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Red lights are never a good sign. When your Roomba has a blinking red light while charging, the natural assumption is that something went wrong.
In this article, you’ll learn what the Roomba flashing red light means, how to tell whether Roomba is charging correctly, and what to do if your Roomba won’t charge.
Why Is My Roomba Flashing Red While Charging?
On most Roombas, a flashing red light while docked means that their battery is below 15 percent. Many older Roomba models indicate low battery by a steady red light instead.
Below that level, Roomba cannot resume cleaning even if commanded to. This limitation exists to extend your Roomba battery lifetime and to prevent your Roomba from getting stranded away from its dock. There’s no way to override it, which is definitely for the best.
Once the battery level hits 15 percent, the red light will go away and will be replaced with the standard Roomba charging lights. Depending on your Roomba model, that will mean that the light will either turn off, turn white, or start pulsing white.
How to Tell if Roomba Is Charging
Once the battery is above 15 percent, it’s easy to find out if Roomba is charging, at least for certain models. When your Roomba is charging, you’ll see the following light pattern:
- Roomba 500, 600 series: White light pulsing every 4 seconds while charging.
- Roomba 700, 800, 900 series: White light on for 60 seconds when charging starts. Then, no light until charged.
- Roomba i1, i3: White light on while charging.
- Roomba i7, s9, and Braava m6: No light while charging.
While the charging light is red, though, it can be difficult to tell whether your Roomba is charging. My suggestion is to wait an hour and see whether the red light goes away.
Roomba’s full charging time is at least two hours to fully charge from a dead battery. After one hour, it should be well out of the low battery range.
For newer Roombas, you can also check the battery status in the iRobot HOME app. When you open the app, you’ll see a battery indicator icon at the top-right corner of the display.
The app’s battery indicator should work even when your Roomba is at low battery. However, if the battery is too low, it may not be able to communicate with the app. In that case, just wait until your Roomba regains a bit of charge and try again.
If it’s still at low battery after an hour, there’s likely an issue with your Roomba, the charging dock, or the connection between the two.
What Should I Do if My Roomba Won’t Charge?
There are a few common causes for Roomba charging issues. If your Roomba indicator lights show that it’s not receiving power, try the following fixes:
- Try a different power outlet
- Clean the charging contact points on both the Roomba and base with a microfiber cloth.
- Reset your Roomba by holding the clean and dock buttons until you hear a beep.
- Remove and reinstall the battery.
- Factory reset your Roomba by holding the clean button for ten seconds.
- Replace your Roomba’s battery (use this one for the 600, 800, and 900 series or this one for the i1, i3, i7, and s9 series)
You shouldn’t need to replace your entire Roomba over a charging issue. But if you’re running an older model, you might want to look at the cost of a newer Roomba anyway. Buying a replacement battery may not be worth it if your Roomba is near the end of its life.
Understanding Roomba’s indicator lights is a great step toward getting the most out of your robot vacuum. Aside from when a Roomba won’t connect to Wi-Fi or your Roomba can’t get over a bump, most Roomba problems are best diagnosed through lights or through the app.
Once you’ve mastered your robot vacuum, including Roomba’s Alexa voice commands, you should consider expanding your robot army. iRobot’s Braava has advanced to the point where a robot mop is well worth considering. That’s one more chore you’ll never have to do again, which is definitely the smart home dream.