Roomba error 15 – it isn’t always a bad battery! [solved]

Robots have come a long way from being slow, heavy boxes. Currently, advanced robots clean our homes, run factories, and drive vehicles. But it can be frustrating if the robot suddenly shows an error, especially if it happens to be your robot vacuum and you have guests coming over.

Today, we will discuss one of the most common robot vacuum issues — the Roomba Error 15. Luckily, it’s not too complicated to troubleshoot this issue. It’s just a matter of pressing the right buttons, and after you do it, you should be able to use your Roomba vacuum again. 

Let’s get started!

Roomba Error 15 Meaning

“Roomba error 15” can mean a cell failure in the battery during charging, and the battery will need to be replaced. However, the error can also translate to various navigational complications or internal problems. Thankfully, iRobot has assigned code numbers to help us identify the culprit!

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What Does Roomba Error 15 Mean?

It is a breeze to comprehend what Roomba Error 15 is, and all credit goes to iRobot for classifying the different error codes, which allows us to recognize an issue. According to iRobot, this error translates to a complication with poor communication with the device. 

This can be a problem in the internal components, WiFi network, or the Roomba’s settings. It could even be a navigation issue. As Error 15 means it is a communication error, knowing why it occurred becomes simpler. 

In most cases, the error results due to issues with the device’s internal components failing to communicate with your mobile or the home base. But it can also happen if there are many obstructions, dense walls, or metallic objects between the home base and Roomba. 

Finally, it’s also possible to run into this problem if the Roomba can’t stay connected to the WiFi router. Mapping errors, battery failure, generic bugs, and systemic glitches are also causes. 

Plus, a one-time display of this error isn’t a problem. But if it shows up on each cleaning job, you’ve got trouble. 

How to Fix Error 15 on Roomba

Roombas are outstanding devices that clean your carpets and floors. Similar to any other electronic device, it too can run into some errors, like Error 15. But don’t worry; this section will highlight all the possible solutions to fix your vacuum robot.

Press the clean button

If your robot is displaying “Roomba Error 15”, attempt a restart. Upon seeing this message, simply press the Clean button once, which is at the bottom of the device. The button comes with a clear label too. 

After pressing the button, the Roomba system will restart and hopefully eliminate any potential system glitches. 

Force close the iRobot Home app

This troubleshooting method refreshes the system. It also eliminates app caches and temporary memory data that could slow down the app. If the error is persistent, force close the iRobot Home app. The vacuum functions by communicating with this app. But if the app is experiencing any issues, the device can’t map your home, leading to seeing the Error 15 error on your Roomba. 

Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum
Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum

Force closing isn’t the same as just exiting the app — follow these steps for iPhones:

  1. Open the iRobot Home app.
  2. Now swipe up from the bottom and hold so that you see app previews
  3. Swipe iRobot Home App up to force close the app.

For Androids:

Depending on your Android model, steps 2 and 3 can demand different actions. You may need to tap the app switcher button or use swipe gestures to exit the app.

Reboot the Roomba

Don’t lose hope if the Roomba Error 15 is still showing. While a restart will only activate the device, a reboot will refresh it too. A good ol’ reboot expels generic bugs and systemic glitches that obstruct communication between devices. 

Based on the series you own, reboot steps vary. Therefore, we’ve mentioned instructions for different series below.

700, 800, and 900 

Hold down the Clean button for ten seconds. After the process, you’ll hear a reboot tune. 

S and i-series 

Again, press the Clean button but this time, hold it down for 20 seconds. After 20 seconds, the light ring will spin clockwise in white color. If it shuts off afterward, your reboot was successful. Wait a minute for the vacuum to automatically turn on. 

E, 500, 600, and WiFi 800

Press and hold down the Spot Clean and Home buttons simultaneously for 10 seconds. After the duration, a reboot tune will be heard. Now, place the vacuum in its previous location or in the Home Base to resume the cleaning mode. 

For all the Roomba 500, 560, and 600 series owners out there — watch the YouTube tutorial below to better understand how to reboot your model.

Revert the smart map to an older version

If none of the above solutions have worked, it means your robot vacuum cleaner is facing some serious internal complications. But we hope this method works.

The newest version of the iRobot Home Map could be malfunctioning. In this scenario, no amount of reboots and restarts can fix it. Hence, revert the Smart Map to an older version. 

Upon doing this, the vacuum will resume operating like before. The reason is that the device is already familiar with the old map, which it can perfectly navigate. 

Plus, if you’ve used the old map tons of times in the past, it won’t show errors. So,

  1. Power up the iRobot Home App.
  2. Visit History.
  3. See the Clean Maps report.
  4. Choose your preferred older map.
  5. Tap on the menu in the top right corner.
  6. Now, choose Update Smart Maps

This should solve your Error 15 problem. Still the same? Proceed to the next troubleshooting step.

Delete the current maps

At this point, it’s very likely that the problem is with the map. The best solution is to remap your home. But before this, delete all existing maps. Here’s how you can do this:

  1. Open the iRobot Home app.
  2. Visit Maps.
  3. Choose a map.
  4. Tap on the three horizontal dots icon.
  5. Click “Delete Map.”

Keep doing this until all current maps are gone. Moreover, it’s possible to delete the present maps at once by a factory reset. But it will also delete other important data. More on this later.

Aside from remapping the home, it also eliminates potential bugs and glitches that may be causing trouble in the current maps. Furthermore, it will free up memory storage by discarding unimportant data. 

Now, it’s time to remap your whole home. Continue to the next troubleshooting step to see how.

Remap your home

Remapping will enable your robot vacuum to recognize and comprehend the configuration of your home again. Below are the instructions:

  1. Place your robot in a particular room or its Home Base.
  2. Press the Clean button once.
  3. Allow the device to navigate the area.
  4. Now, rename your latest map.

Keep doing this until the home is covered. For a hassle-free remapping experience, ensure that there are no obstructions. Do the following before remapping:

  • Push the furniture to the wall.
  • Remove any wires on the floor and put them in a wire organizer box.
  • Open all doors.
  • Close a door in case you want to restrict the vacuum.
  • No object should be lying on the floor.
  • Wipe off any spilled liquid or water.
  • Discard dark or patterned carpets.

These precautions will avoid errors in the newest map and prevent  Error 15 in the future. 

Check your WiFi network

One possible reason why a restart didn’t work in your favor could be that your WiFi network was causing problems when the robot was cleaning. So, log in to the router’s admin tool. Usually, you can discover it by typing in the browser address bar. 

Search for the default username and password for logging in that you can find from the manual or on a sticker under the router. See whether the QoS service is enabled, and turn it off. Ensure that the firewall isn’t blocking the vacuum from connecting to the WiFi network. 

Factory reset 

We know how frustrating you are feeling. But breathe and relax as a factory reset can definitely resolve Roomba Error 15. But only try this as the last troubleshooting step because it will permanently delete all data, including pairing to other programs or devices.

Again, the instructions vary depending on the model you own. A factory reset can be accomplished via the device itself or through the iRobot Home app. From the app, do the following:

  1. Visit the iRobot Home app
  2. Navigate to Settings.
  3. Choose Remove/Factory Reset.

This is a straightforward process that anyone can do. However, it will remove the device from the iRobot Home app. But go over this list of checks prior to doing a factory reset via the app:

  • Ensure both devices are connected to the same WiFi network.
  • Confirm that the robot vacuum has a charge.
  • Don’t close the app while the reset is in process.
  • Verify that the robot is powered on.

To accomplish a reset from the device itself, follow these steps:

S and I series

Press and hold down the Spot Clean, Clean, and Home buttons. Keep holding them until the light ring turns white.

J series

Remove the dust bin. Press the Clean button for seven seconds or until a tune can be heard. Now, click on the Clean button again.

E series 

Press and hold down the Spot Clean, Clean, and Home buttons together for 20 seconds. Afterward, release the buttons.

900 series

Press and hold down the Spot Clean, Clean, and Dock buttons simultaneously. Keep holding them until all LED lights light up.

600 and 800 series 

Press and hold down the Spot Clean, Clean, and Dock buttons until it starts to beep. Remember that after a factory reset, you need to connect the device to the iRobot Home app. Plus, you need to remap your home again.

iRobot Home App
iRobot Home App

Reconnect to the WiFi

First, disconnect the robot from your WiFi, then connect it again. After disconnection, connect Roomba back to WiFi with these steps:

  1. Launch the iRobot Home app.
  2. Enable Bluetooth on your phone.
  3. Place the home base and Roomba in a location excluding any obstacles.
  4. Give a name to your Roomba.
  5. The app will showcase the name of your WiFi network.
  6. Enter your WiFi password upon prompt.
  7. With the device on the home base, press and hold down the Spot Clean and Home buttons until it starts to beep. Some models display a blinking blue ring, and some show a blinking WiFi signal.
  8. Click I pressed the buttons in the Home app, then press on Continue.

Now, allow the robot vacuum to learn the layout of your home.

Customer support

If you still need more assistance to solve the error or you have run into a problem during any troubleshooting method, don’t feel hesitant to reach out to iRobot’s customer care team

Their customer service can help you by sharing advanced troubleshooting steps customized for your scenario. Not only this, they will freely tell you whether your Roomba should be brought in for repair or a replacement. 

Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to such an undiscussed problem, it’s natural to have many questions in mind. This is why we have answered some commonly asked questions users usually come up with.

How do I reset my Roomba battery after replacing it?

• Turn on the Roomba by pressing the Clean button.
• Press the Dock and Spot buttons for 10 seconds.
• Let go of both buttons simultaneously after hearing the beep sound.
• Don’t load the robot for a minimum of 12 hours.

You can try it now.

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

If your Roomba won’t power on or charge it when connected to the dock, then there’s a strong chance that it is dead and needs a battery replacement. iRobot claims that typically, a Roomba can handle 400 charge cycles.

Are Roomba batteries replaceable?

Yes. To replace your Roomba batteries, loosen the five screws holding the bottom cover via a cross-head screwdriver. Unclip the original battery to discard it. Place the replacement battery in the battery well — it’ll be secured due to the battery tab. 


Here ends our comprehensive guide on Roomba Error 15, its causes, and all the troubleshooting methods to fix it. We hope your error is long gone and you are cleaning your home efficiently with the robot vacuum! 

Also, which of these methods worked in your favor? Share it with us in the comments!

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About Melissa

Hey! I'm Mel, I write the occasional article for Spacehop, amongst other things. I love meeting new people and chatting, so if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.

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