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How to Fix a Roomba's Bin Full Light That Won't Turn Off

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I've had my own handyman business as a side job for the past few years and encounter a wide variety of home repair issues.

Roomba iRobot vacuums are some of the most helpful household appliances ever invented by man, in my opinion. As an owner of multiple pets, we really love our Roomba 960. When it begins to act up however, it can be maddening to try and figure out what's causing it not to work properly.

Why Won't My Roomba's Bin Full Indicator Go Off?

The dreaded "bin full" error that causes Roomba not to start cleaning, giving you that "womp womp" noise that's so sad sounding, is one such problem that can leave you scratching your head.

If you are having trouble getting your Roomba to start cleaning because it's giving you a "bin full" indicator (the red trash bin symbol), and if you've already emptied the bin and cleaned the filter, take heart. There's probably an easy way to fix this.

I've owned a Roomba 960 model for over a year now and, up until a few days ago, emptying the bin and changing or cleaning the filter was all that I had to do to get it going. One day, however, it decided to quit working and the red trash can symbol would not go out.

I tried cleaning the bin, even removing the battery at one point, until finally going to iRobot's webpage for help. There I finally found the solution to Roomba's trash full indicator, which I'll share with you in this article.

How to Locate Roomba's Bin Sensors

Your WiFi-enabled Roomba has sensors that are located in the body of the vacuum and also in the dust bin. There are four sensors in all. These sensors work in a similar fashion to the photoelectric sensors in your garage door, which prevent the door from going down if a person or object is in the way.

All the time that I've owned my Roomba 960, I never even knew these sensors existed. I suppose that I should have read my owner's manual after purchasing it!

Below is a photo of what the sensors located in your Roomba's bin look like.

As you can see, we have pet hair in our home and our Roomba gets a workout. The sensor in the bin is located at the end of the pointer in the upper right hand corner of the photo.

As you can see, we have pet hair in our home and our Roomba gets a workout. The sensor in the bin is located at the end of the pointer in the upper right hand corner of the photo.

How to Locate Roomba's Other Sensors

Aside from the two sensors in Roomba's bin, there are two in the body of the vacuum. These look like two small black rectangles and protrude from the robot's undercarriage where the bin slides into the body. See the photo below.

As you can see, this sensor is quite dirty and requires cleaning.

As you can see, this sensor is quite dirty and requires cleaning.

How to Clean the Bin Sensor on Your Roomba

All that you need to do to clean your Roomba's bin sensors is to wipe them off with a microfiber cloth or soft cloth towel. After you clean them, make sure that the filter has been cleaned of dirt by tapping it vigorously on the inside edge of your trash can. Then replace the bin and Roomba should be ready to start cleaning.

If you are still getting the bin full error, it may be a more complex issue, and you may have to send your Roomba back to the factory for repair.

In most cases though, cleaning the bin sensors will solve this problem.

Other Roomba Care Tips

  • Before you send your Roomba off to work after cleaning the bin sensors, make sure that you remove the twin rollers and remove any hair or debris that may be wrapped around each end where they rotate.
  • Next, check the little wheel that's located at the front of your Roomba. This wheel pops out when you pull upward on it. Remove any hair that's wrapped around its little axle.
  • Then check Roomba's cliff sensors, which are the clear plastic windows on the underside of the vacuum. Just wipe these off with a microfiber cloth, and you should be good to go.
  • It's also a great idea to purchase a new set of rollers every couple of months, as well as new filters and a fresh sweeper brush. Thankfully there are now after-market replacements for Roomba's rollers, sweeper brush and bin filter that are much less expensive than OEM ones, and the quality seems to be on par. I've purchased this complete set a couple of times for my own Roomba.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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