[Solved] Why is My Roomba Side Brush Not Spinning?

A side brush sweeps the edges of every Roomba. Dust and dirt are collected in this tool before they are sucked into the suction channel of the robot. When the Roomba’s side brush doesn’t spin freely, what should you do? Getting to the bottom of this problem requires first understanding why it is happening in the first place.

How come the side brush of my Roomba isn’t spinning? There’s dirt, dust, and hair under a Roomba side brush, so it doesn’t spin. Remove the side brush and clean underneath. If it still won’t spin, it will need to be repaired or replaced.

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There is also the possibility that the side brush motor is too old and too weak to function properly, as well as dust and dirt accumulation. Take time to fix a Roomba Side Brush Not Spinning before replacing its side brush module. So let’s begin by getting the Roomba ready.

Why does the Roomba Side Brush Not Spinning?

roomba side brush not spinning
A Roomba side brush not spinning properly can be caused by three different factors. The main cause of hair buildup underneath the side brush of a Roombas is hair and dust, especially if it is not cleaned frequently. Below are several reasons why this may happen: 

1. The side brush module is stuck

A Roomba side brush not spinning is usually caused by hair or other contaminants jamming the side brush. You might be surprised by how much dirt and dust have built up under the side brush if it has not been cleaned for so long. This is most often the cause.

The side brush gearbox may also become clogged with dust and dirt. There are gears in the gearbox, which transfer power from the motor to the side brush, causing it to spin. As the gearbox fills up with hair and gunk, the gears become unable to rotate properly, resulting in the side brush not working.

2. Inadequately lubricated or weak side brush motors

Roomba side brushes that won’t spin freely may also be the result of a weak motor. The side brush motor has occasionally failed, even though it’s not very common. If you contact iRobot and explain the side brush’s behavior to them, iRobot will send you a replacement under warranty.

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3. Damaged parts

Damaged parts may also prevent the side brush from working. Test your Roomba’s side brush motor by running the Demo and verifying it is functioning. An unresponsive motor may be the result of the module going bad (although it could also be an issue with the electronics attached to it).

If the motor runs but the side brush does not spin, you should check the yellow part of the side brush for cracks or excessive tears. In some cases, the yellow part of the side brush has developed a small crack, preventing it from freely spinning. A new side brush should be used if this is the case.

What to do if the Roomba Side Brush Not Spinning:

roomba side brush not spinningSimply buy a new Roomba side brush module (link to Amazon) if you want the easiest and quickest way to fix a broken Roomba side brush. Nevertheless, if you’d like to fix a non-spinning Roomba side brush on your own, here’s how to do it:

1. Clean dust from underneath the side brush 

You need to start by removing all the dust that has collected underneath the side brush. All Roomba side brushes can be removed and replaced in the same way. Roomba’s screw on the side can be removed with a small screwdriver. Unscrew and remove the brush from the side of the Roomba.

If the side brush does not spin freely after you’ve removed all the dust, reinstall it and clean it again. Afterwards, it should work normally. It should be repaired or replaced if the brush does not turn after this. You need to inspect the gearbox in order to repair the side brush…

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2. The gearbox is clean of dirt

The back cover must first be removed to gain access to the side brush gearbox. You can remove the back cover by unscrewing the screws holding the side brush in place. Two screws keep the side brush module firmly attached once the back cover has been removed. The brush module can be lifted once the screws have been removed.

A screw holds the gearbox cover in place once you have it in your hands. To remove it, unscrew the screw. Gears are visible once you remove the cover. Clean up the dust and hair from each gear by removing them one at a time. Garbage builds up on the gears, which prevents them from turning properly.

You should also lubricate the gears after you remove all the hair and dust. This will prevent the gears from sticking. A good lubricant is WD-40 (Amazon link). This product features a smart straw that helps you apply oil precisely, where it is needed. Be careful not to overload the gears with oil. 

The main brush roller should also be cleaned along with your Roomba. The rotor is also known to collect hair and dust in addition to not spinning properly when dirty. Our easy-to-follow guide for troubleshooting roomba brush roller has been designed for beginners, so feel free to review it.

3. Clean the motor shaft on the side brush

Lubricate the side brush motor lightly while you are looking at it so it continues to run smoothly. On the motor shaft, apply a small amount of oil. It was a pleasant surprise to discover that this simple action caused the side brush to spin better than it had ever before! It pays to have a little grease on hand.

The next step is to reassemble the side brush gearbox. Everything needs to be put back together after it has been cleaned and lubricated. Reassemble the side brush module after you have attached the side brush and turned it by hand. If the side brush spins freely, it is normal.

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Are you still having problems with the Roomba Side Brush Not Spinning?

roomba side brush not spinningCheck the wires and connector if the side brush isn’t working after you’ve followed the steps above. The screw is either loose, damaged, corroded, or all three at the same time. You should consider buying a new side brush module if this is the case. Thankfully, iRobot sells one compatible for Roomba 500, 600, 700, and 800 Series.

You can extend the life of your Roomba by purchasing a new side brush module, especially if it is quite old. You can also easily fix a non-spinning Roomba side brush with this easy fix without removing it from its housing and getting dirty. Thanks for reading, and good luck! 

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FAQ on Roomba Side Brush

We have compiled a list below of most commonly asked questions about Roomba’s side brush. Our research into the topic has taken hours in order to uncover the definitive answers.

Should the side brush on the Roomba rotate continuously?

The side brush of a Roomba should spin continuously when it’s on a cleaning run. Two brushes serve a Roomba. The first brushes gather dust and place it on the path so that it can be vacuumed. The second brush, also known as the beater bar, is located in the center of the Roomba and propels dirt into the suction channel.

How does the Roomba side brush work?

Dirt, dust, and debris are collected along edges by the Roomba’s edge-sweeping side brush. Roombas collect dirt as they spin and deposit it in front of their pathways and suction channels. Dust and debris accumulated along the edges of your home would have been missed by the Roomba without the side brush.

Bottom Line

Now you know the complete troubleshooting guide to the question: Why is My Roomba Side Brush Not Spinning? The source of this issue is almost always hair, dust, dirt, and gunk that accumulate under the side brush. Old and new models alike suffer from this issue.

As participants in the Roombas repair and hacking community since the 400 Series, we have become accustomed to removing the side brush screw each day, lifting up the side brush, and wiping away the dust underneath it. Even just keeping the side brush clean on your Roomba will extend its life.

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