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How to deal with an old Roomba Robot Vacuum?

How to deal with an old Roomba Robot Vacuum?

There are several ways you can deal with an old Roomba Robot Vacuum, it mostly depends on if it’s broken and unrepairable or if it’s just old and you would rather upgrade to a newer model with more features.

How to deal with a broken Roomba

Is your Roomba completely dead or broken to the point it’s unrepairable? If you’re in such a scenario there is not much to do other than dispose of it properly or get it recycled.

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How to dispose or recycle your Roomba and its old Battery:

How you should dispose of your Roomba depends on where you live. In most of Europe and North America, you’ll have to deliver it to a recycling center. At the recycling center, they’ll dismantle your Roomba and sort everything properly so as much of your Roomba is recycled as possible.

Most of the plastics, microchips, and batteries are actually recycled today, but mostly in North America and Europe. Globally only about 5% of all lithium-ion batteries globally are recycled, according to Paul Anderson from the University of Birmingham. However this will greatly improve year by year, so no reason not to just throw your Roombas battery in the trash.

If you don’t have a recycling center nearby, you can check with your local curbside collection service to see if they can dispose of it properly. The next best thing you could also try is going to a Household Hazardous Waste Facility. They’ll also be able to dispose of your Roomba and its battery properly.

Avoid your data getting stolen before you sell or dispose

When you get your Roomba you use the app to create an account for your Roomba and here you’ll also install your home WiFi onto it. There also might be personal data like your name, address, email even your password might be attached to it.

Roomba promises that everything is encrypted and secure, nothing will be able to leak, even if someone was to gain access to your old Roomba. But still, as the same old advice with getting rid of old smartphones and hard drives, erase everything and reset to factory settings before you throw it away or resell it.

If your Roomba is completely broken and you cannot even reset it to factory settings, I would dismantle the robot and take the strongest magnet I can find, and run it over the storage chip.

Alternatively, just let it rust in water for a day.

If you are not able to do any of the above, just take the risks. It would be extremely unlikely for anything to happen.

Trying to repair an old broken Roomba

There might be a good chance that nothing serious has been broken, especially if it hasn’t taken any beatings or similar. If your Roomba has been performing increasingly worse like if it only runs 5-10 minutes at a time before needing a recharge, there’s a good chance that it’s just a dead battery.

In case of a dead battery

You’ll be able to get a new battery relatively easily and cheaply. Search your model name for your Roomba followed by “battery” on Amazon or eBay and you’ll probably see many sellers. You don’t need a battery specifically made for the model of your Roomba, but you do need to take caution anyway.

The battery needs the same specifications and dimensions or else you could break the battery or the Roomba itself. My suggestion is, buy an original Roomba battery that specifically states the model name of your Roomba. But if you have a good understanding of technology and know what to look for, you might save a couple of bucks going for third-party batteries.

Visibly broken like wheels, shield, buttons, etc.

You can get many spare parts for Roombas, especially on Amazon. Here you can get most of the basic stuff like brushes, filters, bags, etc. You can also be lucky to find whole modules and frames for sale like the cleaning head module, which is basically the whole cleaning part with brushes and suction.

If buttons, shields, or wheels break I would go for eBay. I have seen people selling old parts from their old Roombas as spare parts. I’ve also even seen people selling completely new modules like wheels.

Please be aware that to replace these things, you need the ability to take stuff like this apart and assemble it again. There are not many tutorials online to be found. However, I don’t find it overly challenging so don’t be discouraged.

If you don’t like doing it yourself you’ll surely be able to find a local repair guy who is comfortable with such things. Also maybe a good thing to do firsthand, take it to an expert and make him decide if it’s beyond repair or fixable.

If you just wanna sell your old and upgrade to a new Roomba

If your Roomba works perfectly fine and maybe just needs a new side brush, a good clean up and maybe a new battery it can easily be sold. Many people who have never had a Roomba before often look for second-hand robot vacuums, so they don’t have to spend as much to try it out before buying a more expensive one.

In my experience, you should try Facebook Marketplace as the first option. My old electronics are always selling like sweet candy. I don’t know what makes it better, but definitely give it a try. If it doesn’t work, then try something like eBay or maybe a local second-hand market.

Before you put your Roomba up for sale, give it a good cleanup. Get all those long human and pet hairs out of there. Make sure there is absolutely no dust left, not even in the bin. People will not buy something that looks recently used.

A Roomba can easily handle a moist cloth, don’t be too scared of the water. When you’ve clean it just let it be for a couple of hours without turning it on and all the water will have vapored away. Take note: do NOT put it underwater or in your dishwasher, it’ll completely break it.

After a good sale, use the money to get a newer upgraded Roomba.

A good thing to consider before selling your old Roomba is if you can actually use some of the parts from your old Roomba in your new one. The most likely thing you can reuse is actually the battery, maybe it’ll be nice to keep the old battery as a backup for the new Roomba. Another thing that you might be able to reuse is the side brush.

FAQ

Can you throw away a Roomba?

You can definitely throw your Roomba away, but you’ll have to do it properly. You should not throw your Roomba in the trash but instead, get it to a recycling center if possible. Here up to 90% will be recycled into new things.

Can I trade in my old Roomba?

Yes, you can trade-in your old Roomba and get a credit towards purchasing a newer model. All older Roomba models are eligible for a trade-in, even the Braava models. However, the amount you’ll get back depends on how new your Roomba is.

A Roomba s9 or i7 will give back $100 and a Roomba 300 will give $35. All other brands are ranging between $35 and $100.

How long do Roomba vacuums last?

From the data I’ve gathered and personal experience, I would say a Roomba under normal circumstances should easily last over 5 years. The thirst thing to break down is probably the battery which you’ll easily be able to replace. The next things are the main brush, side brush, or wheels, which are also really easy to replace.

Is it worth it to repair Roomba?

I think it’s definitely worth repairing your Roomba if at all possible. It will depend on what is wrong with it. If the Roombas has been exposed to water damage, for example, it wouldn’t make sense in trying to repair it as the copper in the electronic chips will oxidize and break beyond repair.

If your Roomba just needs a battery replacement or has a loose wire it’s definitely worth repairing.  

Does Roomba have a lifetime warranty?

No, Roombas do not have a lifetime warranty. The warranty is limited to a year and the battery’s warranty is limited to 6 months.

Can I upgrade my Roomba?

Yes, you can trade in your old Roomba and get a voucher that you can use when purchasing your new and upgraded Roomba.

Can you pawn a Roomba?

You can definitely pawn your Roomba. There is a lot of value to old Roombas because they last a very long time. When you pawn your Roomba you also have a time window of 90 days to repay the pawn owner and get it back.

How do I change ownership of my Roomba?

When selling your Roomba you can easily change the ownership. The best solution is to just make a factory reset. This way everything on your Roomba will be erased and the new owner can experience it as if it was new.

How do I factory reset my Roomba?

1. Open the App for your Roomba and make sure your smartphone and Roomba are connected to your WiFi.
2. Go to settings and press “Remove/Factory Reset”.

Conclusion

If you have an old Roomba at hand and need to dispose of it somehow there are multiple ways forward. I would recommend starting by trying to sell it, sell parts of it, or consider trading it in for a new one. If it’s broken beyond repair I suggest you dispose of it properly, the best way here is to go to your recycling center, they’ll know what to do with it.

Author: Morten Pradsgaard

Morten has been working with technology, IoT, and electronics for over a decade. His passion for technology is reflected in this blog to give you relevant and correct information.

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