Solving Roomba Charging Error 8- Complete Guide

Is your Roomba telling you that something is wrong?

Life is great with the Roomba robot taking care of your home’s cleaning while you sit back and enjoy the little gifts of life. 

But nothing lasts forever. 

Sometimes, your tension-free living is disturbed by technical issues on your Roomba device. 

One of the most occurring errors is the Roomba charging error 8, which seems to be common in the older models.

Hopefully by the end of reading this article, you will have solved the error or you will go away with some ideas of things to try. 

What is Roomba charging error 8?

No prizes for guessing this one but charging error 8 is a problem with how the device is charging.

It is called charging error 8 because one of the ways that the fault is identified is by the Roomba making eight “beeps”.

The specific fault is that the battery isn’t charging. 

There are other ways that this fault is identified- which I will dig deeper into in the next section. 

It can occur for various reasons, and there is no fixed answer to why your robot cleaner has suddenly started showing this error.

All your device tells the user is the name of this error, and you have to figure out the rest on your own.

How is charging error 8 identified?

The specific way that this error is identified will depend on which generation of Roomba that you own.

For some of the oldest Roombas, you will be looking out for flashing icons- whether it is the troubleshooting/ hazard icon, battery icon or clean icon.

If you own a Roomba 500, 600, 700 or 800 then you will hear a spoken message “charging error 8.”

Owners of Roomba models from the 500, 600,700 or 800 series will hear a spoken message telling you simply that “charging error 8”

A 900 series Roomba (or a 600 or 800 series that is wifi connected) provides a more detailed voice prompt “Charging error 8. Please open the iRobot home app for help.” 

Six main causes of charging error 8- and their solutions

If charging error 8 means that your battery simply isn’t charging, then there will be a whole host of reasons for this.

[1] The battery is old and dead

I think that this is the most common reason.

Hopefully it is because your Roomba has been so well used that its battery just hasn’t got any more to give.

As a rough estimate, Roomba batteries last around two years or four hundred charging cycles and so if this sounds like you, then you need to buy a new one.

Solution

Buy a new battery. 

A point that leads very neatly to the next cause of charging error 8 

[2] Your battery isn’t a genuine iRobot/ Roomba battery

Perhaps you have already replaced your original battery which is old and dead. 

And saved lots of pennies by not buying an authentic iRobot battery (a so called OEM or original equipment manufacturer battery) but instead buying a cheaper battery (non OEM) which made by a third party instead.

iRobot who make Roombas try to discourage this and they have software that can detect non OEM batteries which might trigger a charging error message, one of them being charging error 8.

Of course, one of the best places to find cheap replacement (non OEM) batteries for your Roomba is on Amazon.

And true enough people’s experience with these has been sketchy

But what is interesting is that people who have also bought authentic Roomba batteries on Amazon are also dissatisfied with how much charge the batteries hold

Solution

Take a deep breath and buy an authentic battery from iRobot- but keep the receipt so that if it fixes your charging error 8 issue but disappoints in other ways, ask for your money back!

[3] The battery is faulty

Now, the difference between a faulty battery and a dead battery is the age of the battery- and I accept that in some situations this line is blurred.

But I’m thinking here of Roomba owners who have had their vacuums for much less than two years and definitely haven’t charged it four hundred times. 

Solution

In this situation, the owner will have more protection and can hopefully get a replacement battery sent for free.

[4] Contact points are dirty

Moving on swiftly to some simpler causes and solutions of charging error eight- the battery contacts are dirty.

Most Roomba models have two battery contacts (silver metal squares or strips) on the underside of the vacuum (see photo) which match up with the metal strips on the home base (see photo.) 

If these metal strips are dirty, rusty or broken then it is highly likely that the battery inside the Roomba will not be able to recharge properly. 

Solution

Clean the metal strips with a slightly damp clean cloth and then dry them thoroughly. 

[5] Roomba home base is broken

It might be that the metal charging strips on your Roomba and the Home base are so clean and shiny that you can see your reflection in them. 

But still, your blasted battery won’t charge! 

This could point to the problem being caused by your home base. 

At its simplest, you will just have a faulty power lead which isn’t providing power to the home base. 

A more complex issue might be that the power lead is fine but the Home Base is faulty. 

Solution

Try another power lead and home base. The power lead will be easier to do than the home base- but you could try asking a friend. 

[6] You are charging your Roomba in a freezer!

Onto the final reason that your battery isn’t recharging- you are trying to recharge it in a freezer.

Obviously, this is tongue in cheek.

But the point that I’m making is that the battery inside the Roomba won’t recharge if it is too hot or too cold.

And I’m struggling to come up with any real life situations that might be a cause of this. 

Perhaps your home base is in a cold garage or too close to a radiator or vent which is blasting out hot air. 

Solution

Regardless of exactly where it is, situate the Home base in a place where it is neither too hot nor too cold. 

Which Roomba models are more likely to have this error?

Wouldn’t it be nice and neat if this fault was limited to a couple of Roomba models?

But unfortunately it isn’t!

A quick look on the forums shows that models within the 600 series seem to be to this error than other generations.

more prone (670, 675 and 690.)

How is charging error 8 different from charging error 3?

Some people are confused about the difference between charging error 8 and charging error 3.

And rightly so because the difference is very subtle.

Charging error 3 is a more serious error than charging error 8.

Whilst, in all probability, charging error 8 will just require you to buy a new battery, charging error 3 is a fault within the Roomba itself and will probably require you to buy a whole new machine.

How do I know if my Roomba needs a new battery?

A charging error 8 error message is only one of the many subtle ways that your Roomba might be telling you that it needs a new battery.

Other signs include when the time that your Roomba operates for (the run time) decreases dramatically.

But I have written a detailed article about how you know when your Roomba needs a new battery

Will a 16 hour refresh charge fix charging error 8? 

Roombas when they are in optimum health generally take about two hours to fully charge, from empty.

However, you might have heard of another type of Roomba battery charge.

It is called a “sixteen hour refresh charge” or “trickle charge” and instead of taking two hours, it takes sixteen hours.

Could this type of charging fix an error 8 code?

It is very unlikely that it would because a refresh charge cannot be started manually. 

It is an automatic response by the home base when a Roomba that is very low on battery is plugged in.

This charging cycle is triggered not when your Roomba has been working hard but when it has been stored in a cupboard and forgotten about for weeks and months at a time.