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What Causes a Roomba "Error 6" Trouble Code?
Roomba robot vacuums are usually very reliable creatures, yet occasionally one will develop an issue that causes it to broadcast audio trouble messages. Here's what may be causing your model's of Roomba "error 6" trouble message.
The iRobot Roomba series 900 and other models all feature several devices called cliff sensors, which are located along the outer edge of the underside of the vacuum.
On the outside of a Roomba 960, there are a total of 6 pairs of optical sensors around the underside of the vacuum. Their purpose is to serve as "depth sensors" and prevent your robot vacuum from dropping down stairs or falling down steep drop offs, among other navigation functions.
If you're getting a message from your Roomba that says "error 6, move Roomba to a new location", it's probably because one of your cliff sensors is either dirty, damaged or confused by something about the surface that you're trying to use it on.
Irregular Surfaces and Drop-Offs
In some instances, your robot vacuum's tiny brain may be confused by the input it sees from the different cliff sensors.
Situations where the vacuum is partly on tile and carpet at the same time, or being on a very shiny floor or deep pile carpeting, can all cause the Roomba to stop and issue an "error 6" trouble code.
If cleaning your Roomba's cliff sensors or relocating the vacuum to a new location hasn't solved the problem, you may have one or more faulty sensors. This unfortunately requires sending your vacuum back to iRobot for repair. It's rare that cliff sensors fail, but occasionally it does happen.
If the Roomba's cliff sensor is only dirty, fortunately they're very easy to clean.
Let's take a look at where Roomba's cliff sensors are located and how to clean them properly.
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How to Clean Your Roomba's Cliff Sensors
If relocating your Roomba to a different surface hasn't stopped it from broadcasting an "error 6, move Roomba to a new location" message, it's time to try and clean your vacuum's cliff sensors.
- Gather an old bath towel, some paper towels, cotton swabs and a bottle of window cleaner.
- Start by turning your Roomba off and placing it upside down on a towel on the floor in front of you. Locate the cliff sensors, which are shown next to the arrows in the first photo above.
- Using a paper towel that's been moistened with window cleaner or clean water, wipe any dust away from the edge of the vacuum and from the sensors.
- Use a cotton swab that's been lightly moistened with some window cleaner and gently clean the face of each sensor, starting at the center and working your way to the outer edges using a circular motion.
- Next, repeat step 3 using a dry cotton swab to remove any remaining liquid.
- Check the other parts of the Roomba for dirt and hair buildup and clean them. Be sure to check under the "edge brush" for hair or thread that could've become wrapped around it. Also remove any debris from the end of rollers and Roomba's front wheel.
- Turn the Roomba over and press "start" in an area you want to clean. If you no longer receive an "error 6" code, cleaning the cliff sensors has most likely solved your problem.
More Roomba Maintenance Tips
Roomba robot vacuums can operate trouble free for months on end, but if you throw in just a little bit of pet hair, sand or small kid's toys, it may begin to malfunction.
The most common causes of a Roomba not cleaning properly are lack of proper maintenance and worn-out parts, such as rollers, which eventually have to be replaced.
For optimum performance, you may want to replace your Roomba's edge brush, rollers and filters about once a year, using an OEM Roomba refresh kit that includes those items. How often you need to replace these items will depend on the level of dirt that the vacuum is dealing with, especially if it contains any pet hair.
Other Roomba Trouble Codes: Error 8
Another very common problem in Roomba vacuums is "error 8". If your Roomba is sending out a "error 8, see the iRobot app for more info" code, your dust bin's internal vacuum motor has most likely become clogged and is no longer turning.
You can read How to Fix the Roomba Error 8 Trouble Code for more info on solving this common error message.
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.
© 2021 Nolen Hart