iRobot Roomba Error Codes (5, 6, 8, 14, 15, 17, etc.) and How to Fix Them
One of the many advantages of iRobot Roomba robot vacuums is their set of internal sensors that monitor almost every aspect of the robot's operation.
As soon as an unwanted event is detected, Roomba stops the operation or doesn't want to start one and signals to the user that there is an error, including the exact error code. At least in most situations.
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Intro to iRobot Roomba Maintenance
iRobot Roomba robot vacuum cleaner is a robot vacuum that is relatively easy to maintain.
And if there is a problem of some sort, a broad range of error codes help the user pinpoint the problem and solve it hopefully without sending/taking the unit to service/shop for repairs.
If unsure about your next step, check the Owner's Guide and, if required, iRobot Customer Care (link opens in the new window).
Typical maintenance tasks include:
- Empty and clean the dirt bin,
- Clean and replace side brush,
- Clean and replace the main brushes,
- Clean electric contacts and sensors,
- Check the wheels, etc.
Note: the exact maintenance procedures can be found in your Roomba Owner's Guide.
When the iRobot Roomba is used in homes with pets and heavily soiled floors, shorten the maintenance intervals - that will help the Roomba clean properly for a longer period of time.
Here are some of the most common iRobot Roomba error codes, with short descriptions and guides on fixing such errors.
Roomba Error Code 5
Roomba Error 5 indicates a charging error - the robot's charging system isn't working correctly.
Various models of Roomba will indicate this error in different ways:
- Roomba 900 series reports "Charging error five (5). Please open the iRobot App for help."
- Wi-Fi connected Roomba 600 and 800 series reports "Charging error five (5). Please open the iRobot HOME App for help."
- Roomba 500, 600, 700, and 800 series reports "Charging error five (5)."
- Some models simply display "ERR5".
- Also, the battery indicator, troubleshooting, or CLEAN will blink while charging.
Note: While Roomba Error 5 usually indicates issues with the charging, the use of non-OEM batteries may also cause Error 5.
How to Fix Roomba Error 5
If the Roomba is maintained properly, Roomba Error 5 is unlikely to happen, but if it does, check and thoroughly clean:
- battery contacts,
- charging contacts on the Roomba,
- charging contacts on the charging station.
After cleaning, try to recharge your Roomba as always.
Roomba Error Code 6
iRobot Roomba may warn error 6 for two main reasons, a charging error or the unit got stuck for various reasons.
Roomba Error 6
Roomba error 6 indicates that there is an issue with traversing the floor - either unit got stuck, or cliff sensors detected a cliff, there is a false positive cliff detection (dark rug), unit got stuck on a rug or similar, etc.:
- e Series Roomba report "Drop off detected. Move to a new area, then press Clean Error 6."
- 600- 900 Series Roomba report "Error six (6). Move Roomba to a new location, then press CLEAN to restart."
- 500 Series Roomba plays a two-tone "Uh-Oh" sound followed by six (6) beeps.
- Error six (6) means that Roomba i-Series or j-Series is stuck over an edge, is on a threshold, or is on a dark surface.
How to Fix Roomba Error 6
Move the robot to a new location and press CLEAN to restart the cleaning process.
However, it is also recommended to prevent the robot from reaching the cliff again (use Virtual Walls or Mapping features), but also clean the cliff sensors to prevent or at least reduce the number of false positives.
Roomba Charging Error 6
Roomba charging error 6 means that the battery is not charging, most probably due to the overheating - we say "most probably" because there are other reasons as well for the error code 6.
When the Roomba detects a charging issue, it signals error code 6 in several ways, model dependent:
- Roomba 900 series report "Charging error six (6). Please open the iRobot App for help."
- Roomba 600 and 800 series report "Charging error six (6). Please open the iRobot HOME App for help."
- Roomba 500, 600, 700, and 800 series report "Charging error six (6)."
- Select models display "ERR6."
Also, the battery indicator, troubleshooting, or CLEAN blink while charging.
How to Fix Roomba Charging Error 6
There are several steps one can do to solve Charging Error 6, including:
- Check that your battery is an OEM battery since some non-OEM batteries may cause charging error 6 to occur.
- Ensure that the Roomba is being charged at room temperature. Also, it is recommended that Roomba operates at room temperature as well.
- If the unit is being charged near sources of heat, either remove the heat sources or reallocate the charging station.
Note: keeping the battery at room temperature may prolong its operating lifetime. If the battery is regularly overheated, it will not as long as it could.
Roomba Error Code 8
iRobot Roomba may warn error 8 for several reasons, including:
- a charging error,
- the vacuum motor is having problems spinning or the filter is clogged.
Roomba Error 8
Roomba error 8 means that the suction motor is having problems spinning or the air filter is clogged.
Indicators of this problem differ slightly among the Roomba models:
- The Wi-Fi connected Roomba 900 series reports "Error eight (8). Please open the iRobot App for help."
- The Wi-Fi connected Roomba 800 series reports "Error eight (8). Please open the iRobot HOME App for help."
- Roomba 800 series reports "Error eight (8)."
- Select models will play a two-tone “Uh-Oh” sound followed by eight (8) beeps.
How to Fix Roomba Error 8
To fix error 8, one should perform dirt bin and air filter maintenance procedures - one should clean and wash them, and after they are fully dried, the dirt bin and air filter should be assembled back into the unit.
If the message appears again, there may be a more serious issue with the dirt bin - in that case, one may need a new dirt bin.
Roomba Charging Error 8
Roomba charging error 8 means that Roomba is having issues with communicating with its lithium-ion battery.
Indicators depend on the Roomba model but are generally very similar.
- Roomba 900 series reports "Charging error eight (8). Please open the iRobot App for help."
- The Wi-Fi connected Roomba 600 and 800 series report "Charging error eight (8). Please open the iRobot HOME App for help."
- Roomba 500, 600, 700, and 800 series report "Charging error eight (8)."
- The battery indicator, troubleshooting, or CLEAN will blink while charging.
- Select models display “ERR8”
How to Fix Roomba Charging Error 8
To fix charging error 8, check if the battery is an OEM battery on not - non-OEM batteries can cause Roomba charging error 8.
Although heat can cause charging error 6, it can also cause charging error 8 - if the Roomba is charging in a very warm area or near the heat sources, let the unit and its battery cool down.
If that doesn't help, try re-installing the battery. If even after that, there is still a charging error 8, You may need a new battery.
Roomba Error Code 14 or 1-4
Roomba Error Code 14 (or 1-4 in some models) indicates problems with the dirt bin - Roomba does not detect the installed dirt bin.
Actual error reporting slightly differs among the Roombas, for example:
- Roomba 900 series reports "Error fourteen (14). Re-install Roomba’s bin, then press CLEAN to restart."
- The Wi-Fi-connected Roomba 600 and 800 series report "Error one four (1-4). Please open the iRobot HOME App for help."
- Roomba 600, 700, and 800 series report "Error one four (1-4). Re-install Roomba’s bin, then press CLEAN to restart."
The Full Bin and Troubleshooting indicators illuminate, additionally indicating the causes of this error.
Note: Roomba 600 series does not have a full bin indicator.
How to Fix Roomba Error 14 (or 1-4)
Since the Roomba is not detecting an installed dirt bin, there are a few things users can check right away:
- Confirm that the bin is installed properly,
- Check that the bin contacts are not damaged in away way.
Regardless of when the bin contacts were cleaned last time, wipe them on the dirt bin and the robot with a clean lightly dampened foam or cloth.
If the dirt bin is installed properly, contacts are cleaned, and this error message continues, You may need a replacement dirt bin for your Roomba.
Roomba Error Code 15
Roomba error 15 is one of the charging errors, indicating battery failure - the sensors have detected that there is a battery cell failure during charging, and the battery is not usable anymore.
How to Fix Roomba Error 15
The battery must be replaced - some people suggest turning the Roomba On and Off, which may help in some situations, but hardly in this one.
If the battery is within the warranty period, claim the warranty.
If not, either take/send your Roomba to service or replace the battery on your own, which can be done relatively quickly.
Note: when buying parts, always go for the OEM parts, regardless of the price difference.
Roomba Error Code 17
iRobot Roomba may signal error 17 for several reasons, including:
- a charging error,
- the vacuum motor is having problems spinning, or the filter is clogged.
Roomba charging error 17 is relatively rare and is triggered when Roomba has issues communicating with the battery.
If that happens, check if the battery is too warm (if it is, let it cool down), check if the battery is the original iRobot battery, check the battery contacts, and similar.
If that doesn't help, You may need to replace the battery or contact iRobot Support Center for further assistance.
Roomba error 17 means that there is a navigation issue, and Roomba cannot complete the cleaning task, and the task is being canceled.
Error 17 may be triggered by many reasons, including:
- The robot entered an unknown area and got lost while cleaning and is unable to return to Home Base,
- Roomba ends its cleaning task at a different location than Home Base or starting point.
- There were changes in the environment during the cleaning cycle (moved furniture, closed door),
- The carpet that must be vacuumed is too thick for the Roomba,
- There is not enough light for the unit to navigate properly,
- The navigation camera is dirty,
- Roomba was moved during the cleaning cycle,
- Excessive clutter on the floor can trigger error 17 as well,
- There is an issue with the robot that is causing navigation failure (loose castor wheel, for example),
- Too high doorways for the Roomba to navigate safely, etc.
How to Fix Roomba Error 17
Make sure that the Roomba is cleaned and maintained regularly, that there is enough light in cleaned areas, that there are no pets and kids to play with the robot while cleaning, and similar.
For problematic areas, use Virtual Walls, advanced mapping, or simply close the doors in order to prevent the robot from entering such areas.
Few Final Words
Robot vacuums can greatly help keep homes cleaner and more pleasant to live in. However, for them to work properly, they must also be maintained properly.
So, when your new robot vacuum arrives, iRobot Roomba included, read the Owner's Guide properly, especially safety warnings and maintenance procedures, and get accustomed to your new vacuum,
Also, keep the Owner's Guide close by if something has to be checked later. And whatever You do, stay safe ...