I work as a home handyman and enjoy DIY projects as well as home improvement projects.
Step 1: Check Roomba's Home Base Charging Station
Check the Outlet
The first step to fixing your iRobot Roomba "please charge roomba" error code is to check that the outlet powering your charging station has power. Try plugging a night light into the outlet to see if it does actually have power.
Check the Side Plug on the Home Base Charging Station
Next, check where the power cord plugs into the home base charging station on the side. This plug may have become loose and could be causing a loss of power to the docking station.
Check the Prongs on the Home Base Charging Station
The Roomba's docking station has two silver prongs, which make contact with their counterparts on the underside of the vacuum when it comes in for a charge. These are prone to accumulating dust, floor wax and other contaminants, which can cause a poor connection.
Use some alcohol and a cotton swab or paper towel and thoroughly wipe both of these prongs.
Step 2: Check the Charging Contacts on Your Roomba Vacuum
Clean Roomba's Charging Terminals
On the underside of your Roomba, there are two silver contacts, which pair up with the two contacts on the docking station. Using a cotton swab or paper towel moistened with rubbing alcohol, thoroughly wipe these contacts until they're squeaky clean.
In cases where there's a severe buildup of dirt or corrosion, you can use an emery board, as shown above, and lightly scratch the surface of these contacts before wiping them clean with rubbing alcohol.
Test the Roomba
After you've completed these steps, it's time to check and see if your Roomba will charge. If you're still getting the same message, repeat cleaning both the home base charger and Roomba vacuum terminals, and check it once more.
If performing these steps still hasn't fixed the "please charge Roomba" problem, proceed to the next step.
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Step 3: Remove and Clean Roomba's Battery Contacts
If the previous steps failed to solve the "please charge Roomba" message, you can remove the battery from your device and clean the contacts.
Remove the Battery Cover
Using a Phillips screwdriver, remove the two screws that secure your Roomba's battery cover. Then grab the two tabs on each side of the battery and pull it upward.
Clean the Battery Contacts
Next, using a cotton swab or the tip of a paper towel and some rubbing alcohol, rub both of the silver battery contacts thoroughly. After you've cleaned the battery contacts, replace the battery and the two screws that you removed.
If None of These Steps Solve the Problem...
In some cases there can be a problem with the Roomba's home base charging station. The vacuum's docking station could've been damaged from water that got splashed on it while cleaning floors, or it might have been accidentally stepped on, breaking off one of the small wires to the charging terminals.
You may have to replace it, as we once did ours, with an OEM Roomba home base charger.
More Tips for Keeping Your Roomba Running Smoothly
Your iRobot Roomba vacuum will require occasional maintenance, including replacing the side brush, brush roller and filter. We like to use Roomba's OEM replacement part kits, which won't void our vacuum's warranty and are sure to fit correctly.
Clean Hair From Roller Ends
The ends of your Roomba's vacuum brush roller (the two long, soft-sided cylinders that pick up dirt) can become clogged with hair and may cause an error message. Be sure to check these periodically and remove any strands of hair and fibers that have been wound around them.
Replace Filters Regularly
Your Roomba's filter needs to be replaced regularly to avoid damage to your vacuum. It's possible to wash these filters out with soap and water, let them dry, and re-use them a couple times before the paper material starts to break down. Roomba OEM filters are inexpensive, and by replacing them regularly you'll keep your Roomba's vacuum motor from being damaged by dirt that's bypassed a dirty filter.
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