Roomba dies before docking – Solutions and Troubleshooting

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Robotic vacuums are getting more and more popular, thanks to constant technological advancements. The manufacturers continuously improve their products, in order to make them both more convenient and more affordable.

This has been the reason why all those units became such complex devices. Advanced technology and complicated design, tend to bring some troubles in the long run. This is because it’s hard to keep those kinds of products working properly at all times.

That’s also the reason why we decided to create this article – Today, we will talk about why your Roomba dies before reaching its docking station. Before you do all the steps listed in this article, we also highly recommend doing regular maintenance. This way your Roomba will not only work longer but also will prevent permanent damage.

Without further ado, let’s get into the proper part of the article.

Why your Roomba dies before docking?

For all those who are new to iRobot’s products – The majority of Roombas, if not all of them, provide an “Auto-recharge” function, that allows the vacuum to go back to its docking station, recharge, and continue cleaning afterward – However, this function can sometimes let you down.

In order to check where is the problem, you can manually send the Roomba to your docking station. This may help you determine the cause of this problem, or even the solution later on. 

There could be many reasons why your Roomba dies before it reaches its docking station. Here are some of the most common problems:

  • Unfortunate placement of the docking station – Sometimes, they may be too many obstacles or the route to the docking station may be too demanding. In this case, the Roomba may be incapable of reaching the docking station in time which results in running out of battery.
  • The Roomba has been moved – If you move your robotic vacuum, it may be incapable of finding the right way to its docking station. This action may puzzle the Roomba, therefore, you shouldn’t move it when it’s already near the docking station.
  • Dusty connectors – In order to be properly charged, the Roomba has to be in constant contact with the connectors. If you didn’t use the Roomba for quite some time, there may be some dirt accumulated on the connectors – In this case, you should wipe any grease, that can be found there.
  • The base station is not connected properly – In order to properly charge your Roomba, the docking station needs to be supplied with power. Otherwise, the Roomba won’t be charged fully and may die during the cleaning process. 
  • Faulty outlet – Sometimes it’s not necessarily related to the equipment itself, as the fault may lay in the outlet. If the outlet you chose is defective, the docking station won’t be supplied with power, and your Roomba won’t charge properly. Be sure to switch the outlet before going to another step.
  • Damaged docking station – This is another reason why your Roomba runs out of battery all the time. In this case, you should replace the docking station after thoroughly testing it.
  • Bad battery – The battery of the Roomba itself may also be faulty – This is usually the case after owning the device for a couple of years. The average lifespan of Roomba’s battery is somewhere around 2 or 5 years (around 400 charges).
  • Infrared interference – Obstacles such as virtual walls or magnetic boundary tape may prevent Roomba from reaching the charging base. Since the area, that the vacuum would choose is blocked, it has no way of reaching the docking station.

Those are all the most common problems, that can cause your new Roomba to die before reaching its docking station. However, we highly recommend reading the rest of the article, in order to learn how to solve some of those problems.

How to properly position the docking station?

In order to solve many of the problems listed above, you will have to find the best place for your docking station. You can’t have too many obstacles around, as the vacuum may have trouble finding the right path. You also have to be aware of all the virtual boundaries, that you have set before.

There are some basic rules to follow when setting up the docking station. If you don’t want to find your Roomba locked up in the living room and out of battery, you should definitely keep an eye on the recommendations below.

The first and most important thing is to have the docking station on a flat surface. This will prevent the Roomba from losing its grip on the floor. This is also strongly related to the material of the surface – Rugged areas and carpets are probably the worst-case scenarios for this type of vacuum.

If the majority of your floors are mainly hardwood, there’s really nothing to worry about. The Roomba should easily navigate through this type of surface.

Another aspect to keep in mind are the stair – Those can very much confuse the Roomba, as this product is designed to avoid them. All sensors prevent the vacuum from falling down or hitting furniture, therefore you should keep the station away from too many obstacles. 

The last thing to keep in mind are tight spots – This aspect is also strictly related to all the sensors located in the vacuum. They can be both a great advantage and disadvantage, as in rare cases, they can prevent the Roomba from entering too tight areas.

When following the rules above, you should be able to easily find the best place for your docking station. In order to test how well does a particular spot fits the vacuum, you should manually dock the Roomba – You can do this by pressing the “Home” or “Dock” button on the device.

How to see if the docking station works?

In order to check whether the docking station is charging the unit properly, you should first take a look at the station itself. If it indicates a green light, then there’s a great chance, that the station is connected successfully and the Roomba fits well inside.


After this, you can focus on other problems, as the fault may lay in the battery, virtual walls, or the position of the docking station. Be sure to follow all the problems listed above, as there is a great chance, that you will find a solution.

How long can Roomba’s battery last?

Problems with battery are another common problem when owning an iRobot Roomba. This can be a reason why your unit doesn’t reach the docking station. In order to give you a quick perspective, we will estimate roughly, how long a battery in Roomba can last.

Depending on which Roomba you own, there’s a difference in how long a particular unit can last. However, the majority of models can work for approximately 120 minutes. Taking into consideration the fact, that Roomba can be charged around 400 times, it turns out, that the battery may last for anywhere from 1 year to 5 years.

However, there are a couple of things you can do, to make the battery last longer. There are many factors that will determine its life span, one of them is power consumption. The harder your Roomba will have to work, the shorter the battery life will be.

Another aspect is keeping it charged at all times. It’s much better for the battery to keep it charged, therefore, you should use the vacuum frequently. A battery that isn’t used at all is even more prone to damage than the one which is used frequently.

You should also keep the battery only at room temperature. Any extreme changes to the temperature may result in damage to the battery. What’s more, keeping the battery when it’s too hot or too cold also will result in permanent damage.

How to reset my Roomba?

If you think you have already found the problem, it may be a good idea to reset your Roomba. Besides, it may also help, as the whole system resets, and the technology used in those products isn’t perfect. The whole process is rather simple, therefore, it definitely won’t hurt to try.

All you have to do is press two buttons (“Dock” button and “Spot” button) simultaneously for at least 10 seconds. After that, you will hear a beep sound which will indicate, that the Roomba resets. Although, you have to keep in mind, that this action removes all cleaning plans.

Nonetheless, it’s extremely efficient when your Roomba has any problems with the batteries. Sometimes the reset completely solves this problem, and you don’t have to purchase a new battery for your Roomba.


The technology used in Roomba is rather complicated, and may sometimes cause some troubles. One of those is running out of battery before the product finds its way to the docking station. There are some common causes of this problem which you can find above.

Most of the time, the problem is related to the position of the docking station, the battery of the Roomba, or the supply of power. We hope, that after reading this article you will fix this problem, and your Roomba will finally find its way to the docking station.