iRobot Roomba 5xx CHM cleaning
Roomba CHM cleaning
How to clean Roomba’s Cleaning Head Module
One result of a relatively cheap (or poor) product design and manufacture is worn to its moving components.
This is the case with the design of the iRobot Roomba 5xx vacuum robots, especially in its CHM (Cleaning Head Module).
This module holds the 2 rotating brushes (bristle brush and beater brush). The mating point of the bristle and beater brush to the gear mechanism (that transfer power from the CHM motor) relies on plastic to plastic friction. This mating point is not sealed, allowing dust & hair to pass through the gap straight to the gear mechanism.
Dust and hair build-up on the gear wheels causes it to slow down and increases friction until it stucks and even prevent the motor to spin. In addition, this friction causes extra worn to the circular mating holes, expanding the gap and eventually causes the plastic part of the CHM to melt around the holes.
In order to avoid this situation, it is advised to clean the CHM gear housing. Cleaning frequency depends on usage and the amount of hair/dirt buildup.
In case your Roomba brushes stopped rotating and/or you get the error code #2 (“Uh-Oh” + 2 beeps), it’s time to clean.
Start with the bristle brush and with the beater brush. Clean its bristles/flaps, take off each of the brush side bearing and clean the metal pin. If you have cleaned both the bristle brush and the beater brush but it is still not working, now is the time to go deeper and clean the CHM gearbox, hoping the motor is not damaged.
Let’s start the step by step cleaning process of the Roomba CHM gear box.
This guide shows the Roomba 560 with Red CHM, but it is relevant for other 5xx 6xx 7xx models as well that uses the Green or Red or Gray type CHM. Slight differences in disassembly process are needed though, but general concept remains.
DISCLAIMER - Important!
- Phillips head screwdriver
- Used (or new) toothbrush or some other small brush
- Lithium grease
- Vacuum cleaner (not mandatory but recommended)
Use it in each step where you find dust and hair buildup but be careful not to vacuum small parts as well.
Note: since most of the screws are screwed to plastic bosses, it is advised to use hand screwdriver for fine torque control.
If your Roomba is in this condition or worst, you should consider modding it with bearings.
See my CHM mod page for the bearings modification.
If you have completed the assembly and left without any screw,
hit the Clean button and see if your Roomba starts to clean…
Have fun and enjoy your Roomba, Avi
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