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iRobot Roomba 980 Troubleshooting

This page will assist with solving common errors that the iRobot Roomba 980 experiences

The rubber pickup brushes on the underside are unable to spin

The brushes may have hair trapped around the axles of the brushes, making them unable to spin. Remove the dirt and hairs that may be tangled and clean the brushes to make sure that it is able to rotate. Scissors are helpful in cutting the tangled hair, making it easier to remove.

Check to see the module is working properly by manually rotating the module; if not working, it may need to be replaced.

Replacing a Broken Brush Module

Rotate the brushes by hand to check if they work. Inspect to make sure they are able to rotate correctly. Replace if damaged.

Either the front castor wheel or two-side wheels are unable to rotate and device does not move correctly, may say error five

Fibers or dirt may keep the wheel from moving freely, try taking scissors and cutting the

debris to make it easier to remove.

If the wheel still doesn’t spin regularly, the motor that drives the wheel may be broken and needs to be replaced.

The wheels themselves may be damaged and unable to rotate fully. If the wheels are visibly damaged or too loose around the axle, the wheel module may need replacing. If the wheels do not spring out when picked up, the springs inside the wheel module may be broken and will need to be replaced.

Rear Wheel Replacement Guide.

The Roomba doesn’t seem to be cleaning effectively and still leaves dirt after a cleaning cycle

The trash collection bin may be too full to pick up any more dirt. If this is the case, remove the collection bin by pressing in the direction of the yellow arrows and empty. Also, the filter could be worn out or clogged up and cause the Roomba to loose suction. If this happens when the bin is empty, the sensors are dirty. They are the rectangles extending into cutouts in the dust bin door. Wipe off both sides of the bin door and the rectangles themselves so they can see each other.

The fan that powers the suction of the vacuum may be broken if it makes unusual noises, no sound all of the sudden, or loses suction power completely. If this is the case then the whole collection bin needs to be replaced.

Device is unresponsive after pressing "CLEAN" button and nothing appears on the screen

Check to make sure that the charging station is plugged into the wall and that the metal contacts on the roomba are connecting properly to the metal contacts on the charging dock. Examine the cord of the charging dock for damage. If it is damaged, it may need to be replaced. The metal contacts on the roomba or the dock may be dirty or corroded. To clean them, rub them with a dry towel. If the contacts are to damaged or it is unable to form a connection to the roomba, it may need to be replaced.

Make sure that the battery is properly installed in the roomba and the yellow battery tab is removed. If it still does not charge after checking the dock and cleaning it, the battery may need to be replaced

Removing the Battery.

This can be caused by the HTC Vive lighthouses! They really mess with Roomba's IR vision.


My 980 is dead. Question!!! The charging station light goes on for about 5 sec then turns off. Is this correct. How can I tell if the battery is the problem? I have had slight problems with charging before losing all?

John Smith - Reply

Our 980 says it’s full. I have dumped it and changed the filter and it still won’t move from the red light saying it needs to be dumped.

It seems to be stuck in dump me mode. This device is too expensive to stop working in the first week. Help!!

Kat - Reply

Kat, I have figured this out. Your bin full sensors are dirty; I now wipe them off with my fingertip every time I re-insert the bin. The sensors are on the left and right sides of the bin, looking through cut-outs in the bin door to see if they can see each other. If not, the bin is “full”. Wiping both sides of the door cutouts and the inside of the rectangles that protrude into them solves it.

Ben Nelson -

Question: My iRobot 980’s trash bin keeps coming partially out. I tap it back in and it will run for about 30 mins then it occurs again. How do I fix this?

christopher.gina - Reply

John Smith, I have the same problem, did you get it sorted?


carrtell53 - Reply

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