What to do when the Roomba just goes in circles

The problem of Roomba going into circles or backing up can be unnerving at first. However, the problem can be solved in a number of ways. First, you need to do take your hoomba to an obstacle free environment and allow it to run for about 2 minutes to ascertain the problem. If your Roomba has a problem, it will either stop or send you an error message. The robot will send you a warning signal, beginning with a two-tone sound “uh oh”, followed by a narrated voice or a series of beeps. Next, you need to follow the right troubleshooting procedures. Below is a list of common Roomba 700/800 Series error messages and how to troubleshoot:

•    Single beep for the 700 Series – means the dust bin if off and needs to be rechecked.
•    Error 1 – means the Roomba is stuck or the side wheel is hanging down.
•    Error 5 – the side wheel is stuck, so you need to spin or examine the side wheels.
•    Error 9 – the bumper is compressed or the bumper sensor needs cleaning.
•    Error 11 for the 800 Series – the robot has an internal error and may need software resetting.
•    Please Charge Roomba – the robot battery needs to be recharged.

Common 500/600 Series error messages include:
•    Single beep – Roomba is stuck or wheel is hanging down; you need to move your Rhoomba to a new location or check the wheels.
•    Two beeps – this happens when the main brushes become immovable, so you need to check the brushes.
•    Six beeps – the likely cause is a dirty cliff sensor or the robot is stuck on a cliff.
•    Ten beeps – the side wheels are likely stuck or the bumper is not recognizing the obstacles; under such circumstances, you need to follow the side wheel troubleshooting procedures.
•    4-tone followed by dead battery song – charge your Roomba.
On the other hand, if your 535 Series Roomba is spinning about the center; check to see if the drive-wheel motors are fully functional. If the spinning is taking place about the robot’s body center in 180 degrees angle, before heading straight away; the fault is likely to be associated with wheel turn counting process.

Sometimes your Roomba may not give you an error code, especially if the problem is related to the wheel or dirt. When this happens, there are several things you need to do to solve the problem:
•    Tap the sides several times to remove any stuck up debris
•    Wipe the sensors clean using a clean dry piece of cloth
•    Rotate the wheels by hand and make sure they are moving freely.
•    Clean the robots front wheels. The wheel compartment constitutes the wear guard, wheel, axle and housing.

Before attempting to repair your Roomba, it is important to understand that; it is much harder to reassemble a disassembled robot. The product warranty can be also voided if you perform self-repair as stipulated in the warranty terms. Always consult your iRobot dealer if you cannot troubleshoot your robot problem.

Here is also a nice video explaining how to fix that problem. Excuse the background music 😀


3 thoughts on “What to do when the Roomba just goes in circles

  1. My 780 circled right. No error codes. Would just go to the right unless the right edge sensor or cliff sensor was activated. Problem was broken encoder magnet on the LEFT wheel causing it to run at maximum no matter what direction it was commanded to go. Replaced module Now OK.


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