Roomba Error 38 | Fix in Seconds - Smarthome Hut

Roomba Error 38 | Fix in Seconds

Roomba Error 38
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Roomba is an AI Robot Vacuum that cleans the whole home without your personal involvement. But sometimes, Roomba may face some issues which cause interference in its smooth cleaning system.

What is Roomba Error 38

Roomba Error 38 happens when there is an internal communication issue that disallows it to connect with its home base or the app and thus Roomba does not function due to no command from the app (system).

Possible Issues:

  • A problem in your Wi-Fi network | Low Internet connectivity
  • Software bugs in iRobot app | Outdated software
  • Infrared Interference due to Microwave objects or Metallic objects
  • Hardware damage causing issues in Roomba

Key Solution Points:

  • Press Clean To restart the cleaning task
  • Place Roomba Home Base in an open area
  • Remove Interfering objects
  • Reset Roomba completely

How To Fix Roomba Error 38

Press Clean Button

Roomba may not communicate with its home base due to an unknown error resolved by only resuming its cleaning work by pressing the “Clean button.” This approach has been recommended by iRobot itself which works well in case of some unknown error directing to communicational issues.

If Roomba Clean button is not working, you can fix it by following the article.

Make sure that you follow this essential step before jumping to the next steps. Some models of Roomba don’t ask you to press the Clean button. In that case, you can follow the next steps which are advanced yet easy.

Press Clean Button

Infrared interference

Roomba uses Infrared interference which allows both units, the Robot vacuum, and Roomba Home Base to communicate with each other.

iRobot Roomba 694

Good for Pet Hair, Hard Floors, Works with Alexa

iRobot Roomba 694

What other Things Use Infrared interference at Home?

Roomba gets distracted by Infrared Interference which is used by other devices like Televisions, Microwave Ovens, and Radios. So, always try to keep your Roomba Home Base away from these devices to enable Roomba to communicate and take commands and go around all over the home and clean rooms.

Infrared Interference also causes Roomba to not move freely and keep wandering in the same area and leaving other parts of the rooms uncleaned.

Infrared interference

Change Position of Home Base

Roomba Home Base location must be on a flat surface which avoids any interference in its Infrared Radiations as they are used to direct Roomba. Place Dock on a flat surface and in the middle of all the rooms.

You must inspect Roomba’s home base for any tape or paint which may block its pathway.

Note: Roomba must not place these tapes, paint, or such objects or wet things on the floor which may interfere with Roomba in its cleaning process. Because these obstacles cause Roomba to stuck.

Avoid Roomba base being positioned near stairs.

Place Roomba on a clean surface which is not even close to any metallic objects or tiny wooden pieces likely to absorb its IRs.

Don’t fetch Home Base too close to a Microwave oven, Radio, or Television.

Roomba position

Check Home Base’s power supply.

You need to check the power supply because sometimes, any wire damaged by fire or a problem in the power outlet can stop the supply of power which doesn’t allow its doc to turn on. 

So, you can unplug Home Base and plug it back again and check whether the light is turned on or not to ensure the power supply. 

Do make sure that the Power cord is connected properly to a power outlet and Roomba Home Base

check power in doc

Damaged Dock

A damaged charging dock can also cause a Roomba communication error. If the dock is broken or malfunctioning, it may not be able to establish a connection with the Roomba.

Check for any damage or debris on the dock and Roomba’s contacts: Inspect the dock and Roomba’s charging contacts for any damage or debris. Clean the contacts with a dry cloth and make sure there is no dust or debris blocking the connections.

iRobot Roomba i3

Now Clean By Room With Smart Mapping, Empties Itself

iRobot Roomba i3

Reboot Roomba

Most electronic devices work properly when they are restarted after any issue with them. Because, sometimes, there may be a software malfunction that is stopping the device to work properly. if you have an internal communication error in Roomba restarting the device works well.

i) For S and I series models,

  • First of all, press Clean and hold it for about 20 seconds until the white LED starts spinning wait for a few seconds.
  • Now, let the Roomba turn on and check if it is working properly.

ii) For the 700, 800, and 900 series, 

  • First of all, press Clean and hold it for about 20 seconds until you hear a beep.
  • Now, let the Roomba turn on and your device will be rebooted.
  • Clean Roomba Apartment Completely

Always use Genuine Battery

Don’t ever buy any cheap products/accessories to use with your original and expensive branded products. They will always harm your suction motor which causes the Home base to behave strange and you cannot get smooth performance consistently for a long time.

Always use genuine parts, batteries, and other accessories recommended by Roomba. Because local or fake batteries may work for you for a while but the Roomba will soon stop detecting non-original batteries and it may get unknown beeps and Roomba becomes noisy.

Install the Battery correctly

When you clean the surface of the Roomba charging contacts and wipe the battery points, you may somehow misplace and misposition the battery which causes the Contact points not to adjust correctly, and Roomba Home base’ communications effects in this case.

  • Make sure that you have tightened the screws of the Roomba back cover.
  • Make sure that the battery charging points are in contact with the power hub.
  • Make sure that there is no obstruction between the charging contact.

Reset Roomba’s Battery

Resetting the Roomba battery is necessary when you feel Roomba has been diminished or Roomba battery has been diminished and it’s not charging well. So, this is the right time to reset your battery.

  • Remove the battery by opening the battery compartment on th2 and lifting the battery out.
  • Reinstall the battery by placing it back in the battery compartment and closing the lid.
  • First, turn on Roomba by pressing the main Clean button.
  • Press the Spot and Doc buttons at the same time until the Clean button becomes dim.

Resetting the battery can help improve the Roomba’s battery performance and extend its life.

Factory Reset

It means that you are about to start a brand-new cleaner that has no maps, no settings, and no customizations. It will remove all of your data saved. But, it has worked in many similar cases such as Roomba not charging

So I recommend it to everyone if they have not gotten rid of the Roomba error that is not cleaned due to sensor issues.

  • First, connect your iRobot Home app with your Roomba.
  • Go to the iRobot Home app.
  • Click on Settings > Factory Reset.
  • Click on Prompt to continue Factory Reset.

Contact Support

If you have tried all the approaches mentioned above and cannot find the solution, this indicates that the problem is in your device by the factory. You must contact the Official Roomba Support. They will surely guide you to the best and resolve your problem.


Roomba communication errors with the home base can occur when the Roomba is not able to establish a connection with the charging dock or is having difficulty finding the dock. This can be caused by a number of factors such as the Roomba’s battery level, the position, and alignment of the dock, or a malfunctioning dock.

To fix this issue, it is important to ensure that the Roomba has enough battery power, properly align the dock and place it in a clear and open space, check for any damage or debris on the dock and Roomba’s contacts, and reset both the Roomba and the dock. If the problem persists after trying these steps, you must contact the manufacturer for further assistance.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can a Roomba communication error with the home base be prevented?

To prevent this error, it is important to regularly check and maintain the Roomba and the home base, including ensuring that the Roomba has enough battery power, properly aligning the dock, and cleaning the Roomba’s charging contacts.

Does Roomba light stay on when charging?

Roomba Home Base lights are only turned on when it is on the charging dock to make it energy efficient.

What does the red blinking light on Roomba mean?

Usually, Red light on Roomba means that it has got some charging issues. Just pull out the battery and check whether it needs to be replaced. Roomba Dock may run into issues that we have discussed in detail in this article above.

Can I pick up my Roomba and move it to another room?

There will be no direction for the Roomba when you replace it with another room and it won’t be able to turn to its Home base as Roomba doesn’t know its real direction and path.

About Author

Hamza Munir

Originally from Pakistan, being a young lad in Tech industry, Hamza has a keen interest in PC games, and Windows OS Security Systems. He loves technology and Alexa products and he has used multiple automated gadgets at home, with almost every version of the Echo and Rumbas especially. He is recently studying advanced AI and Machine Learning at ITU Pakistan. Now, He has also involved himself in Aurdino products to study advanced Robotics. His degree is Bachelor's in Computer Science but his Specialization has taken him to a higher positions at various job positions. Now, He writes detailed information on every issue and feature of Alexa, Echo, and other smart and automated gadgets and also reviews them according to my use and personal utility experience. Hamza has been providing people with different troubleshoots related to robotics, and AI since 2020 and He has attached himself with <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">smarthomehut</a> in 2022 You can find him @ <ol> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Facebook</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Twitter</a></li> </ol> More Info <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">About Smarthomehut</a>

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