Troubleshooting Robotic Vacuum Cleaner Problems

A robotic vacuum cleaner in a living room

A robotic vacuum cleaner can be a great help around the house. However, as a robot is a mechanical device, functionality issues may arise as time goes on. Your once reliable robot friend may stop moving, go sideways, or just not operate correctly. Most of these issues are simple things you can locate and fix yourself, as with any normal vacuum cleaner. A little time and effort can get your little buddy up and running again in no time.

Check Your Belts and the Drive System

The first thing you would want to check on your robotic vacuum cleaner when it's not functioning properly is the drive belt. You want to look for the brush belt and the driveline that moves the unit. If these are broken or worn, you may have to replace them for the unit to function properly again. These parts can generally be ordered through the manufacturer of your particular unit. The belt can range in price depending on the quality of your particular model.

Check the Units Battery Supply

A robotic vacuum cleaner.

Another thing that can go bad on a robotic vacuum cleaner is the rechargeable battery unit. This can easily be removed and replaced without much fuss. You will want to make sure you are ordering the correct battery charging pack from the manufacturer, unless the unit simply runs on replaceable AA or AAA batteries. Many times we don't realize how long a unit has run on the batteries, and this is generally the reason our devices stop working.

Reset the Electronic Brain

If you have checked the belts and the battery, and all seems to be in working order on your robotic vacuum cleaner, it could very well be the system itself. You can check this easily by doing what is called a reset. Simply disconnect all power (including battery's) from the unit, and set them aside. Once this is done, hold down the power button on the unit for 30 seconds to one minute. What this is doing is resetting the data stored on its onboard memory, which will clean out any garbled data or code that might be interrupting its functionality.

Once you are finished, replace the power and batteries in your robotic vacuum cleaner and turn it on. If it is a programmable unit, you will need to reprogram the perimeters that you previously set, as the reset will have deleted the data back to factory specifications.

Check the Drive Motor

A robotic vacuum cleaner.

The last thing that could be causing issues with your robotic vacuum cleaner could be the drive motor. In some units, this motor is replaceable and can be ordered from the manufacturer. You can also find good guides on how to do the repair from their website. In many cases, there are videos that will teach you what you need to do to replace the part, which in many situations only involves removing some wires and screws and simply taking the old part out.

Robotic Vacuum Cleaner Problems FAQ

Should I leave my robot vacuum plugged in all the time?

As long as you are using your robot vacuum regularly to semi-regularly, it should be left in the charging port and plugged in while it's not being used. If you don't plan on using the robot vacuum for a couple of weeks or longer, turn the robot to ship mode and store it unplugged in a cool, dry place.

Why does my robot vacuum keep stopping?

When a robot vacuum keeps stopping instead of running the way it's designed to, it is usually because the vacuum isn't getting enough power. This lack of power could be caused by clogged brushes, a dirty filter, or a bad battery that is no longer holding a charge.

Troubleshoot these issues and see if any of these problems could be preventing the robot vacuum from functioning.

How many years do robot vacuums last?

The lifespan of robot vacuums will vary by model, though the average is about four to six years. Some designs will last longer than others, while some models will give up before four years have passed.

The batteries used to power robot batteries typically last about two years. So if your robot vacuum isn't working properly anymore, try replacing the battery first because you could get a few more years of life out of the vacuum with this simple fix.

How do I reset my robot vacuum?

If you want to reset your robot vacuum, look for the reset button and hold it down for about 10 seconds. You may also need to hold the power button, or the home button, for about 10 seconds to cause a reset.

All models of robot vacuum are different, so if you can't find an obvious reset button, go online to look up your particular model of vacuum and find instructions for how to perform a reset.

How do you unclog a robot vacuum?

Robot vacuums often have two rotating side brushes and a roller brush. Turn off the vacuum and use a clean, damp cloth to wipe down the bristles.

Rotate the bristles as you clean off hair and other debris, which could keep the robot from working properly. The roller brush can be removed to make hair removal easier.