We love our Roomba. It isn’t perfect (it can miss stuff), but it tries so damned hard (by running every day) that it is a godsend. Unfortunately, they’re not known for their longevity and a typical repair costs the same as a new one (not cheap). Last week our unit decided to stop docking. I did some Googling, pulled the dock apart, tested some voltages, but no luck. I was afraid we were looking at a Roomba that couldn’t be scheduled (kind of 50% of its value) or the cost of a new one (I probably wouldn’t buy another one). I then happened across a user’s forum and asked for help. I had reviewed their FAQ and a bunch of other topics, but for some reason the answer wasn’t easily available, but it was an easy one. I’m hereby documenting this for Google and others facing the same plight.
The Roomba has a charging port that can be used in lieu of the dock. In the port, there is an open loop that is closed when the charger is plugged in. When that loop is closed, the Roomba will not dock because, well, it thinks it is already charging and I’m sure the hardware can’t support a charge coming from two places at once. Dust can cause that loop to close, tricking the unit into not wanting to dock. Some carefully placed blasts of compressed air later (I actually just used my lungs because I’m a beast) and our Roomba is back in business.