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7 Steps To Fix “Roomba Error 1” In Seconds (2023 How-To)

Roomba Error 1

Look at your Roomba go! It’s cleaning right on schedule.

Now, you can sit back. Lay on the couch. And watch some Netflix.

All of a sudden – silence. Then, an “Uh-oh”. And a beep.

“What is it this time?”

You run to your Roomba and it says Error 1.

You may wonder, “What does this even mean?”

Just pause that movie. Fixing this will be quick!

So, how do you fix Roomba Error 1 in seconds?

Read on to find out:

  • Why your Roomba displays Error 1.
  • 7 easy steps to stop Error 1 from appearing.
  • What the Roomba’s battery has to do with Error 1.
  • What is a virtual wall and how it can prevent Error 1 forever.
  • And so much more…

Why does my Roomba display error 1?

Your Roomba displays error 1 because it got stuck on an obstacle. So its side wheel got stuck and can’t move. It can also be a charging error. And the device can’t detect the battery. It is due to the battery not installed properly. Or the contacts are dirty or damaged. Or the battery used is fake.

7 steps to fix “Roomba error 1”

#1: Move the Roomba to another place

The Roomba may move like a toy car. But it’s way more powerful than that.

It has a big front wheel and a pair of side wheels. The front wheel leads the Roomba to where the dirty areas are. 

There is a side wheel on each side of the brush roller. This keeps the Roomba in balance.

But your Roomba can mess up on its tracks. Especially if your floor has bumps and humps. Or anything that causes friction. Or surfaces that go up and down.

This causes the wheels to fall out of position. And creating Error 1.

“How do I do this?”

First, turn off your Roomba. Flip it over and check the wheels. Then, push the wheels up and down. Make sure they move freely. Without any problems.

Next, inspect the rooms. Especially where your Roomba has to clean. Are there any uneven surfaces? Any ridges or slopes? Or anything that can disrupt the wheels?

Move the Roomba somewhere else. Make sure the floors are flat. And free of any bumps.

Lastly, turn the Roomba back on. Check if Error 1 still persists.

#2: Clean up any clutter or obstruction

Your Roomba may look like an oversized hockey puck.

But when you turn it over, you’ll see it has lots of parts. And tiny corners.

Look even closer. You’ll see that there are narrow openings. Around the side wheels and the front wheel. And things may get stuck in between them.

You may not have thought about it. But your Roomba has always been at risk of Error 1.

Whether you have kids with toys. Pets with chewy playthings. Or some coins or keys left on your floor. These can get in the way.

“How do I do this?”

Make sure to turn off your Roomba. Then, flip it on its back.

Inspect the side wheels. And the front wheels. See anything jammed? Slowly turn the wheels with your hands. Then, gently pull the object out of the device.

Piled-up dust and debris can also get caught in the wheels. Especially when they haven’t been cleaned for a while.

Be sure to clean the wheels once every two weeks.

To clean the wheels, prepare a:

  • Microfiber cloth for cleaning dust and grime.
  • Standard screwdriver to loosen the back cover screws.
  • Smaller screwdriver to loosen the wheel module screws.

It’s optional to have:

  • Alcohol wipes, if you don’t have a microfiber cloth.
  • A pair of rubber gloves to prevent fingerprint marks.
  • A can of compressed air to clear dust in small, tight spaces.

To clean the side wheels of a Roomba 500 and 600 series:

  1. Turn it over. Loosen the side brush screw.
  2. Remove the side brush. Then, loosen the four screws of the bottom cover, and remove it. Do the same for the three screws of the wheel module.
  3. Remove the wheel module. And wipe it thoroughly. Use the microfiber cloth or alcohol wipes.
  4. Repeat steps for the other wheel.

To clean the side wheels of a Roomba 700, 800, and 900 series:

  1. Turn it over. Take out the side brush by loosening the screws.
  2. Do the same for the battery door and battery.
  3. Unscrew the bottom cover and the wheel module.
  4. Clean the wheel module with the cloth. Or you can use alcohol wipes.
  5. Repeat steps for the other wheel.

Tidying the front wheel is the same for all series.

To clean the front wheel:

  1. Turn over your Roomba. Pull the wheel firmly.
  2. Remove the wheel from its housing. You can do this by spinning it. Or pressing it hard.
  3. Clean the dust inside the housing.
  4. Take out the axle by pushing it.
  5. Once the axle is out completely, clean using the same items.
  6. Before putting everything back, check for any debris. Clean with the cloth if needed.
  7. Reinstall the wheel parts. They snap back into place. That means it’s attached correctly.

#3: Use a Virtual Wall

What makes a Roomba a home staple?

Not only does it take cleaning off your chores list. Saving you more time to do things that matter.

It also learns by itself. Mapping out all the walls and rooms in your house. Basically, it gives itself a house tour! Without you having to teach it.

But what if your house has uneven, textured floors? We know that this causes Error 1.

No reason to worry. Your Roomba is so intelligent – you can teach it to avoid certain areas! Like putting up invisible walls that only it can see.

So what does a virtual wall look like to your Roomba? It is an infrared beam. It is usually 10 feet high. It stops a Roomba from going to a certain place. So you can keep your Roomba moving. Only in rooms with safe floors.

“How do I do this?”

There are 3 types of virtual walls, namely the:

  • Original Virtual Wall.
  • Virtual Wall Lighthouse.
  • Dual Mode Virtual Wall.

Each has unique settings. But all are effective and have the same function. Be sure to buy it from a trusted store or website.

The original Virtual Wall creates walls up to 8 feet. You can set these walls manually. Or set it to auto mode. 

The device works for up to 6 months. Until the battery runs out. But this only works with older Roomba models. Like the Roomba 400 Series, Discovery Series, Original Series, and Create.

The Virtual Wall Lighthouse came after. It has two modes: Virtual Wall mode and Lighthouse mode. 

The Virtual Wall mode blocks your Roomba from certain rooms. Put the device by doors to maximize this mode. 

The Lighthouse mode “traps” a Roomba in one room. Then, you can allow it to move to another area.

The Lighthouse mode can be timed too. For example, the virtual wall will block the Roomba for a period of time. The Lighthouse then guides the Roomba back to the Home Base. Once everything is cleaned.

The Dual Mode Virtual Wall is the newest one. It has the same modes as the Virtual Wall Lighthouse. 

It also has a Halo Mode to protect things that are always on the floor. Like pet bowls and plant pots and vases. Its battery can last for a year.

With any of these, Error 1 won’t be a problem anymore.

You might also like: How to get Roomba to clean the whole house?

#4: Check if the battery is genuine

Check If Roomba Battery Is Genuine

That feeling when you listen to a cover of your favorite song. Or watch a remake of a classic movie. And it just doesn’t strike you the same way.

You know what they say. Nothing beats the original, right?

Your Roomba probably gets it too. Counterfeit parts may cause it not to work properly.

Getting a cheaper battery may save you a few bucks at the moment.

But in the long run, it can cause more problems. And then you’d have to spend even more.

Your Roomba may not have the features to detect other batteries.

“How do I do this?”

Try to remember where you bought your Roomba. Did you buy it from a trusted store? Or from the official manufacturer? If yes, then the battery must be authentic.

Also, if you’ve never replaced it, then it’s surely not a fake.

But what if you’ve bought a replacement? Well, your Roomba uses a 14.4V lithium-ion battery to work. Check if it has that number of volts.

Consider getting a battery from the official store. If the one you have isn’t. This may solve the charging problem.

Learn more: How long do Roombas last?

#5: Reinstall the battery

Your Roomba is like a jigsaw puzzle. All pieces should fall into place. Tightly where they belong.

If the parts are not installed correctly, it can malfunction.

In the case of Error 1, it’s your battery. It may not be aligned right in its compartment. Then, your Roomba thinks that the compartment is empty.

“How do I do this?”

Make sure to turn off your Roomba before doing this. To avoid any damage.

Step 1: Flip over your Roomba. You’ll either see 2 or 4 screws. This depends on your Roomba’s model.

Step 2: Get a screwdriver. Then, loosen these screws. So you can take the backplate off.

Step 3: Check the battery. See if it’s secured in place. The sticker should be facing you.

Step 4: Don’t see the sticker anywhere? Take out the battery.

Step 5: Realign the battery. It should snap in place when you put it.

Step 6: Turn the device back on. And put it back on the Home base.

By this point, Error 1 should be gone. And your device would start charging.

#6: Clean your Roomba’s contacts and charging terminals

So your battery is authentic. And inserted properly in its place.

But Error 1 is still flashing before your eyes. Taunting you like a 5-year-old kid with their tongue sticking out.

Before you burst into tears, there’s still something else you should check…

The electrical contacts and the charging terminals.

The electrical contacts carry the power from the battery to the device. Charging terminals are silver parts on the Home Base. These link your Roomba to the power source when charging.

Today’s probably the first time you’ve seen these.

And most likely, they have rust, gunk, or dust all over them.

These icky materials can disrupt your device’s charging. Thus, creating Error 1.

You may want to give these a major scrubbing like this one below:

“How do I do this?”

Be sure to have some Q-tips ready. And some cleaning alcohol.

Step 1: Turn off the device. Also, unplug your Home Base.

Step 2: Turn your Roomba on its back. Remove the screws of the backplate. Remove the yellow or green battery tags.

Step 3: Clean the battery terminals and the contacts. Use a Q-tip dipped in alcohol. These parts should not get very wet. As it can cause even more damage.

Step 4: Reattach the backplate once finished.

Step 5: Proceed to your Roomba’s Home base. Look for the charging terminals.

Step 6: Clean the charging terminals with a Q-tip. Make sure all parts have no more dust, dirt, or rust on them.

Step 7: Put back the Roomba on the Home base.

Now, plug that Roomba back in. And start charging! Error 1 should be gone.

Check out: Roomba Not Charging: 9 Ways To Fix It In 30 Seconds

#7: Use a shim to secure the battery

It may be impossible to fit in the Roomba’s battery. Especially if there’s a clear gap between it and the terminals. Thus, the Roomba can’t detect it.

The battery may be shaking in there. Or it’s significantly smaller than your previous battery.

With the right materials, filling it in can be elementary, my dear Watson.

“How do I do this, Sherlock?”

As with any steps involving your battery, turn off the device.

Step 1: Remove the backplate by loosening the screws.

Step 2: Get a piece of corrugated paper. Cardboards can also work. Fold it and fit it on the side of the battery. Make sure the battery doesn’t get misaligned.

Warning: Avoid using anything metallic as a shim. This can interfere with the battery and the contacts.

Step 3: Return the back cover. Connect it to the charger or Home base. Then, see if Error 1 is cleared.

Read next: 6 Steps To Fix “Roomba Error 2” In Seconds