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12 Steps To Fix “Roomba Error 11” In Seconds (2023 How-To)

Roomba Error 11

“Help! I don’t know how to get rid of Error 11 on my Roomba display.”

You might think that it’s caused by some system glitches…

Or perhaps clogging of dirt in your device.

Well, regardless of the cause, troubleshooting Roomba Error 11 is super easy.

Continue reading to know:

  • 12 steps to fix “Roomba Error 11” in seconds.
  • What causes a Roomba vacuum not to activate.
  • When to replace the Roomba filter, CHM, and bin.
  • How to reboot and factory reset a Roomba device.
  • And so much more…

Why does my Roomba display error 11?

Your Roomba displays Error 11 because its vacuum motor isn’t activating. A Roomba vacuum motor may not activate once dirt starts clogging the vacuum entrance, exhaust, filter, and bin sensors. Faulty bin and CHM, drained battery, software bugs, and system glitches may also trigger Roomba Error 11.

12 steps to fix “Roomba error 11”

#1: Ensure that the Roomba is fully charged

Your Roomba needs a battery to power on and perform cleaning sessions.

So, once its battery gets low or drained, the Roomba motor will not activate. Since the motor receives insufficient power. Or none at all.

And that’s one of the most common reasons why Roomba Error 11 happens.

That said, if you see an “Error 11” on your Roomba display, recharge your device first.

Fully recharge it, if possible.

Doing this ensures that your Roomba will run smoothly. Allowing the device to finish a cleaning session without errors.

There are two ways you can recharge your Roomba vacuum:

  • By using a Roomba Home Base.
  • By plugging it in directly to a power outlet.

If you don’t have a Roomba Home Base, you have to carry your Roomba close to the power outlet to charge.

But if you’re using one, your Roomba should automatically return to it once the battery gets low.

If not, your Roomba may be having problems returning to its Home Base. And you have to troubleshoot it as well.

Note: Your Roomba is charging if its LED indicator blinks white or shows pulsing amber color. This depends on the Roomba model you have.

Reading recommendation: Roomba Not Charging: 9 Ways To Fix It In 30 Seconds

#2: Reboot the Roomba 

“But my Roomba is fully charged…”

If that’s the case, perhaps there are software bugs and glitches on your Roomba’s system.

These things cause your Roomba to malfunction. And trigger Roomba Error 11.

“How do I fix them?”

To remove malicious bugs and glitches, reboot your Roomba.

Rebooting is simply refreshing your device’s systems. Which helps resolve simple errors and generic bugs.

Allowing your Roomba device to run without errors.

Here’s how to reboot a Roomba based on its series:

For 700, 800, and 900 series

Press and hold the “CLEAN” button for 10 seconds.

Once released, you should hear a reboot tone. This tone indicates a successful process.

For s and i series

Press and hold the “CLEAN” button for 20 seconds.

Once released, its light ring should swirl clockwise in white. When it shuts off, it means that the reboot process is complete.

You may have to wait 1.5 minutes for your Roomba to turn on.

Note:  In the s series, the light ring is around the bin lid.

For e, 500, 600, and WiFi-enabled 800 series

Press and hold the “HOME” and “SPOT CLEAN” buttons for 10 seconds.

Once released, you should hear a reboot tone. This tone indicates a successful process.

Note: This instruction applies to both regular and WiFi-enabled Roomba 600 series.

#3: Remove the cleaning head module 

If the error persists, then it’s time for you to clean your device.

Dirt, dust, gunk, and debris can also cause the Roomba vacuum motor not to activate.

It’s because these things can get blocked and tangled in the Roomba. Causing the device to stop working.

So, if your Roomba displays Error 11, make sure to clean the interior of your device.

To do that, you have to remove the cleaning head module (CHM) first.

Here’s how to remove the Roomba cleaning head module:

  1. Flip the Roomba upside down.
  2. Loosen the screws that secure the CHM.
  3. Place your thumbs on the opposite sides.
  4. Then, lift the CHM to remove it.

Note: The CHM is responsible for picking up the dirt. So, you have to be very careful not to damage it.

#4: Remove any debris stuck in the vacuum 

After removing the CHM, remove any dirt and debris stuck in the vacuum.

Roomba Error 11 also indicates insufficient airflow in its system. And this happens due to clogged dirt and stuck debris in the device.

Too much dirt can block parts of a Roomba that are essential for running the device.

For once, accumulated dirt in the vacuum fan can block airflow. Causing your Roomba not to suck in any dirt. 

So, when you encounter Roomba Error 11, make sure to clean your device.

Here are the specific parts that you should clean:

  • Fan.
  • Scroll.
  • Exhaust.
  • Brushes.
  • Vacuum entrance.

You can clean these parts by using an Air Duster. If not available, blowing air into them can work just fine.

Use a tweezer to remove debris and tangled hair strands for narrower areas.

#5: Remove and empty the dust bin 

Next, remove the dust bin from the body.

A Roomba vacuum motor can also not activate if the dust bin has issues. Like the bin being full.

So, always make sure to empty your Roomba dust bin.

To clean a Roomba dust bin:

  1. Press the bin release tab.
  2. Pull the dust bin outwards.
  3. Go to the nearest trash bin.
  4. Press the bin door tab.
  5. Open the dust bin door.
  6. Then, throw the collected dust and debris.

Some Roomba models have washable dust bins. 

If you have one of those, wash your Roomba dust bin using lukewarm water. Doing this helps remove dirt stuck on the bins’ corners.

Warning: When washing a Roomba dust bin, remove the filter first. A Roomba filter isn’t designed to be washed or get in contact with any liquid.

After emptying the dust bin, set it aside first. 

#6: Clean the bin sensors

Don’t you ever wonder how a Roomba knows when its bin is full?

Your Roomba can indicate “full bin” because it has a set of full bin sensors.

Roomba’s full bin sensors use “Piezoelectricity” technology. The sensors get triggered once dirt gets in contact with them.

“Okay…what’s the problem with that?”

This becomes an issue once dirt starts clogging the full bin sensors. False alerting your Roomba for “full bin.”

In case you didn’t know, a Roomba will stop working in an instant once its dust bin becomes full.

As a result, you may see an “Error 11” on your device’s display.

Given that, you should clean your Roomba’s full bin sensors regularly.

Cleaning tip: Clean the full bin sensors at least once every 2 weeks for best performance.

There are 6 parts of the full bin sensors that you should clean:

  • 2 full bin sensors on the sides of the exhaust.
  • 2 inner sensor compartments on the dust bin.
  • 2 outer sensor compartments on the dust bin.

You can clean them using a microfiber cloth or a Magic Eraser.

#7: Clean the Roomba filter 

Done cleaning the full bin sensors? Clean the Roomba filter next.

A filter’s job is to trap tiny dust and dirt. And prevent them from returning in the air.

In other words, a filter ensures that the air in your house is as clean as possible.

Sounds great, right?

But once the filter gets clogged, it can also cause the Roomba’s vacuum motor not to activate. 

Accumulated dirt causes the device to have insufficient airflow. Preventing the motor from working normally.

That said, you should clean the Roomba filter as well.

You should clean the filter at least once per week. Twice per week if you have pets at home.

Warning: Never wash a filter with water. Remove dirt by tapping the filter to the edge of a trash bin.

Replacing the filter every 2 months is also necessary. Doing this ensures that your Roomba gets to clean your home more efficiently.

#8: Check the condition of the dust bin

Check The Condition Of The Dust Bin

How’s the condition of your Roomba dust bin?

The dust bin is one of the important parts of a Roomba vacuum.

For once, the full bin compartments are located on it. Not to mention that the filter is also attached to the bin.

Once any parts of the dust bin get damaged, the filter, exhaust, and full bin sensors can also get affected.

Here are some things that you should observe:

  • Dust bin door.
  • Dust bin release tab.
  • Filter and filter compartment.
  • Full bin sensor compartments.

If any of these is faulty, take it as a sign to replace your Roomba dust bin.

#9: Rotate the metallic portion of the vacuum

After that, locate your Roomba vacuum motor.

For this step, you have to rotate the metallic portion of the vacuum motor.

Three times clockwise. Then, 3 times counterclockwise.

“Help! I can’t rotate the metallic part…”

If you can’t seem to rotate the vacuum motor, follow these instructions:

  1. Elevate the Roomba 1 ft (30.48 cm) above a hard surface.
  2. Then, drop the Roomba.

Doing this helps lose the vacuum motor. Making it easier for you to rotate the metallic portion.

Note: Don’t worry! Doing this won’t damage the hardware of your Roomba. Just make sure to elevate it not more than 1 ft (30.48 cm).

As an alternative, use blow compressed air into the metallic portion of the vacuum motor.

#10: Replace the cleaning head module

“I’ve tried the technique above twice already. But it still doesn’t work…”

If that’s the case, you have to replace your Roomba cleaning head module.

CHM is responsible for picking up dirt on the floors. 

Once it becomes faulty and has stopped working, the vacuum motor can fail to activate. Further causing your Roomba to stop cleaning.

That said, your best solution is to replace the cleaning head module of your Roomba.

Make sure to get one from iRobot’s authorized retailers. This ensures that your replacement part is made of great quality. 

Plus, products from authorized retailers have warranties!

Once the CHM replacement has arrived, attach it to your Roomba.

Just remove your old CHM from the body. And replace it by placing your new CHM in the CHM compartment.

Watch this video to learn how to replace a Roomba cleaning head module:

You may also wonder: How long do Roombas last?

#11: Replace the vacuum motor

Do you still see an “Error 11” on your Roomba display?

If yes, then it’s time to replace the vacuum motor.

If nothing above works, it means that your Roomba vacuum motor is faulty.

The vacuum motor is the heart of the Roomba. Since it’s what keeps the device running.

So, once it becomes faulty, there’s really not much you can do about it. But to replace it with a brand new one.

When buying a replacement, make sure to buy one that’s iRobot-certified.

Important Note: Roomba vacuum motor replacements are not casually sold in the market.

Most Roomba users are having difficulty looking for motor replacements.

Some get lucky. But most just choose to buy a new Roomba or request a device replacement from iRobot.

#12: Contact iRobot customer care  

If you’ve reached this part, it means that nothing above worked with your Roomba.

Your last option is to contact iRobot customer care.

They may give you some more troubleshooting tips to resolve Roomba Error 11.

Or they may offer you a Roomba replacement. As long as your device is still under warranty.

When claiming a warranty to iRobot, prepare the following:

  • Roomba device.
  • Roomba’s serial number.
  • Purchase receipt or invoice.

Note: iRobot has the right to void a warranty once the warranty terms and condition has been violated.

So, before requesting a replacement, read their T&Cs first.

That way, you can save more time and effort.

Continue reading: How Often Should You Run Your Robot Vacuum? 5 Facts