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Roombas are intelligent devices that can navigate rooms and even return to their charging station. This is assuming everything goes as planned; however, as we all know, technology does not always work as intended 100 percent of the time.

If your Roomba is having difficulty finding its way home or to other rooms, there could be something impeding a clear path to the dock or the room in question. Another common cause of this is that the Roomba was moved while cleaning, which throws off where it thinks the dock or room is.

We’ll go over the various reasons why your Roomba might not be finding its dock and what you can do to fix it. If you want to learn more, keep reading.

Fix Roomba Cannot Return to Base/Dock/Rooms
Fix Roomba Cannot Return to Base/Dock/Rooms

ROOMBA COULDN’T FIND BASE/DOCK HOW TO FIX?

Roombas function best when they are left alone to do their work. They use a technique known as visual simultaneous location and mapping, or VSLAM. In short, a robot vacuum cleaner’s optical system is what allows it to map out your home by judging distances between walls and identifying various landmarks on the ceiling.

The vacuums also work best when your home is free of clutter, such as wires everywhere or items strewn about the floor. It will usually be able to navigate and clean your home optimally if allowed to roam in a clutter-free environment.

But what happens when it’s time to call it quits on a vacuuming session? You can either let it dock itself when it finishes the job or runs out of battery power, or you can manually tell it to dock by pressing the home button on the device or in the app.

When it’s time to return home, the Roomba looks for an infrared signal emitted by the base. The vacuum then follows the signal, avoiding virtual walls and other obstacles, until it arrives at the charger.

WHY CAN’T ROOMBAS SOMETIMES FIND THE CHARGER?

There could be a number of reasons why your Roomba is unable to locate the base. If your Roomba isn’t connected to Wi-Fi or you don’t have a Wi-Fi model, you’ll need to start the cleaning session from the home-base to give it a better chance of returning home.

If you begin a cleaning session away from the base on a Wi-Fi-enabled model, it must be within 6 feet of the base (1.8 m). When you start the session, the Roomba must also be facing the dock.

Another possibility is that you plugged the base into a faulty outlet or that it is not properly plugged in. You can tell if the charger is turned on by looking at the blinking light that illuminates every 4 seconds.

To avoid infrared interference, make sure there are no Dual Mode Virtual Wall barriers within 8 ft (2.5 m) of the base.

Finally, place the base against a wall on a hard, even surface with a clear path for the Roomba to navigate. Things to avoid when deciding where to put the home base are as follows:

  • Avoid putting the base near the stairs.
  • Make sure the power cord isn’t in the way; if necessary, move the base to the side.
  • Make sure there is no furniture within 4 feet (1.2 meters) of the base.

ROOMBA WON’T RETURN TO BASE/DOCK TO CHARGE: CAUSES / HOW TO FIX?

If your Roomba does not return home after a cleaning session or after you manually instruct it to do so via the app or on the device itself, it is most likely because it is having difficulty navigating back to the dock.

Make sure the Roomba has a clear path to the charging station, with no wires or obstructions. Furthermore, it is best if the Roomba starts cleaning by departing from the dock to keep track of where it is.

ROOMBA WON’T DOCK PROPERLY OR NOT DOCKING PROPERLY

If your Roomba fails to dock properly, it could be because debris has accumulated on the charging contacts on both the device and the charging dock. The manufacturer recommends cleaning the contacts with a lightly damp melamine foam sponge, such as these Extra Large Eraser Sponges. Here’s a quick video of what the connectors look like:

Roomba Cannot Return to Base/Dock/Rooms
Roomba Cannot Return to Base/Dock/Rooms

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ROOMBA CAN’T FIND A ROOM: CAUSES /HOW TO FIX?

If your Roomba isn’t going into a specific room, it’s possible that it’s running out of battery before it can get there if your house is large. When the battery begins to run low, it will return to the charging base regardless of how much work it has completed.

Another reason could be that it does not begin cleaning at the home base. This is essential for the device to navigate correctly.

Finally, if you intend for the charging base to clean your entire home, it is best to place it in the center of your home. If it still runs out of battery before reaching every room, it may be best to leave it in that room until it recharges.

On the lowest cleaning session, Roombas will clean for up to 2 hours before returning to the station. Remember that a robot vacuum takes significantly longer to clean a room than a human – it has a lot of space to cover in larger homes.

ROOMBA TAKES FOREVER TO GO HOME: CAUSES / HOW TO FIX

If your Roomba takes an unusually long time to return home after cleaning, it could be having difficulty navigating the environment. It needs a clear path to the charging station, which should be against a wall and away from stairs.

Furthermore, Roombas must begin their journey back from the dock; DO NOT pick it up and move it away from the dock and expect it to begin cleaning.

ROOMBA DIES BEFORE DOCKING: CAUSES / HOW TO FIX?

If your Roomba is running out of battery before it can dock, there are several reasons why this is happening:

  • Too many obstacles for the Roomba to navigate
  • The base station isn’t charging the Roomba all the way
  • The Roomba has been moved during cleaning (this confuses the navigation)

WILL ROOMBA RETURN TO BASE ON ITS OWN?

Roombas are programmed to return to their base once they have finished cleaning or have exited the body. They can find their way back by following the infrared light emitted by the base.

ROOMBA NOT CLEANING ALL ROOMS: CAUSES/HOW TO FIX

If your Roomba isn’t cleaning all of the rooms in your house, it’s possible that it’s running out of battery before finishing its job.

On the lowest cleaning session, Roombas will clean for up to 2 hours before returning to the station. A robot vacuum takes longer to clean a room than a human, and it has a lot of space to cover in larger homes.

HOW TO SEND ROOMBA HOME FROM APP?

In the iRobot HOME App, press CLEAN in the middle of the app and then press Send Home. If the Roomba is already actively cleaning, just press Send Home.

ROOMBA NOT MAPPING CORRECTLY: CAUSES / HOW TO FIX

If your Roomba isn’t correctly mapping your home, make sure there’s plenty of light. If it’s very dim or dark, Roombas won’t be able to map their surroundings very well. The iAdapt localization camera must also be cleaned – a microfiber cloth works well for this.

CONCLUSION on Roomba Cannot Return to Base

The most common reasons for a Roomba having trouble finding its way home and navigating to different rooms are:

  • Obstacles in the way
  • The Roomba has been moved while cleaning
  • It’s running out of battery

If the troubleshooting methods listed above do not work for you and you believe there is a problem with your Roomba, contact iRobot for further assistance. I hope you found the article about Roomba won’t dock helpful and informative enough to solve your problem with the Roomba robot vacuum. You can now try to figure out what’s causing the unit’s poor performance.

If you follow the steps outlined here, you will be able to restore your Roomba to its former glory. If something goes wrong, don’t buy a new one right away; instead, all problems can be fixed if you have enough patience and the desire to make it work again.

Fix Roomba
Fix Roomba

FAQs on Roomba Find Home Base Issue

Why isn’t my Roomba finding its home?

If your Roomba is having difficulty finding its way home or to other rooms, there could be something impeding a clear path to the dock or the room in question. Another common cause of this is that the Roomba was moved while cleaning, which throws off where it thinks the dock or room is.

How does Roomba know where to find home base?

Infrared signals are emitted by the Home Base. It produces three distinct signals: left, right, and halo. These infrared signals are detected by the Roomba using the raised sensor (RCON turret) at its front, as well as sensors integrated into its front bumper.

How long does it take Roomba to find home base?

Depending on the size of the room, your Roomba should run for between 40 and an hour. When it begins cleaning, it will judge the size of the room by circling in outward spirals.

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