There is no doubt in the fact that our lives are becoming easier day by day with the increasing advancement of technology. One such technological innovation is the robotic automated vacuum cleaning devices popularly known as Roombas. Along with making our lives comfortable, such gadgets also come with minor technical issues which can cause minor inconveniences. 

Regarding Roombas, sometimes they may not return to their docking station. This can halt the process of your house cleaning and if you are a fairly busy person, can be very annoying. 

Why Does My Roomba Die Before Docking?

What is docking?

Every robotic vacuum has a docking station, also known as Home Base. This is the starting point of the Roomba and this is where it charges itself. This also serves as the emptying area for self-emptying robotic vacuum models. Whenever the gadget is performing its task and the battery gets down it automatically returns to its docking station to get recharged and continue the cleaning. Often, the device might not return to the dock and there are many reasons for that.

Faulty charging line.

The wire connecting the Home Base to the wall’s electrical outlet may have some kind of fault. Maybe it is fringed, pinched, or cut-off. This is unlikely to happen frequently, but if you have pets or kids at your house then this might be the case your device isn’t returning to the Home base.

Improper connection of the dock to the plug.

Maybe the plug is not connected properly which is causing the device to charge incompletely. Hence, it dies before it returns to recharge or before the cleaning cycle is completed. The plug might be loose or due to interference of kids or pets might lose the firm connection. Before starting, check the plug properly. Most models come with a green light to ensure when the dock is connected properly. Always check that the light is lit. 

The electrical socket might be faulty.

If you’ve checked the above-mentioned factors and they are intact but the green light still isn’t emerging. Try connecting some other electrical device to the socket. If it works there is got to be some other fault but if not then to confirm the electrical sockets fault, move the dock to another position and connect to a different outlet. If the green light appears the Roomba is perfectly fine but the socket needs repairing. 

The broken adapter of the charging cable.

Once you’ve checked that the charging line is intact and is plugged properly, check if the adaptor is alright. Just where the charging wire enters the dock, the adapter is located. Slightly shake the end of the wire and if you hear any kind of knocking sound, it means the adapter is faulty. This is rendering the device improperly charged and hence it is dying before returning to the dock.

The docking station is faulty.

If all the connections are okay then, this might be the reason for your Roomba dying before docking. Check if it is damaged anywhere leading to the incomplete charging of the device.

The charging connectors are dusty.

The connectors are present on the Roomba and the dock both through which the device charges. If they are dirty, the connection is weak and hence, the charging is improper. Clean the connectors on both of them with a dry cloth and try again. If it still behaves the same way, there might be some other reasons as discussed below.

Interference due to virtual walls, other home bases, etc. 

Virtual walls use infra-red technology that is the same as the Roomba uses. Also, if you have more than one device in the same house, this can create interference and confuse the Roomba causing it to die before reaching the Home Base. To avoid this, place the docking station in a clear area, with no source of IR rays for at least 2 m on all sides.

Random objects obstructing its path.

Furniture, wires, toys, etc might create hurdles in the path of its navigation. This causes it to waste its charging unnecessarily and die before reaching the dock. Declutter the area you tend to clean before starting the cycle to not encounter such scenarios.

Low battery life

This mostly happens with old devices which have worn-out batteries. These batteries are obsolete and hence cannot withstand long working hours so they die before even reaching the dock again. Replace the battery with a new one and you are good to go.

Do not move the Roomba manually.

If you interfere with the path of the Roomba, it gets confused and forgets its way back. So, let it do its job on its own.


If the Home base is really far from the device then dying before reaching there is a common occurrence especially if it is cleaning a large area with multiple rooms and types of flooring.

Sending the Roomba back to the dock once you have figured out the problem.

If it is completely out of charging you can do it manually. Just pick it up and place it right at the dock. If you think it has a little battery left, press the Home and then the Dock button. It will go to the Home base itself. You can also, do the same action using the Roomba app or via voice assistance like Alexa or Google.


Unless your Roomba is broken or severely damaged, the causes of it not returning o the Home base is pretty minor and can be fixed without an electrician’s assistance or required to take it to a repair shop. Most of the reasons are linked to the charging of the device and you can fix those with a little research.  Such devices are pretty sensitive to damage. So, it is better to take good care and avoid interference of children or pets with them. Also, ensure that you have a smooth and proper electrical supply and adequate wiring to support the Roomba’s system.