Roomba Will Not Dock: How To Fix This

Roomba Will Not Dock -If your Roomba can’t find its way home or to other rooms, something may be interfering with its free path to the docking station or specified room.  Another common reason why this happens is that someone moved Roomba while cleaning, throwing it away where he thinks the docking station or room is.

Why Roomba Will Not Dock?

Roombas work best when they are allowed to do their job without interference.  They are working on a process known as visual simultaneous placement and display or VSLAM.  In short, the optical system in the work of a vacuum cleaner is what allows it to map your home, estimating the distances between the walls and identifying different landmarks on the ceiling.

How Does Roomba Docking Work?

Roombas work best when they are allowed to do their thing without intervention. They work on a process of what is known as visual simultaneous location and mapping or VSLAM. In short, the optical system in a robot vacuum cleaner is what allows it to map out your home by judging distances between walls and identifying various landmarks on the ceiling.

But what happens when it is time to wrap up a vacuuming session? You can either let it dock itself when it completes the job or runs low on battery or manually tell it to go to the base by pressing the home button on the device itself or in the app.  When it is time to go home, the Roomba searches for an infrared signal emitted from the base. The vacuum then follows said signal, avoiding virtual walls and such until it reaches the charger.

What Does Roomba Not Docking Mean?

If your Roomba doesn’t return home after a cleaning session or after you manually report it through the app or on the device itself, it’s often due to problems navigating back to the dock.  Make sure Roomba has free access to the charging station, without wires or anything else.  It is also optimal for Roomba to start cleaning from the docking station to determine where it is located.

If your Roomba does not connect properly, it may indicate that debris has accumulated on the charging pins on both the device and the charging dock.  The manufacturer’s recommended way to clean contacts is to use slightly damp melamine foam, such as these very large eraser sponges.

Check out this detailed guide on How To Get Roomba Over Threshold

What Should I Do When My Roomba Won’t Dock?

  1. Carefully inspect the charger line cable for potential damage.
  2. Connect the charger to a wall outlet (wall socket) and make sure that the power indicator is solid green.
  3. Connect the charger to the home base and make sure it fits snugly. Designed for energy efficiency, the power indicator is usually lit for 4 seconds before turning off.
  4. Double check that there is no virtual wall; in fact, the device’s virtual wall beacon will be within 2.4 m (approximately 8 feet) of the home base, which can be kept away from infrared interference.
  5. Insert the home base in the open.
  6. Avoid any exotic objects on the bumper as well as on the docking station.
  7. Use a dry cloth to remove debris from the iRobot Roomba filter; Also, clean the charging contacts on the base.
  8. Place this robotic vacuum cleaner within 6 feet of the home base, then press the Dock button to return it.

The above solution can only be applied to Roomba 650, 860, 880 and 980.

What Happens When You Picked Up Or Moved Roomba While Cleaning?

If Roomba is lifted and moved while cleaning, it will not be able to find the Home Base when the DOCK button is pressed unless it is facing the Home Base within 6 feet (1.8 m) of the Home Base.  To resolve this issue, disconnect the power cord from the Home Base, and then reconnect it to make sure it is fully inserted and snug.

Make sure the power light on the Home Base starts blinking about once every 4 seconds or stays on for about 4 seconds and then goes out.  This is a normal behavior designed to save energy.  Make sure there are no Virtual Wall® or other buildings within 8 feet (2.5 m) of the home base.

This may cause interference to infrared rays.  Place the Home Base on a solid flat surface near the wall.  Make sure Roomba has a clear path to the Home Base, and that the Home Base is at least 4 feet (1.2 m) from any stairs and that the Roomba has a clear path to it. See the Best Roomba with Mop

Potential Causes Of Roomba Not Docking

Wall socket

First and foremost, make sure your Home Base is plugged in.  There is a possibility that someone tripped over the wire that connects the Home Base to the outlet.  The plug may loosen or come out completely.  If it is not connected, the base cannot turn itself on.  Then Roomba will not be able to determine where the home base is.

You should see that the power display on the Home Base shows a solid green indicator that shows it is on.  If it is plugged in and the light is off, check the power outlet.  Find another electrical device, such as a telephone, and connect it to a wall.  See if your phone starts charging.  If your phone starts to charge, you know it’s something from Roomba, and you can skip the next Auto Circuit Breaker section.

Circuit breaker

This check is performed only if you do not see electricity from a specific wall outlet.  Go to your home’s circuit breaker panel and make sure the switch for this particular outlet is turned on and activated.  If you are not sure which switch is for this outlet, see if there are switches in the opposite direction from the others.

Turn it over and check the outlet again.  Switches usually have the text “on / off”.  The text should indicate whether the switch is on or off. If you are unfamiliar or just don’t want to mess with circuit breakers and general electricity maintenance, find an electrician.  Don’t do it yourself – find a more experienced person who will help you with this.

Charger cable or plug damage

Observe the cable length of the Roomba home base charger and check for wire damage.  For example, bent or bare wiring.  A faulty cable does not charge the Home Base efficiently.  This will cause your Roomba to malfunction during docking.  Also check the plug for bends or damage.  If the cable or plug is damaged, check the warranty.  Contact iRobot Customer Support to find out if it can be replaced or repaired.

Dusty charging contact points

Sometimes with all the cleaning it can be just the accumulation of dust at the contact points of charging.  This can prevent your Roomba from connecting and recharging properly. If the contact points are dirty, unplug the home base.  Then use a dry cloth and wipe the electronic contact points between the Roomba and the docking station.

Remove all pieces of dust and debris you find at the point of contact.  Do the same for your Roomba device. For more thorough cleaning, use an electronic contact cleaner and a cloth to wipe the contact points.  This ensures that your contact points are clean and working properly.

Virtual walls

Virtual walls are devices created by iRobot as an additional device to its Roomba robot vacuum cleaners.  Using infrared rays, they block the entrance to certain rooms or areas where you do not want your Roomba to enter, and are quite sophisticated little technology.

However, if the virtual walls are located between Roomba and Home Base, your Roomba will not be able to cross the infrared beam and wander aimlessly until the battery is discharged.  Sometimes you have the same problems with Wi-Fi connection problems.

Roomba Will Not Dock FAQs

Why Won’t Roomba Dock?

If your iRobot Roomba does not dock properly, it means that something is preventing it from connecting properly to the charging station.  This may also mean that debris has accumulated on the charging dock and charging contacts of the device.  Cleaning the contacts with a soft damp melamine foam, such as these very large eraser sponges, will solve this problem.

How Else Can I Solve The Problem With Roomba Docking Station?

Resetting the Roomba is likely to work if there are no problems with the vacuum cleaner.  You can easily reset the vacuum cleaner by long pressing the clean button.  The display should show “r 5 P” with blue backlight.  You should hear a faint beep to indicate that the reset was successful.  Then you can try to fix it again and see if it returns to home base.

How Can I Reset Roomba?

Of course, as with most machines, a simple reset can be a solution to some problems.  Therefore, when you notice that your robot vacuum cleaner is not working, or its performance and productivity are low.  Then you need to reboot the device.  If the cause is a battery, you can change quickly.  However, the reset confirms the main fault of Roomba, regardless of whether it is from the battery or not.


Roomba Will Not Dock – The Roomba iRobot vacuum is a smart cleaning robot that vacuums your floors autonomously. It’s a little bigger than a hockey puck and has multiple sensors to maneuver around furniture and other obstacles. Its brushes can agitate and vacuum your carpets, which is especially handy for those with long hair or pets. There is nothing worse than coming home to a house that hasn’t been vacuumed.

While we’d all like to believe that by the time you step through your front door, the floors are spotless, this isn’t always the case. Roombas don’t need any human intervention to clean your home. With a built-in vacuum and optical system, they can clean your entire house without initial programming. They also have the ability to return to their charging stations when they are out of power.

The Roomba’s sensors can be thrown off by wobbly or irregular flooring. If your home has a lot of obstacles, such as wires or cords strewn everywhere, it could get stuck in a loop trying to navigate around them. Roomba vacuums provide optimal cleaning performance in homes that are clear of clutter. If you have wires strewn about or things lying in the middle of your floors, your Roomba may run into issues navigating around them.