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How to Tell if Roomba is Charging?

how do i know if my roomba is charging

Do you often find yourself starting the Roomba only to realize that it has not been charged? It can be very annoying and frustrating. Checking if the Roomba is charging can be tricky at times.

Let’s face it: one of the reasons why we love the Roomba is that it makes cleaning carpets and hard floors easy and convenient. You just turn on the unit and let it do its job. But telling if the robot vacuum is charging is not that easy.

Continue reading to learn how to tell if a Roomba is charging.

How to Tell if a Roomba is Charging?

how to tell if roomba is charging
How to Tell if a Roomba is Charging

As you very well know, the Roomba is powered by a rechargeable battery which can last for hundreds of cleaning cycles as long as it is well-taken care of.  The key to this is recharging the battery after every cleaning cycle.

You can tell that the Roomba is charging if the charger has a solid green power indicator on when it is plugged into a wall outlet.

But how about the Roomba model that is being charged through a Home Base?

Here’s something you should know—it is normal for Roomba units that charge through Home Base to have its light indicator off.  The same goes for the Home Base itself. This is because both the Roomba and the Home Base need to conserve energy during charging.

In the case of the Home Base, the power indicator will only turn on for around 4 seconds after the robot had docked. The power indicator will then go out.

The Roomba’s charging indicator will light up immediately after it is docked on the Home Base. However, it will go out after a minute or so precisely to conserve energy.

Of course, there are a couple of ways to determine if the battery is being charged. One is to press the CLEAN button on the unit once. If the color of the power indicator is green, then the robot vacuum is fully charged. If it is pulsing amber, then the unit is still charging.

If the power indicator is colored red, then it means that the unit’s battery is drained and needs to be charged.

The below video will give you an idea on how to charge and store the battery of older versions of Roomba like the 700 series and the 800 series.

YouTube video


There’s also a more modern and convenient way to determine if the unit is charging—use the iRobot app.  This app is available in newer Roomba models such as the 900 series.

Look for the battery icon displayed in the upper right corner. This indicates the current status of the battery. The CLEAN screen will show that ‘charging’ to indicate the battery is being charged.

When the battery has been fully charged, the CLEAN display will show ‘Ready to clean. Fully charged.’ This means the unit is ready to perform a cleaning cycle.

What happens if the Roomba has been discharged?

roomba charging
What happens if the Roomba has been discharged

It is highly recommended that the Roomba is recharged immediately after use. If you wait for several days before recharging the unit, then you are risking damage to the battery.

But of course, there are times when we forget to recharge our digital devices like smartphones and tablets. The Roomba is no exception; there is always the risk of forgetting to recharge it.

Don’t fret if you overlook recharging the unit as Roomba is smart enough to initiate a refresh charge cycle. You’d know that the unit is into this phase when the CLEAN indicator quickly flashes red or Amber. It is a function that can’t be initiated manually.

You should never interrupt the refresh charge cycle. Lasting for about 16 hours, this will extend the battery life of the Roomba. You’d know that the unit is going through the refresh cycle when the battery indicator quickly pulses.

What if the Roomba doesn’t charge?

But what if the Roomba is not charging? What should you do?

Before contacting iRobot’s customer care, you should troubleshoot the problem first. First, try charging in another outlet if the Roomba’s indicator light does not illuminate. You can also check if the line cord of the charger or Home Base has any damage.

Is the Home Base light on but the robot vacuum still won’t charge? Check for any sign of debris or dirt building up on the charging contacts. You may use remove any debris or dirt buildup using a lightly damp cloth. The below YouTube shows you how.

YouTube video


Did that work? If not, you can try removing the robot vacuum from its Home Base, flipping it over, and removing the caster wheel. Check that there is no debris buildup in the caster wheel as it can prevent the Roomba from charging. Clean the caster wheel if you found any debris or dirt.

You may also try rebooting the robot so that it would charge. If you have a Roomba 700 or 800 series, simply press and hold CLEAN for about 10 seconds or until the display shows ‘rSt.’  If you have the Roomba 500 or 600, simply press and hold the SPOT Clean and Dock for around 10 seconds.

If none of those tricks worked, then you may need to replace the Home Base. You can contact iRobot’s Customer Care if your unit is still under warranty. Or you may contact an authorized seller to order a replacement.


The Roomba is one of the best when it comes to getting rid of pet hair, dust, debris, and other dirt on hardwood floors and carpets. Yet it can be tricky at times to tell whether the robot is charging or not. As you have learned after reading this article, the Roomba charger light indicator should flash green to indicate that the robot is charging.

If you are to charge it using the Home Base, you may press the CLEAN button of the unit and check if the battery indicator is colored green.

And in case your Roomba comes with an app, you can use it to determine if the unit is charging.

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