How To Fix Roomba Charging Error 3

Charging error 3 is a fairly common problem with the Roomba 520, 891, and I, j series robot vacuums and other models manufactured by iRobot.

Like charging error 8 and charging error 5, it usually pops up when there’s a problem with the charging unit itself.

But it can also be triggered by other issues, such as low battery power or an internal bad connector connection.

In this guide, I will break down what error 3 means on Roomba and what you need to do to get your vacuum working again.

Let’s dive in…

Key Takeaways:

  • Check the charging dock and ensure it’s functioning correctly.
  • Clean the charging connectors on both the Roomba and the Home Base.
  • If cleaning the connectors does not resolve the issue, consider performing a factory reset.

Why Does Roomba Charging Error 3 Occur?

What does roomba charging error 3 mean?

There are several reasons which can trigger this issue.

Typically, when a Roomba displays ‘Charging Error 3’, it means that the charging system isn’t working correctly. Either Roomba can’t establish a connection with the charging dock, or the battery is damaged and needs to be replaced.

Aside from these, bad internal connector connections may also be responsible!

Richard Smith shared his experience with us:

He said:

“I cleaned whatever corrosion I could find on the motherboard as suggested in another post and put the Roomba back together and had the same charging error 3. Next I took the motherboard completely out, removing and re-inserting all connectors, and then reassembed Roomba and the charging error was gone. So I presume the problem may have been a bad connector connection on the board on the front edge as I had only unplugged the back edge connectors the first time and hinged the board over to get to the underside.”

[Anyway, make sure to read all the other comments on this article. You might find some valuable insights.]

1) Clean The Charging Connectors

How to fix roomba charging error 3
Cleaning the charging connectors

As I mentioned, one of the main reasons your Roomba is showing you charging error 3 is that it can’t connect itself with the home base.

This typically happens due to the dirty charging contacts.

In this case, the first step you should take is to clean the charging terminals. Here’s how:

  • Remove the bottom cover and the four screws.
  • Then check whether any connections or terminals are broken and, if so, make the necessary repairs.
  • Wipe the battery terminals and dock connections with a pink or magic eraser.
  • Reattach the bottom cover and reinstall the battery.

Now charge your vacuum for 12 hours and check if Error 3 has been resolved. If this doesn’t work for you, move to the next step.

Be sure to clean the charging points of the home base and the Roomba.

2) Check The Charger If It’s Damaged

Fixing the Roomba charging error 3 issue

Sometimes this issue happens due to a malfunctioning charging cord.

If the charging cord is not providing a consistent power supply to the Roomba, it can result in charging errors.

So, it’s possible that the dock’s charging cord is malfunctioning or somehow damaged!

Here’s how to check it:

  • Closely inspect your charger and power cord for any damage that may be causing an electrical short.
  • If you see any damage or defects, replace the power cord ASAP.

Pro Tip: Charging Error 3 is often caused by loose internal connections or corrosion buildup in the motherboard components. For a better understanding of the issue, I suggest checking all the comments on this article.

3) Reset The Roomba


Charging error 3 fix

If none of the above methods work, factory reset your Roomba

Here’s how to do that:

  • For 20 seconds, press and hold the “CLEAN,”SPOT CLEAN,” and “HOME” buttons.
  • Hold them until the White Ring Light spins around the “CLEAN” button.
  • Let the button go and wait some time. The Roomba is now resetting itself, which might take up to 1.5 minutes.

Remember: after a factory reset, you will need to reconfigure your Roomba and remap your house as if it were a brand-new robot.

4) Replace The Motherboard! (Video Guide)

Roomba charging error code 3 fixing guide

If none of the above mentioned methods work, you need to replace your Roomba’s motherboard with a new one.

You can do it yourself If you have some technical knowledge. But first, you have to buy a motherboard from Amazon or an iRobot store.

If you have bought a motherboard, follow this video guide:

Article Summary

If your Roomba is displaying the “Charging Error 3” message, there are a few things you can try to get it back up and running:

  • First, check the charging contacts on the Roomba and the charging dock. Please make sure they are clean and free of debris.
  • Try charging the Roomba in a different outlet.
  • If you have another Roomba charging dock, use it.
  • If you have a spare battery, try using that in the Roomba. Or replace the battery with a new one.
  • Finally, if nothing works,  try resetting your device.

Note: According to the manufacturer, iRobot, the battery of the Roomba may last up to two hours after being fully charged. You can charge it up to 400 times, equating to two to four years of use.

If you still have questions, feel free to comment here and share your experience with me.

Stay healthy and be happy with your cleaning assistant. See you in the next article. Goodbye!


Q: Can a faulty power outlet cause Roomba charging error 3?

Yes, a faulty power outlet can sometimes lead to Roomba charging error 3.

If the power outlet is not providing a consistent power supply or if there is an issue with the electrical connection, the Roomba may have trouble charging correctly.

Try plugging the charging dock into a different outlet to determine if the error is due to the power source.

Q: Does Roomba this error indicate a battery problem?

While Roomba error 3 is primarily related to charging and the docking system, it can indirectly indicate a battery problem.

If the Roomba is unable to establish a proper charging connection, it may not receive sufficient power to charge the battery properly.

In such cases, the battery may not reach its full capacity or may drain quickly.

Q: Are there any firmware updates that can fix Roomba error 3?

Sometimes, firmware updates released by the manufacturer can address known issues, including charging errors.

Check the manufacturer’s website or the Roomba mobile app for any available firmware updates.

Updating the firmware may help resolve Roomba charging error 3 if it is caused by a software-related issue.

10 thoughts on “How To Fix Roomba Charging Error 3”

  1. Yea, I’ve had this a few times, generally if is after the battery has fully discharged. Put it back on the charging dock and nothing happens. Ie no lights on transformer and red on roomba, saying charging error 3. I leave it for 30 mins and still get error. Then remove from base leave it for say 5 mins disconnected and then put back on base. Everything now ok and normal orange light with charging cycle started. Seems to be the problem if the battery is left for a while and fully discharged. Needs a bit of time to get the battery back to a working voltage for the charger to think things are ok

  2. My Roomba is clean, new battery, new cord. It won’t even charge with a direct connection. Says Err 3 with an exclamation mark to the left. No beeps anymore at all. And I cannot reset. It’s in the 900 series. I’ve held both SPOT and DOCK down before until Roomba didn’t light. Then I’d hold down clean, it would beep, and begin to charge. Now if I do all that the clean red flashing light is on but no beeps and the Err 3 message comes right back on. I had Roomba on a belkin surge protector because I lose power a lot. I cannot reset my Roomba so far. At least before I could reset it. I bought the new battery and power cord because of a constant Err3 message before that I would just reset. My Roomba has a big problem.

  3. Great article ! Perfect step-by-step manual.
    Reseting my 12 years old Roomba 560 has resolved the Error 3 issue.
    Thank you very much for this info!
    Best regards

  4. Just sorted my 531 with error 3.

    When I bought it the battery had been discharged for a while and the new one worked fine for a few weeks. Then the error 3 started. No amount of reseting would make a difference.

    So I took it apart and looked at the motherboard. A capacitor next to the battery positive connection was discoloured and the solder was dull (corrosion)! So, a quick clean with isopropyl alcohol, whip the old one off and put a new one on and it works perfectly. I used a 33pf capacitor as that is what the dodgy one measured. It took longer to strip and clean the unit than it did to find and fix the fault.

    • Oh, that’s a great DIY! I appreciate your finding and effort. Also, thanks for sharing this in the comment section. I hope this will help others too!

  5. I cleaned whatever corrosion I could find on the motherboard as suggested in another post and put the Roomba back together and had the same charging error 3.
    Next I took the mother board completely out, removing and re-inserting all connectors and then reassembed Roomba and the charging error was gone. So I presume the problem may have been a bad connector connection on the board on the front edge as I had only unplugged the back edge connectors the first time and hinged the board over to get to the underside.


Leave a Comment