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Mini Cooper Confidential

Roomba Battery Woes

I've written about the robotic cleaning appliances from i-Robot before ( here, here, and here) but this time I'm writing with an important tip for Roomba and Scooba owners.

Do not leave your robot uncharged, ever.

Lately, whenever I left town, I'd unplug the Roomba's charging unit. When you do this the battery eventually drains, and then it sits uncharged until you plug it back in again, right?


When you do this you destroy the battery and it won't ever hold a charge again.

iRobot tells you this, (here and here) and woe unto you who ignore (or forget) this advice. I can show you the receipt for my $50 replacement battery if you want proof. (I tried resetting the Roomba's power manager to no avail, if you find yourself in this situation, give it a try before replacing the battery.)

If you won't be using your Robot for a while, the correct thing to do is to completely remove the battery, per one of the articles linked to above.

Ugh. But I still loves our Roombas. And the new Scooba is working out well so far. (More about the Scooba after I've used it more.)

I do not accept advertising, but the Amazon want you to know that some links may contain affiliate codes that dangle the promise of earning me a few pennies towards running this site should you happen to purchase a qualifying product. Humbly, Gordon Meyer


Lynne B

K Wayne said: "the roomba will run less than a minute, stop with a red battery light. If I remove the battery and reinstall it, the battery light will turn green again. What is wrong with this roomba. I have cleaned it, all parts appear normal, wheels turn etc. Do you have any idea what is wrong with my roomba?" I have exactly the same issue with my Roomba 550, I thought the original battery had just died a natural death so I bought a new one, now I am having the same problems as you are. I really don't want to buy yet another new battery only to find out that's not the problem- does anyone have any idea as to what's going on here?

Joetta S

I am also having the same problem as Lynne B and K Wayne- only with my scooba. Runs a few minutes then stops with red light. I remove the battery and reinstall- green light comes back and and unit runs for a few more minutes before stopping again. Repeat, repeat, repeat until I lose patience. Has anyone figured out a solution?


I have bought 3 new batteries, all with the same result:

The specific symtoms are the roomba will be fully charged (directly into wall), but will only run for less than 1 minute then the battery light turns red and the roomba stops. If I turn off the roomba, remove and reinstall the battery, the battery light will turn green, the roomba will run less than a minute, stop with a red battery light. If I remove the battery and reinstall it, the battery light will turn green again. What is wrong with this roomba. I have cleaned it, all parts appear normal, wheels turn etc. Do you have any idea what is wrong with my roomba?


Same battery probs...green light, hot battery (??) then I turn him on and he shuts down in 4-5 seconds! Battery is new-- about 6 months old, use 15-20 times... Looks like no one has an answer though :-(


I have same problem, battery charged, roomba starts and stopps immediatelly with red light...
How to solve this? Obviously new batery wont solve this.

Gordon Meyer

Actually, Tom, that is the symptom of a bad battery. Read the Roomba articles that are linked up.


I have same problem. Looks like it charges - green light on, but when I start it, it immediately stops with buzz and red light. Before this I did the "reset" trick a few times and battery still worked... Not sure if that has anything to do with this problem just thought I'd mention it.

For this problem, not running at all after charge, I put the charged battery from my 2nd roomba in it and it worked great... The 1st battery, even though 1st roomba indicated it was charged was not actually charged when I tried in my 2nd roomba.

I then "charged" the second battery that worked in the bad roomba and after a long time charging it did go green, but when I said "clean" it did same thing, immediately stopped. I put the battery back in my 2nd roomba and it charged ok. So does not seem to be the battery.

Looks like it is something in the charging circuit to me.

Probably needs to go into iRobot shop, but not sure how much that will cost... anyone? or maybe get a new one - although it still cleans fine and I like having 2 of the same series.

Howard Beale

Well, Irobot tells me that even if you pull the battery out of the roomba and don't keep it charged, it will eventually drain and kill itself. I've had one in a box for a while, and it appears iRobot is right. It won't hold a charge either. So pulling it from the robot won't help. If you have more batteries than robots, apparently you need to change them out every month or so to keep this from happening. Has the Roomba become more trouble and more expensive than it's worth? Pretty much.


OK...here is what I did...3 Roomba batteries....all dead. The Roomba was flashing red then would go green...Roomba would not even power up after charging for 3 days...so...bought a multimeter...cut the end off of the grey Roomba APC charger...added a red and a blue male quick disconnect to each of the wires...the negative wire on my APC was the one with the faint writing on it...the positive was solid black. I then followed the advise "The slot closest to the pack is negative, the one furthest is positive."
and attached the wires...the batteries all charged up to 16.6 VDC and run for an hour or better...I charged them from dead to full in less than 3 hours each. I hope this helps someone else


Dari...about the multimeter idea. Isn't a multimeter just a voltage tester? How did you use it.
Does anyone know what voltage should be coming out of the Roomba charger? Is there any way to test the batteries....or the charger itself?

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