Roomba vacuum cleaners come with all sorts of accessories. I got this iRobot i7 vacuum cleaner about six months ago. It came with some extra parts like filters, wheels, and dust bins. It also came with two charging bases.
One charging base is rather small and hides very well. It does a decent job of keeping the Roomba’s battery full.
The other has a much larger form factor. In addition to charging the Roomba, it also does automatic dirt disposal. Every time the Roomba finishes its job, it would go back to the base and empty its dust bin into the dirt disposal bag in the charging base.
Between the two, for a long time, I’ve been using the smaller charging base. This is because the vacuuming sound of the automatic dirt disposal with the larger one was just too loud. In fact, it’s so loud I had to remember to close the door every time the Roomba went back to its room to dump the dirt.
With the smaller one, every time the Roomba’s dust bin is full, the iRobot Home app would send me an alert, and I need to manually remove and empty the dust bin. As you can imagine, this becomes old very quickly. I switched back to the large charging base that does automatic dirt disposal, only to get an error message saying it’s clogged when I haven’t really used it that much.
It was a good opportunity to take the base apart, so I played along as any good Roomba owner would.
A quick YouTube search showed that I only needed to undo five little screws to remove a typical clean base clog. I did that and I also commandeered a coat hanger, you know, the kind that’s made from a single piece of metal wire, to poke into the vent just to be sure.
There was no clog. It turns out YouTube was not that helpful in this case. Watching a video tutorial is easy, but it’s not always helpful.
Not All Dust Bins Are Born Equal
I was going to give up, give everything a good wipe down and go back to the small charging base when I noticed something different between the two dust bins.
One dust bin had a small rubber door on the side while the other did not. The one that had the small rubber door also says “Automatic Dirt Disposal” on it.
It turns out that for the Roomba to be able to empty the dirt into the clean base, it needs to have the correct dust bin.
Needless to say, this was quite an adventure. It’s probably a good idea for iRobot to stop shipping Roomba vacuum cleaners with dust bins that can’t do automatic dirt disposal.
For more about this false error, check out this Reddit thread too.