How To Fix A Roomba Flashing Red Light In Simple Steps

Roomba Flashing Red Light: A Detailed Troubleshooting Guide

Dec 11, 2023
When you notice your Roomba flashing red light, there is nothing to worry about. It is part of the normal operation of iRobot vacuum cleaners. Make some adjustments, and this annoying light will go away.

Check out the guide below to understand what steps you need to take when encountering this visual notification.

What Does Roomba Flashing Red Light Mean?

Light Ring System On Roomba Robot Vacuums

Recent Roomba robot vacuum cleaners from iRobot come with a Light Ring system. It uses a combination of app notifications and sounds to communicate the machine's status with the user.

You can find this ring around the Clean button of the iSeries models, while it is located around the lid of the newest s9.

You can press Clean to hear exactly the message your Roomba robot wants to notify you. When errors occur, you can also open the companion Home app to learn more about them. Note: you must pair and connect the machine and app to the same Wi-Fi network.

Roomba models use a light ring to indicate their current status.

Roomba models use a light ring to indicate their current status

That said, if you remember the color codes and their meaning, you can act right away according to the situation of your robot vacuum.

In short, there are three colors designated as indicators of the current status of Roomba robot vacuums.

  • White: no issue or program with the robot.
  • Blue: the robot is performing a special task.
  • Red: an issue has arisen.

Remember that this only works if you haven't disabled the Light Ring system (which is on by default). If you want to turn off this color notification, press and hold the Clean button on your unit for at least two seconds.

Problems Indicated By The Red Light Ring

If you see a Roomba flashing red light, there is a problem with your robot. But what actually happens depends on the way it is flashing.

Pay attention to your robot's Light Ring system. If the Roomba red light is pulsing around the entire ring, the battery of your Roomba robot vacuum has been depleted. The available capacity isn't enough to start off any cleaning operations.

You will need to dock the machine into its home station (known as the Clean Base or Home Base, depending on the robot model). If plugged in, the station will start charging your machine. The light ring will change its color to white once the battery has been fully charged. The robot vacuum will then be ready for cleaning again.

A blinking red light

A blinking red light

If the red color is animated and moving around the ring, it means the dirt bin of your machine is full. Clean and empty it, and the red light will disappear. We will talk more about battery, charging, and dirt emptying in Roomba robot vacuums below.

Keep in mind that the explanation above only applies to a Roomba blinking red. If you see a solid red color that doesn't pulse or move, there is an error with your Roomba.

Press the Clean button or open your Home app and tap the troubleshooting button. The machine will give you a description of the error via a voice message.

   ➜ RELATED: Roomba Not Connecting to Wifi: What You Can Do to Fix the Issue

Charging iRobot Roomba Robot Vacuums

How Charging Works

iRobot provides each owner of their Roomba robot vacuums with a base station. This is the base where the charging happens.

The vacuum will automatically return to it for a recharge after the cleaning job has been done or when it is running out of power. The ring light will turn red and pulse during this period.

If your Roomba unit hasn't woken up and the red light is still pulsing even after it has gone back to the home station, don't worry. It takes a few minutes for your vacuum to get some power and change the Roomba flashing red light while charging. You may need to wait longer if it has been completely exhausted.

When a Roomba vacuum wakes up, it will produce a tone, and the light ring will swirl. Depending on your model, the machine can turn off or remain while recharging.

For example, the indicators on Roomba i7 and i7+ will disappear, while you could still see the light ring on the i1 and i1+ models during recharge. If you aren't sure about the capability of your machine's battery, press the Clean button once.

When it has carried out its cleaning cycle, the vacuum will also play a series of sound notifications, indicating the cleaning has been done successfully.

This isn't the case when your machine has to stop vacuuming and abruptly return to its base in the middle of a cleaning session. This happens when the vacuum needs a recharge for its nearly exhausted battery.

A Roomba machine is charging at its station

A Roomba machine is charging at its station

There will be no "success" tones while the robot is docking in this situation. The Roomba battery light flashing will still happen, however. If you open the Home app, you can also find out the current status of your Roomba vacuum.

If your machine stops vacuuming and emits a flashing red light but doesn't move towards its home base, you can bring it back to the station manually. Remember to press the Dock button on the machine first (or open the iRobot Home app, tap Clean, and then end the vacuuming job.)

Only move your vacuum on your own as a last resort. It breaks the automatic operational cycle of the machine. It may have problems locating its home station later in the future. Roomba vacuums are supposed to complete their vacuuming cycles without interruption. This is true whether you have a Roomba i7 blinking red light or a Roomba i3 red light.

If your vacuum is returning to the home station for a recharge but seems to have difficulty performing the docking, make sure you have put the station in an optimal location.

➜ RELATED: How to Clean Roomba Brushes - Easiest & Quickest Roomba Maintenance Guide

Tips On Charging Roomba Vacuum Cleaners

If you ignore your robot vacuum, it may have a low level of power in the battery all the time and not be ready to vacuum when you want. This happens a lot to busy owners who buy a robot vacuum and forget that even robots need a lot of care and maintenance.

Make sure your machine is charging or has been charged when idle. A full recharge may take around two hours. It isn't a long duration for a household application. But in an emergency, this can feel like forever.

You can monitor the battery level of your Roomba vacuum from the iRobot Home app, which displays a battery icon at the top-right corner. A quick glance could tell you the current status of your robot vacuum.

When the machine hasn't been fully charged, the app will show the "Charging" message on the clean screen. However, this doesn't mean you can use it right away. Your Roomba unit can be ready for a cleaning cycle even as long as you see the "Ready to clean" message.

When the battery has been fully charged, the Clean screen will change to "Fully charged". Your machine can now deliver the maximum number of vacuuming minutes.

Replace the battery of your Roomba unit with only authorized components. Don't be cheap and go for knock-offs from a third-party brand, especially a no-name on the market. You may end up with a counterfeit low-quality battery that may not work or even pose serious hazards like unexpected explosions.

Only use authentic batteries

Only use authentic batteries

Use the battery that comes with your machine first. Contact iRobot's customer service or your authorized retailer when you need an authentic battery for your Roomba robot vacuum.

If you plan not to use your Roomba vacuum for more than two weeks (a long vacation, for instance), store the battery in a cool and dry location.

If you see a flashing red light often, the battery may have been seriously degraded. You should replace it as soon as possible to maintain the Roomba's battery life.

In the meantime, you should pay close attention to the battery level and charge the machine whenever you can. Reducing the usage is another option worth considering.

Once turned on, your Roomba machine always consumes some power at any time. It awaits for your next commands, while the Wi-Fi connection draws a small amount of power as well. That is why even if you start a vacuuming session, your Roomba machine still runs out of power eventually.

You can put the machine to the Standby mode to bring down its power consumption further. You can trigger this power-saving mode in the mobile app. Go to More > Settings and tap Reduced Power Standby Mode.

   ➜ RELATED: How Often to Run Roomba? - Best Robot Vacuum Guide for You

Maximize The Run Time Of Your Robot Vacuum

Battery replacement for robot vacuums, while possible, is expensive. It requires you to use only authentic products sold by the manufacturer itself or authorized retailers. It is best to use the machine properly and prevent avoidable battery replacements in the first place.

Clean the brushes: Start with the basics first. We place great emphasis on regular maintenance because it can help with the efficiency of your vacuum cleaner. And a more efficient machine always consumes less power for the same job.

In addition to cleaning the bin often (which we will cover right below), the brushes of your machine should be cleaned regularly as well.

While vacuuming, they pick up a lot of dirt, fur, and hair. When a great amount of debris builds up on the brushes, it makes it harder for them to spin. Your machine will need to draw more power, and the run time will be reduced as a result.

For usual use, remove and clean the brushes of your robot vacuum at least once a week. It also helps when your Roomba brush not spinning.

The brushes of a Roomba unit

The brushes of a Roomba unit

Place the battery in a cool place: this advice is true not just for your Roomba vacuum but also for other battery-powered devices and appliances. All battery cell technologies work best in a cool and dry environment. Avoid direct sunlight and heat sources.

Turn on the power-saving mode: if you don't plan to use your robot vacuum for a while, put it on the vacation mode. This is a built-in feature that makes sure the battery of your machine remains healthy while using as little power as possible.

Cleaning And Empty The Bin Of Roomba Robot Vacuums

Even if its battery is full, a Roomba robot won't leave its home station to perform a cleaning job when its bin is still full. Its light color around the clean button will turn red and move around the ring. It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with the battery. Just empty and reinsert the bin before you resume or start a new cleaning cycle.

This should be an easy process:

  • Locate the lid of your Roomba robot vacuum cleaner and open it.
  • Lift the handle of the dirt bin. Pull it up to take the bin off the machine.
  • Hold the bin over a trash can and press the release button. Dispose of debris in the bin.
  • Close the door at the bottom of the bin and put back the handle.

The dirt bin of a Roomba machine

The dirt bin of a Roomba machine

Now you can reinstall the bin into your Roomba vacuum. However, you can use this occasion to wash the bin and clean the filter. This is an important maintenance task that makes the machine not just cleaner but also performs better. If you need a more thorough cleaning, check out the guide on how to clean Roomba side wheels.

  • Remove the filter door. You can find it on the top of the dirt bin.
  • Take the filter out and tap it strongly against a trash can to get rid of dust particles. Remember that it isn't designed for washing.
  • After removing the filter, you can start washing the bin. Rinse it with water, making sure there is no more debris built-up inside the bin.
  • Let the bin air dry completely, then put the filter back. Close the filter door and place the bin back into your machine.


The Roomba light system is created by iRobot to indicate various statuses of these robot vacuum cleaners. It works as another notification channel besides the voice messages and mobile app notifications. A good understanding of this system allows you to troubleshoot the issue of your machine quickly.

For instance, a Roomba flashing red light means two things: it has almost completely run out of power, or the dirt bin is full. Let it charge fully or clean the bin to remove this blinking light.


  • 01. Why Is My Roomba Flashing Red?
  • When an iRobot flashing red battery is the main reason. It doesn’t have enough power to do any cleaning task. The machine is basically asking for a recharge. The blinking red light on Roomba vacuums also means a full dirt bin sometimes.

  • 02. How Do I Fix The Red Light On My Roomba?
  • With a Roomba red battery light flashing, give your machine a full charge. Place it into its home station manually if necessary. Removing the contents of the bin also helps.

  • 03. How Can I Tell If Roomba Is Charging?
  • After a few minutes, the light system of your unit should turn white from the previous Roomba red battery light. Depending on the battery level, this light may move around the ring a lot.

  • 04. How Do I Know If My Roomba Battery Is Bad?
  • If your Roomba machine can't even finish a simple task that it used to be able to, or it runs out of power faster than usual, it is time to replace the battery. It could hold up power anymore, resulting in a mediocre run time. The Roomba red light blinking would occur quite regularly.

  • 05. Is Roomba’s Battery Replaceable?
  • Yes. The battery of every Roomba model is replaceable. Consult the manual, file a warranty request, or ask your seller about this replacement. You are likely to rely on a professional service.

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