Help! My Neato Is Not Cleaning My Whole House

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Welcome to my troubleshooting guide.

I have written this for anyone who owns a Neato robot vacuum which is misbehaving because, for one reason or another, the vacuum is refusing to clean the whole house.

Like any other other gadget, there could be several reasons why your Neato isn’t working as it should. To help you, I look at several possible causes including battery life and recharging station or dock placement.

Let’s get to the bottom of your troubles, shall we?

[1] How Do Neato Vacs Navigate Around Your Home?

Neato’s line of smart and powerful robot vacuums run with LaserSmart mapping and navigation system. With the technology, the robot continuously scans areas of the home and methodically cleans floors instead of moving in circles like a dog endlessly chasing its tail.

It comes equipped with a real-time object detection system that enables the robot to move around furniture and objects and not bump into them. With smart navigation skills, the robot can navigate even in the dark, which also means they can get under beds and furniture.

Unlike other robot vacuums that randomly bounce around the room when it cleans, Neato uses smart path planning and cleans in a back and forth pattern. It results in a methodical clean that saves time and energy. This kind of efficiency gets the cleaning done four times faster than Roomba robovacs.

And if you have a Roomba that is not cleaning all of your rooms, then you might want to read this.

Neato is not only smart, it’s also cautious. It automatically avoids stairs using drop sensors. It also adjusts to uneven floors. So when it senses a change in floor surface, say from hardwood floor to carpeted floor, it will automatically adjust and drive over the carpet with ease. It wouldn’t treat it as a barrier to avoid. It can go over changes in surface that are up to 0.75 in. (19mm) high.

The D-shape design allows the Neato to clean deep into corners making for a more thorough sweep of dirt and debris. With a large dustbin and blower, the Botvac can pick up bigger chunks of debris and pet hair.

Powered by Lithium-ion batteries, the smart vacuum has a longer battery life which allows for continuous room to room cleaning. When it runs low on power, it goes back to its charge base to recharge. Once completely, recharged, it will go back to where it left off and finish the job until all rooms are cleaned.

Neato also allows users to control the robot remotely using the app. You can start, stop, and resume the cleaning in your home even if you’re somewhere else entirely. This also lets you schedule regular cleaning days so you don’t forget. You’ll get notifications when cleaning is done, when the battery is low, when the dustbin is full, or if the vacuum needs your attention.

[2] Which is the best Neato for cleaning the whole house?

The Neato Botvac Connected Series has five models—D3, D4, D5, D6, D7. All models have the Lasersmart technology for laser-guided cleaning so they all clean efficiently and can navigate around obstacles. They also have the same cliff detection sensors so they won’t fall off stairs or from heights. They all have the same dust bin capacity at 0.7 liters (700 mL) so they can run longer before they need to be emptied. 

What’s great about Neato is that features that used to be available only with the D7 are now made available for its lower models with their recent software update. The Neato lineup now supports floor planner with “No-Go” lines, which means you can set virtual boundaries in areas you want the robot to avoid. You can do this through the Neato app.

With very similar features across models, which one is best for cleaning the entire house? It all comes down to battery life, run time, and price.

Both D6 and D7 have a run time of up to 120 minutes on their echo power modes and up to 75 minutes on their turbo modes. The D4 pales in comparison with only 75 minutes of run time on low-power mode. The longer run-time can be attributed to the high-capacity Lithium-Ion battery that D6 and D7 have versus the regular Lithium-ion of the D4. 

Run time matters a lot if you have a big house because it means that more cleaning can get done with one full charge of the robot vacuum. 

In terms of area the Neato Botvac can clean in one cycle, the D6 and D7 can cover up to 4,000 square feet, which is 500 square feet more than the D4 and D5.

For household with people suffering from allergies, the D7 is suitable because it comes with ultra-performance HEPA filter which traps harmful particles from pet dander, dust mites, pollen and tobacco smoke.

With the main cleaning features present in all Neato models, it’s the incremental features that become the deciding factor. In terms of price, the D4 gives bang for the buck if you have small or medium-sized homes. 

If you want maximum performance to clean the whole house, the D7’s mapping and zoning capabilities might just impress you. It’s the only model that supports multiple floor plan zoning. This means that you can create as much as 50 zones in the house designated for the robot to clean on schedule. Other models do not have zoning capabilities.

 [3] Batteries and Recharging Issues

Neato uses Lithium-ion batteries in their Botvacs Connected series, with the D6 and D7 using a higher capacity battery. Run time for these batteries is between 75 and 120 minutes depending on the model. The D6 and D7 can cover a medium-sized to large-sized house in 120 minutes.

Neato models (D3 to D7) have a Quick Boost charging feature which reduces the cleaning time of a floor plan because the robot does not have to wait to fully charge the battery. This works wonders for homes with a huge floor plan because the Neato may not have enough juice to finish cleaning the entire home. 

When the robot runs out power to finish the job, it would go back to its base to get a full charge and then it would automatically resume the clean-up job. With Quick Boost, Neato uses the floor plan data to calculate how much power it needs to finish the job and only charges the battery based on the calculated amount. This way, if only a portion of the floor plan needs to be cleaned, the robot will only charge enough to clean that area, instead of waiting to complete a full charge. 

Of course, a number of things can affect battery performance including:

  • Environment and temperature of the room – very cold environments can decrease battery life.
  • Types of floor surfaces – thick carpets and uneven floors create resistance and require more power.
  • How often the robot vacuum is used – multiple cleaning times in a day can reduce battery lifespan
  • Maintenance and cleaning – cleaning must be done regularly to remove hair, gunk, dirt, and debris.

Error and Issues

  • Battery Disconnected 

You may encounter a battery error such as 0002, 0006, or 0009. This could mean that the battery is disconnected. If your Neato has an ON/OFF switch on the left side of the dirt bin area, you can push it down to connect the battery. 

If you can’t find a switch, you have to open the battery doors on the bottom of the Neato and ensure that the battery connectors are firmly attached. 

  • Battery Not Charging

If your Neato’s battery is not charging, it is likely that your robot is having a difficulty locating its charge base because it’s too far or there are too many obstructions. If this happens, you just need to move the charge base to another location preferably with three feet of open space on either side of the base. This way, the robot can locate the base easily and quickly.

  • Error 0003 and 0004

These error messages simply mean that the battery is low and needs to be recharged. Bring the robot to its charge base and wait for the status light to turn green.

  • Error 0005 and 0006

These are battery issues but the actual problem is unknown or not indicated. When these error messages appear, get in touch with Neato’s Customer Care.

[4] Is Your Dock or Recharging station in the Right Place?

When the Neato robot completes its cleaning cycle or it needs recharging, it finds the charge base wherever it is located in the house. This is made possible by the BotVision Navigation system. The process is a hands-free approach because the robot does all the centering and aligning so that it can back itself up to the charge base until it makes contact.

The navigation system is highly intelligent and the Neato robot will find the charge base most of the time. However, for the robot to dock successfully, the charge base should be placed in against a wall and at least three feet away from a corner and three feet from the doorway.

The robot needs open space to find the charge base without any difficulty. Placing the charge base behind furniture or in closed-off areas is not recommended because the robot needs to see the base from different points around the room.

Uneven floors and thick carpets can cause alignment problems between the charge base and the robot. So avoid placing the charge base on uneven surfaces where a slight movement can cause a misalignment.

[5] Is Your Neato Caught or Trapped?

Under normal circumstances, the Neato robot will always find a way to free itself when it realizes that it is stuck. However, if the clearance under the furniture is just about the same height as the robot, it may get stuck indefinitely until there is human intervention. 

Another scenario would be when furniture sags underneath. Even though there is enough clearance at the entry point, the robot could get stuck midway through. The sagging furniture could “blind” the robot’s laser sensor causing the robot to stop moving.

A quick fix is to raise the furniture a couple of inches higher so it gives the Neato enough clearance to pass through. Another way is to put virtual boundary markers using the “No-Go Lines”.

[6] Stop Your Neato getting trapped- Add a No Go Line in the Neato App

No-Go Lines are virtual boundaries that you can place around the areas in your home that you want your Neato robot to avoid. The No-Go lines will ask as barriers so that the robot will not go over specific areas in the house like doors, stairs, or dead ends.

You can create these lines by going to the Neato app and using the My Floor Plan feature. This prompts the robot to create a complete floor plan. Give your floor plan a name and save. After saving the floor plan, tap on the “Add No-Go Line” icon and draw boundary lines on specific areas on the map. Make sure that lines are drawn well beyond the target areas from side to side. If you don’t close out the line, the robot might still enter the prohibited area. 

Don’t forget to save the new floor plan as this will become your default map unless you create a new one. When lines are properly drawn, the robot will not cross over the No-Go Lines during the cleaning cycle.

[7] Do Neatos struggle With Patterned Rugs and Dark Carpets?

Unlike Roombas, Neato robots don’t struggle when they clean dark carpets or rugs with black lines or patterns. Watch this video to see the Neato cleaning a rug with bold patterns. 

Neato works on all floor types and surfaces, but the only time the robot will have difficulty is when the rug or carpet is too thick. Thick shag rugs and synthetic fiber carpets are the nemeses of Neato. Rug fibers must be 15 mm (0.6 in.) or less for Neato to clean without difficulties.

[8] How to Reset your Neato?

Some connection issues can be resolved by good old fashioned hard reset. When you reset your Neato robot, you are clearing all network connections from your robot. This way, you can connect to your Wi-Fi network at home. 

To do a hard reset, press the bumper on the right side of the robot while holding down the Start button for about 10 seconds. The robot will automatically shut off—you’ll know when the LED lights go dark. After a few seconds, press the Start button. 

To connect to the Wi-Fi, press the Select buttons. Using the arrow keys, select setting then choose Wi-Fi. The robot would then switch to the pairing mode for about 60 minutes. Open the Neato app from your smartphone and pair your robot.

This reset guide is for Neato models D3, D4, D5, D6, and D7.