cleaning errors, and these are also usually the easiest to fix so that it can get back to work. 

Here are all of the main cleaning errors, and how to fix them: 

Error 1: The Roomba Is Stuck

How The Roomba Notifies You

The Roomba will beep once, or narrate “Error one: Move Roomba to a new location and press CLEAN to start”. 

The Problem

This is one of the most common problems of all, and it basically means that the Roomba has gotten stuck in a certain place, or is unable to move due to one of the wheels not touching the floor. 

The Fix

To fix this, find the Roomba and check whether it’s stuck or not. You should also check the side wheels for any obstructions, so check for debris or hair, and push the wheels up and down to make sure they can move without issue.

Once you’ve checked it over, move the Roomba to somewhere with plenty of space, and press CLEAN. Monitor the Roomba for a few minutes to ensure the error is truly solved. 

Error 2: The Extractors Of The Roomba Are Unable To Turn

How The Roomba Notifies You

The Roomba will beep twice, or narrate “Error two: the extractors cannot turn”.

The Problem

This usually means that something is clogged in the brush rollers, so the extractors aren’t able to turn and function properly.

Usually, this is hair, wrapped around the brushes and preventing them from spinning. It could also be bits of string from the carpet, or similar. 

The Fix

Open the brush cage in your Roomba and check the brushes. Untangle and remove any hair or debris that is clogging them up and preventing them from spinning. 

Error 5: Side Wheels Need Cleaning

How The Roomba Notifies You

The Roomba will beep five times, or narrate “Error five: spin Roomba’s side wheels to clean”.

The Problem

This error appears when one or both side wheels are stuck and unable to move, usually due to a blockage of some kind, like hair or debris. 

The Fix

To fix this, pick the Roomba up and clean out the side wheels, removing any hairs or debris that they might have around them.

Then, test that the wheels can move without issue, and re-start the Roomba’s cleaning process. Monitor it for a few minutes to ensure it is properly working again.

Error 6: The Cliff Sensor

How The Roomba Notifies You

The Roomba will beep six times, or narrate “Cliff sensor error”. 

The Problem

This error code means that the cliff sensor is detecting an issue, or isn’t working properly.

It could be that the Roomba is hanging off of an edge of some sort, or that it is unable to find its way around, usually because the sensors are dirty. 

The Fix

To fix this problem, first of all, check on the location of the Roomba.

Then, make sure to wipe the sensors clean with the use of a soft cloth, and some compressed air if necessary. Place the Roomba down somewhere new, and test to see if it’s working properly. 

Error 7: A Side Wheel Is Stuck

How The Roomba Notifies You

The Roomba will beep seven times, or narrate “one of the side wheels is stuck”. 

The Problem

This error code occurs when there’s something clogging the side wheel, and causing it to be stuck in the same position.

Usually, it is due to dirt accumulating in the wheels and preventing them from spinning as normal, and sometimes it’s hair or string becoming wrapped around them.

It could also mean that there is a small object stuck in the wheel. 

The Fix

To fix this error code, check the wheels of the Roomba.

Clean them thoroughly and remove any blockage or debris that has gotten stuck in them, and then test to see if they are able to spin freely. 

Error 9: Problem With The Bumpers

How The Roomba Notifies You

The Roomba will beep nine times, or narrate “Tap Roomba’s bumpers to clean”. 

The Problem

The problem indicated with this error code is that the bumpers on the Roomba are dirty, and the sensors are probably therefore unable to work properly.

Sometimes this error code occurs when the Roomba has gotten stuck behind a piece of furniture or object, with the bumper getting jammed, and it essentially means it is in need of a quick rescue.

The Fix

In order to fix this problem, check on where the Roomba is, and if it is simply stuck behind something.

If not, then press on the bumper a few times, so that any debris stuck in it comes loose. You can also try thoroughly cleaning the bumpers, to ensure they can work at full capacity. 

Error 10: A Side Wheel Is Stuck (Similar To Error 7)

How The Roomba Notifies You

The Roomba will beep ten times, or narrate “Spin Roomba’s side wheels to clean”. 

The Problem

This is pretty much the exact same problem as error 7, in which a side wheel has gotten stuck due to some debris, hair, string, or similar getting wrapped around it. 

The Fix

Pull the Roomba up and make sure to thoroughly clean the side wheels, and if needed, the bumpers.

Test that the wheels are able to spin around freely, and monitor the Roomba for a few minutes. 

Error 14

How The Roomba Notifies You

The Roomba will narrate “re-install Roomba’s bin then press CLEAN to restart”. 

The Problem

This error code means that the Roomba is unable to detect the bin that should be installed in it for the collection of dirt and debris.

It could be that there’s no bin installed, or that it is installed incorrectly. 

The Fix

Make sure that the bin is properly installed onto the Roomba, and then press CLEAN to restart it. Monitor that it is working properly for a few minutes. 

Error 15

How The Roomba Notifies You

The Roomba will narrate “Error fifteen, press CLEAN to restart”. 

The Problem

This usually means that there is an internal communication error, and the Roomba has gotten confused and is unable to proceed unless the job is restarted. 

The Fix

The fix to this is simple, just press CLEAN so that the Roomba can start all over again. If the problem remains, you will have to fully reboot your Roomba. 

Error 16

How The Roomba Notifies You

The Roomba will narrate “Keep Roomba on a level surface then press CLEAN to restart”. 

The Problem

This error code happens when the Roomba finds itself on an uneven surface, and it is, therefore, unable to proceed or find its way around. 

The Fix

To fix this, move the Roomba to an even level surface, and press CLEAN so that it restarts. If it is already on a level surface, you will have to reboot it and check whether it then world correctly. 

Error 17

How The Roomba Notifies You

The Roomba will narrate “error seventeen, please start the iRobot App for help”. 

The Problem

This means that the Roomba has been unable to complete a cleaning job, and it has therefore canceled it and needs assistance to restart in a proper way.

Sometimes it is because of a failure in the navigation system, causing the Roomba to become lost. 

The Fix

Use the iRobot App for help, or alternatively, turn the Roomba off, give it a thorough clean and check-over, and then restart it all over again. 

Error 18

How the Roomba notifies you

The Roomba will narrate “Error eighteen, please open the iRobot App for help”. 

The Problem

This error indicates that your Roomba is unable to make it back to its home base or starting point, causing it to go into a bit of a panic.

Usually, it is because there is something obstructing the path back home, but sometimes it is because the Roomba has stopped recognizing where the home base is. 

The Fix

Use the iRobot App for help. Alternatively, you can turn the Roomba off and take it back to Home Base yourself.

Also, double-check whether there was anything blocking the way, or if the sensors need cleaning. 

Charging Errors And How To Fix Them

The second most common type of error on a Roomba is the ones to do with the charging.

This is pretty important, as without charge the Roomba cannot operate, but the solutions tend to be quite simple. 

Here are all of the main charging errors and how to fix them:

Charging Error One

How Your Roomba Will Notify You

Your Roomba will blink once, or narrate “charging error one”.

The Problem

The battery is not properly connected. 

The Fix

Make sure the battery is properly connected and positioned within the Roomba. You can take it out and put it back in to be on the safe side.

And if the Roomba is brand new, double-check that you have removed the plastic safety cover from the battery! 

Charging Error Two

How Your Roomba Will Notify You

Your Roomba will blink twice, or narrate “charging error two”. 

The Problem

The current used by the battery is far too high. 

The Fix

This has no easy fix, and the Roomba will have to be taken to a professional or sent back to the manufacturer.

Until then, disconnect the Roomba and place it somewhere cool to avoid it overheating. 

Charging Error Three

How Your Roomba Will Notify You

Your Roomba will blink three times, or narrate “charging error three”. 

The Problem

The battery is unable to properly contact and connect with the battery contacts. 

The Fix

You could try removing the battery and bending the battery contacts so they better connect with the battery, but it is far more recommended that you notify the manufacturer for a proper fix. 

Charging Error Five

How Your Roomba Will Notify You

Your Roomba will blink five times, or narrate “charging error five”. 

The Problem

The battery isn’t connecting properly, usually due to dirt or debris. 

The Fix

Remove the battery and wipe it clean with a dry cloth, do the same for the battery contacts. 

Charging Error Six

How Your Roomba Will Notify You

Your Roomba will blink six times, or narrate “charging error six”.

The Problem

The battery is overheating, reaching 75 degrees Celsius or more. 

The Fix

Disconnect everything and remove both the Roomba and the home base to a cooler location, and allow it to rest.

Make sure that there is nothing covering the Roomba when it operates, and that there aren’t too many objects surrounding the home base when it’s charging. 

Charging Error Seven

How Your Roomba Will Notify You

Your Roomba will blink seven times or narrate “charging error seven”.

The Problem

This happens when your Roomba is unable to cool down, and the battery remains heated after 4 hours of cooling time. 

The Fix

Move the battery to a cooler environment, to see if that helps it cool down. If not, you will have to replace the battery with a new one. 

Charging Error Eight

How Your Roomba Will Notify You

The Roomba will blink eight times, or narrate “charging error eight”. 

The Problem

This error means that the Roomba can’t communicate with the battery, due to the battery being unresponsive. 

The Fix

The best solution is to assume that the battery is faulty, and replace it with a new one. Then try the Roomba again. 

Charging Error Nine

How Your Roomba Will Notify You

The Roomba will blink nine times, or narrate “charging error nine”. 

The Problem

This once again means that the battery isn’t working properly, and the Roomba is, therefore, unable to operate. 

The Fix

Check whether the battery works or not, or directly replace it with a new one. 

Other Errors

There can be many other errors, and in order to troubleshoot them, you have to check the manual of instructions of your particular Roomba and go through the recommended steps.

Most Roomba models have similar error codes, but some can differ, so always read the manual! 

If you can’t understand the error code, or none of the solutions are helping, then you will have to contact a professional or the manufacturer for help. 

Advanced Troubleshooting Techniques for Roomba Vacuums

Sometimes, even after you’ve checked the error codes and followed the necessary steps, your Roomba might still be experiencing some issues. In those instances, it’s useful to know some advanced troubleshooting techniques that you can apply.

  1. Rebooting Your Roomba: Just like a computer or a smartphone, a Roomba vacuum can also benefit from a good old reboot. Turn off the vacuum, disconnect it from the dock and remove the battery. After waiting for about a minute, reinsert the battery and turn the Roomba back on. This can clear any minor glitches the system might be experiencing.
  2. Clean the Sensors: While we’ve already discussed cleaning the cliff sensors, don’t forget about the other sensors in your Roomba. These include the bin sensor, the wheel sensors, and others. Regularly cleaning these can improve your Roomba’s performance. Always use a soft, dry cloth to avoid damaging the sensors.
  3. Replace Consumable Parts: Over time, parts like the brush rollers, the battery, and the dust bin may wear down. In such cases, replacing these parts can help bring your Roomba back to its full functioning potential. Remember to only use official iRobot parts to ensure the best compatibility and performance.
  4. Firmware Updates: Lastly, don’t forget to regularly update your Roomba’s firmware via the iRobot app. Firmware updates can solve known issues and improve your Roomba’s efficiency and performance.

Getting the Most Out of Your Roomba Vacuum

Now that we’ve covered troubleshooting, let’s look at how to get the most out of your Roomba vacuum.

  1. Schedule Regular Cleanings: One of the key benefits of a Roomba vacuum is the ability to schedule cleanings at times that are convenient for you. Regular cleanings can help maintain a clean home and extend the life of your Roomba by preventing excessive buildup of dust and debris.
  2. Use Virtual Wall Barriers: Virtual wall barriers are a fantastic way to guide your Roomba around your home, especially in rooms with lots of furniture or delicate items. These barriers can keep your Roomba away from places it shouldn’t go, ensuring a more efficient clean.
  3. Regular Maintenance: Regular maintenance is the key to prolonging the life of any appliance, and your Roomba is no different. Regularly cleaning the dust bin, the filters, and the brushes will ensure your Roomba is running at its best.
  4. Properly Set Up Charging Station: The charging station should be set up in an area that is easily accessible to the Roomba, ideally central to the area the Roomba will be cleaning. Make sure there are no obstacles around the station and that the area is free of clutter.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, there are many different issues that a Roomba can have, and it will notify you through the appropriate error code so that you know what kind of solution is needed.

Always check the manual of instructions for exact information on what each error code means, and what steps to take in fixing it. 

Further Reading

Unsure whether a Roomba is right for you, or looking to purchase a new robot vacuum? Consider these articles for further reading:

Deebot vs. Roomba: Comparing Two Entry-Level Robot Vacuums

Roomba 675 VS Eufy 11S: Which is the Best For Under $300?

Is Roomba Worth It? For Most? Probably Not.


How long should a Roomba battery last?

A Roomba’s battery life varies based on the model and the conditions of use. However, typically, a Roomba battery should last between 1.5 to 2 years with regular use.

Can I use my Roomba on multiple floor types?

Yes, Roomba vacuums are designed to clean various floor types, including carpet, hardwood, tile, and linoleum. The Roomba adjusts automatically to the floor type for efficient cleaning.

Why isn’t my Roomba returning to its base station?

This can be due to several reasons, such as the base station being in a hard-to-reach area, the battery being too low, or the Roomba’s sensors being dirty. Make sure the base station is in an accessible area, the Roomba’s battery is charged, and the sensors are clean.

Can Roomba vacuums handle pet hair?

Yes, most Roomba models are designed to handle pet hair. However, if your home has pets, it’s essential to clean the brushes and filters more frequently as pet hair can lead to clogs. Additionally, it is worth noting that the canister on Roombas is quite small and thus will require more frequent emptying than would a traditional vacuum cleaner.

Does the Roomba work in the dark?

Yes, Roomba vacuums use infrared sensors, which means they can navigate and clean in low light conditions or even in total darkness.