100 Days to Offload: Day 12

Why I love my Roomba

Back in 2014 I bought an iRobot Roomba 650 in an attempt to get pet hair out of our carpet without going crazy. It worked really well, and if you don't mind cleaning the brushes every now and again, the little robotic vacuum does a great job around the house.

At the end of 2015 it seemed to have lost all its suction power. I performed all the recommended maintenance tasks and even replaced the brushes with a kit I ordered from iRobot, but it still had very little debris in its container after a cleaning cycle. I asked iRobot whether it was possible to send it in for them to have a look at it. They explained that they only replace robots within the warranty period, and that they sell replacement parts for any robot out of warranty. They also provided me with a long list of troubleshooting instructions. I thought it was quite novel that they were essentially telling me: “You don't need to send it in. You can fix it yourself. You got this.”

Using the troubleshooting instructions I was able to figure out that the brushes were not spinning, indicating a fault with the Cleaning Head Module. As the robot is not under warranty anymore, I opted to open it up myself and clean the module and its gearbox. I was surprised by how easy it was to do this, indicating that the robot was clearly designed for repair by customers – thanks iRobot! After spinning the brushes a couple of times manually, I was able to get them working and everything was fine again.

It was another six months before the Cleaning Head Module stopped working again. This time round I had a look on eBay and bought a replacement Cleaning Head Module for less than £60. It was super easy to install and everything worked again!

Last year the battery finally started losing its charge very quickly. Again I headed to eBay and picked up a brand new battery for £18 that was literally a drop-in replacement. Since then it had some charging issues, which I fixed by bending out the battery contacts a little bit.

So even though this Roomba goes through a lot of wear and tear on a weekly basis, it's still going strong after almost six years. And all you need to fix it is a screwdriver and the right replacement parts. I wish more things were designed like this.

I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. You can join in yourself by visiting https://100daystooffload.com.

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