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As a highly convenient and expensive vacuuming and mopping robot, it’s understandably concerning to see the charging light turn off on a brand-new Roomba. This is especially true when you just sold a kidney on the black market to afford it.
Fortunately, the odds are good that it’s a simple feature of the ROomba, meaning the vacuum is finished charging or the Roomba is just trying to save power by turning off an unnecessary light. However, there’s a small chance that something else is going on.
Roomba robot vacuums (regardless of the model), typically feature amber, white, and green lights. The amber lights are either solid or pulsing, depending on what’s going on. The green lights are always solid. So, when the light goes completely off, there’s a small chance that something is wrong.
Table of Contents
5 Causes & Fixes To Roomba Charging Dock Light Goes Off
1. The Battery is Good to Go
While this is not a problem, it is a problem to you until you realize what it means. If your Roomba is on the charger and you see the blinking white light or pulsing amber light, that simply means the Roomba is charging.
You may get a solid green light when the device is fully charged, but it may turn off after a brief time. All this means is that the Roomba is fully charged and there is no need to waste battery by keeping the green LED light on.
The only time you need to be concerned is if the light goes off and you know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that it’s definitely not fully charged.
For instance, let’s say the Roomba just finished vacuuming the living room and den, both of which are pretty extensive rooms.
Once it’s done, it docks itself on its charging station and you see the familiar, pulsing amber light or blinking white light. Less than two minutes later, the light turns off completely. Now, you know there’s no way the Roomba just finished two rooms and fully charged itself in a minute and a half.
2. The Roomba’s Battery
Every battery has a finite number of charges in it before it loses much of its efficacy. If you’ve had your Roomba for quite some time and this is suddenly a new problem, it might mean it’s time to send or take your Roomba in to get it serviced.
On the bright side, it’s fairly simple to replace your own battery, so you can always order a new battery for your Roomba and replace it yourself with little more than a Philips head screwdriver.
The thing is, if your battery is so bad that it will no longer accept a charge when it’s docked with the charging station, it’s likely the Roomba would have exhibited some symptoms before now.
Unless the vacuum is only ever in operation while you’re at work, it’s easy to recognize issues with the battery ahead of time.
- The Roomba is no longer able to get back to its charging station when it’s done
- The charging light or the pulsing/blinking lights no longer display
- The Roomba will barely leave its station or not at all
- The Roomba quits in the middle of a vacuum
Once you see any one or more of these issues, it’s probably time to change the battery.
3. Battery Circuit is Damaged
A circuit is a very simple thing. It’s either open or closed. A closed circuit allows power to travel from the battery and operate the mechanisms of the vacuum. An open circuit means a silent and still Roomba.
Think of it as a drawbridge. So long as the bridge is up and the road across is no longer complete, traffic cannot flow. Once the drawbridge closes, once the boat or whatever is traveling beneath it is clear, traffic is safe to resume.
A primary example of a circuit is a light switch. When it’s up, the circuit is closed and the lights are on. When it’s down, the circuit is open and the lights are off. There’s a circuit within the Roomba that does this very thing.
If it’s damaged or no longer operating, you won’t get anything—not so much as a single light. If you have a brand new battery or you just finished charging the battery all the way up and the Roomba still won’t operate, damage to the circuit is a distinct possibility.
While some people may have the wherewithal to change a circuit as a DIY Roomba project, this usually means sending or taking it in for repairs.
4. Clean the Charging Contacts
If you’ve ever owned a pair of wireless earbuds, you know exactly what we’re referring to here. Charging a battery requires a closed circuit. The circuit in this case is the charging contacts on the docking station and on the Roomba.
When the Roomba parks itself in the docking station, the contacts on the robot match up with the contacts on the docking station.
When these two contacts come together, power flows from the wall outlet, through the dock, and into the Roomba’s battery, charging it.
Unfortunately, if the charging contacts are filthy (and they can easily get that way through the process of vacuuming), the dirt, film, or dust is just enough to keep the contacts from completing the circuit.
- Grab yourself some isopropyl alcohol, Q-tips, and microfiber cloth
- Lightly dampen the Q-tips with alcohol
- Start with the Roomba
- Locate the contacts and gently scrub them with the alcohol side of the Q-tip
- Flip the Q-tip to the dry side and continue
- Wipe the contacts with the microfiber cloth
- Repeat the process with the docking station
Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) is the perfect cleaning agent for this instance. Just don’t overdo it. Make sure the tips are simply damp. You should visually see the grime coming off the contacts as you clean.
Also, don’t overuse the same Q-tip. Just wipe it off, flip it, and move on to the next Q-tip.
5. Power cords or Docking Station
If you’ve checked over the contacts and the battery within the Roomba is fairly new, it’s worth checking the outlet and docking station to see if it’s getting power, to begin with.
You can check the power outlet with a multimeter, a cheap device that comes with black and red contacts.
Simply insert the contacts (probes) into the power outlet, one in each left and right port, and you should get a voltage reading anywhere between 110 and 120. Of course, you can always try moving the docking station to another power outlet and trying it there.
If you have power at the outlet and the docking station is still not charging the Roomba, it’s either a problem with the docking station or the Roomba. In this scenario, we’re assuming the Roomba is just fine.
You should also check over the power cord. Make sure there are no crimps in it or outwardly obvious damage. If you can’t detect anything, it’s time to send it in and get it repaired. Be sure to take advantage of the warranty if it’s still available.
Final Thoughts on Roomba Charging Dock Light
Roombas are sophisticated little robots that operate in a simplistic manner. They’re also expensive, so the last thing you want is for the device to fail. Fortunately, if the light goes off, that doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is wrong at all.
In fact, the odds are really good that the lack of light is completely benign. In those rare cases that it’s not, usually nothing more than a battery change will do the trick. If not, don’t be afraid to send it in for repairs.