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8 Steps To Fix “Roomba Error 6” In Seconds (2023 How-To)

Roomba Error 6

“My Roomba suddenly stopped in the middle of cleaning. And now it displays ‘Error 6’…” 

Luckily, fixing Roomba Error 6 is super easy!

I promise you won’t even dare call iRobot support.

Read on to know:

  • 8 steps to fix “Roomba Error 6” in seconds.
  • How to properly clean Roomba’s cliff sensors.
  • Ways to make Roomba clean untouched areas.
  • Why Roomba turns away from dark-colored carpets.
  • And so much more…

Why does my Roomba display error 6?

Your Roomba displays Error 6 when it gets stuck on a cliff, threshold, or dark surface. A Roomba turns away from areas with insufficient lighting, uneven floors, or dark-colored carpets. Then, it says “Error 6” to alert users about the error. Like so, dirty cliff sensors can trigger Roomba Error 6.

8 steps to fix “Roomba error 6”

#1: Move Roomba to a new location

“I’ve heard my Roomba say “Uh oh,” followed by six beeps. What does it mean?”

That indicates Roomba Error 16. 

And that sound you’ve heard is your Roomba saying, “I’m stuck on a cliff. Need a little help here!”

Roomba vacuums are “smart” devices. So smart that they can distinguish “dangerous” areas. They know when there are cliffs, thresholds, or stairs nearby.

Once your Roomba encounters an edge or cliff, it will turn away in an instant. And declare “Error 16.”

This usually happens when your Roomba gets close to:

  • High thresholds.
  • Patterned carpets.
  • Dark-colored rugs.
  • The edge of the stair.
  • Poor-lighted rooms or areas.

In a sense, a Roomba identifies these areas as obstructions. 

And do you know what a Roomba does when it encounters any obstructions? It avoids them. Leaving some areas of your home untouched and uncleaned.

“So, how do I resolve Roomba Error 16?”

Typically, a Roomba reroutes once it encounters cliffs or dark surfaces. It turns away instantly and proceeds to other areas for cleaning. 

So, when you see “Error 16” on its display, it’s just your Roomba saying, “I’ve detected a cliff nearby. But don’t worry, I’ve avoided it. Brb! I’ll get back to cleaning.”

However, there are times that a Roomba fails to detect a cliff in advance. So, it ends up getting stuck on it.

When that happens, you only have to pick up your Roomba. And move it to another location.

#2: Press the “CLEAN” button once

Roomba Clean Button

“Okay, I’ve moved my Roomba already. But it still displays ‘Error 6.’”

Simply moving your Roomba won’t resolve the error.

To resolve it, you have to press the “CLEAN” button after moving it.

Important note: Press the “CLEAN” button only once. As holding or pressing it too many times may trigger another error.

Pressing the “CLEAN” button restarts the cleaning session. Allowing your vacuum to continue cleaning where it left off.

Just to make it clean…

Pressing the “CLEAN” button only restarts the cleaning session. And not the Roomba itself. So, you wouldn’t have to worry about manually setting your Roomba to clean your house again.

And yes, the cleaning mode will continue according to the schedule.

“How can I avoid my Roomba from cleaning the same room again?”

If you’re using an earlier model like iRobot Roomba 694, take it away from the cleaned rooms.

This is because earlier models don’t have a mapping system. And they can’t recognize and differentiate areas that are cleaned and uncleaned.

But if you’re using some latest model like iRobot Roomba s9+, you can just leave your vacuum anywhere.

It’s because the latest Roomba models have Imprint Smart Maps. A mapping technology that guides robot vacuums for systematic cleaning.

Even if you leave it anywhere, it will automatically return to its previous location. And continue cleaning systematically.

Note: Imprint Smart Maps provide insights as well. Making it easier for you to schedule a cleaning session according to your need and lifestyle.

#3: Provide adequate lighting throughout your house

Roomba vacuums know how to avoid cliffs, right?

But they can still fall over cliffs (or worse, stairs!) sometimes. Making your Roomba prone to damages.

“So, what should I do?”

Your Roomba has a pair of cliff sensors underneath it. And as the name implies, these sensors detect cliffs and dark surfaces to avoid drop-off.

I just want to highlight that: DARK SURFACES.

Roomba’s cliff sensors use infrared technology to detect objects. And infrared needs line-of-sight to function well.

Meaning the area must be well-lit.

If the room is dark, the cliff sensors can fail to detect objects. Leaving your vacuum prone to drop-off.

What you have to do is to ensure adequate lighting in your whole house.

That way, your Roomba would be able to clean your home properly. And detect cliffs right away.

This is especially important if you’re running your Roomba at night. 

Do you have smart lights at home?

Then, try automating your smart lights to your Roomba vacuum. 

Perhaps you can automate your lights to open once you’ve set your Roomba to clean. And make sure to automate your lights to close as well once your Roomba has done cleaning.

That way, you wouldn’t have to worry about leaving your lights on while you’re asleep or away.

Talk about efficiency…

Learn more: Do robot vacuums work in small spaces?

#4: Install Virtual Walls 

“But I don’t have smart lights. And I don’t want to leave my lights open at night as well…”

If that’s the case, then why not install Virtual Walls instead?

 A virtual wall is an invisible barrier that blocks off your Roomba using infrared lights.

iRobot released this product to complement Roomba vacuums. 

It helps make the cleaning fast and efficient by blocking the Roomba from “danger zones.” Preventing Roomba Error 16 from occurring. 

So, if you have several “danger zones” in your home, install Virtual Walls.

“I won’t lie, that sounds promising. But how am I supposed to use it?”

A virtual wall has two modes: “Auto” and “Manual.”

When you activate Auto Virtual Wall, it will remain activated for up to 6 months. Meaning, you won’t have to open it every time you want to use it.

On the other hand, Manual Virtual Mode requires opening it manually. It may be a hassle to some, but imagine how much battery charge you can save from it.

The key here is to activate the mode that suits your lifestyle.

In terms of location, you can install a Virtual Wall in pretty much any area.

 But for best results, install a Virtual Wall in the following areas:

  • Archway.
  • Doorway.
  • Edge of stairs.
  • Near delicate furniture.
  • Balcony or terrace entryway.

Tip: Install several Virtual Walls throughout your home for maximum efficiency. 

#5: Replace dark-colored carpets or rugs 

“I’ve already installed Virtual Walls. But I still often encounter Roomba Error 6…”

Did the Roomba Error 6 happen when your vacuum is on or near a dark-colored carpet? If yes, then that’s what causes the error.

Remember that dark surfaces trigger Error 6?

A Roomba vacuum may identify dark-colored carpets or rugs as “dark surfaces.”

Well, simply because it’s “dark.” Causing Roomba to identify them as “cliffs.”

That said, replace the dark-colored carpets in your home with light-colored ones.

But if that’s not an option for you, I’ll tell you a clever tip!

Sure, Roomba vacuums can’t work on dark-colored carpets. Leaving your carpets uncleaned.

Yet there’s a way you can clean such carpets using a Roomba.

Roomba uses cliff sensors to detect dark surfaces, right?

Then, cover its cliff sensors.

Yes, you’ve heard it right! Cover the cliff sensors with anything like a piece of paper or cloth.

That way, your Roomba will stop avoiding your dark-colored carpets. Keeping every corner and area of your home clean and presentable.

Doing this may trigger Roomba Error 16 as well. When that happens, just press “CLEAN” to resume cleaning. 

And make sure to do only if necessary.

Warning: Some carpets are not supposed to be cleaned using a Roomba. Before doing this cleaning trick, ensure that your carpet isn’t prone to damage.

Read next: Roomba Not Picking Up Dirt: 7 Ways To Fix It Now 

#6: Clean the cliff sensors 

“It doesn’t work! Everything you’ve said failed to resolve Roomba Error 16!”

Calm down…

There’s one solution left.

If the Roomba Error 16 remains, perhaps its cliff sensors are dirty.

The cliff sensors are positioned at the very front of the Roomba. Which makes it prone to dirt and dust. 

And yes, sometimes dirt can get stuck on the sensors. Making them not work properly. 

When that happens, your Roomba will be prone to more damage.

It may fail to detect cliffs and dark surfaces, causing it to drop off several times.

To resolve the error, you have to clean the cliff sensors of your Roomba.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Flip the Roomba upside down.
  2. Locate the cliff sensors.
  3. Then, clean them by wiping off the stuck dirt.

Note: The cliff sensors look like small strips of glasses.

Use a microfiber cloth or melamine foam to clean the cliff sensors. 

This way, you can avoid scratching the sensors. Which may cause further damage to your Roomba vacuum.

Make sure to clean them at least once a month for best performance.

While you’re at it, clean the side brush as well. 

It’s close to the cliff sensors. So, the dirt stuck on the side brush may also get into the cliff sensors.

Want to know how to clean the cliff sensors of a Roomba 600 series? Watch this short instructional video from iRobot:

#7: Reboot the Roomba 

Does the error persist? Then it’s time to reboot your Roomba vacuum.

Rebooting is the process of refreshing the device’s system. 

It has several benefits, including:

  • Fixing system glitches.
  • Eliminating malicious software bugs.
  • Deleting unnecessary temporary memory data (RAM).

All of these help keep the Roomba in tip-top condition. Allowing you to clean your whole house without errors.

Given that, rebooting your Roomba should fix Error 6 as well.

So, if the other troubleshooting steps didn’t work, reboot your device.

Note: Reboot doesn’t delete important data such as cleaning schedules and maps. So, you won’t have to worry about your custom settings.

There are several Roomba series. And each series follows a specific rebooting process.

So, make sure to pay close attention to the instructions below.

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.

#8: Contact iRobot customer care 

“Rebooting my Roomba didn’t work either!”

Well, your last option is to contact iRobot customer care.

They may give you some more troubleshooting tips to resolve Roomba Error 6. So, make sure to be prepared to do that.

Before contacting iRobot support, make sure to prepare the following:

  • Your Roomba’s serial number.
  • Your fully-charged Roomba vacuum.

If your robot vacuum is still under warranty, you may request a replacement as well.

Just make sure that you didn’t violate any of their warranty terms and conditions. And you can expect a Roomba replacement in a few days or weeks.

Warning: Avoid opening your Roomba’s interior in an attempt to fix this. As doing this will surely void the warranty of your device.

You might also want to check out: 5 Reasons Why Your Roomba Keeps Going In Circles + 5 Fixes