Scooba Isn't Discharging Water...

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Scooba Isn't Discharging Water...

Postby ECM » February 8th, 2006, 1:42 am

Hi all,

Been running my brand new Scooba for 90 mins now and it simply will NOT spread any cleaning solution at all--it just keeps running around the room, not cleaing it. I Know it's picking up particulate but it simply wont start actually scrubbing the floor--any ideas what I've done wrong? Or is it just broken?

Postby THX-1138 » February 8th, 2006, 9:46 am

Hello ECM,

Welcome to this Forum.

Are you able to witness any dirty water being collected in the bin? If yes, then it's working and you should be able to witness a humid floor after your scooba passes (similar to a snail trail). If not then there is an issue that needs troubleshooting. Let use know what you see... :wink:
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Postby Guest » February 8th, 2006, 4:24 pm

Hi, thanks for the reply.

No, there is nothing in the dirty container at all and the tank of the Scooba stays full for the entire run (I let it go, as I mentioned, for 90 mins).

I took everything apart (that could be taken apart: hoses, filters, etc.) and put it back together and re-ran it and I still have the same problem.

Postby Whirlwind » February 8th, 2006, 8:58 pm

Call customer support. My scooba had the same issue and they sent me a return label and RMA number to send it back to them. You should get a replacement in a couple of weeks, or you can return it to were you bought it.

Postby shramj » February 10th, 2006, 2:30 pm

Man, my Scooba isn't putting out any water also, nothing in the dirty tank and the clean tank is full. I cleaned everything. I am at work now but will call iRobot if it doesn't work after I clean it again.
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How to purge the lines

Postby user » February 19th, 2006, 12:59 pm

I ran into a similar problem after I put the wrong solution into the clean tank.

Not paying attention I put Pine Sol into it instead of the clorox.

The thicker Pine Sol clogged up the plumbing on the scooba, and it would not discharge water to the floor.

I suspect that this is the same problem most of you are describing.

1. To purge the lines get a cheap pen that has a clicky button on one end, (usually made of rubbery plastic.)

2.Completely remove all parts to the pen so you are left with a rugged straw.

3. Remove the tank assembly from the unit and find the little water feed post that inserts into the tank. It is blue,has a black disk under it, and looks like there is a spring inside it.

4. Put the pen over the post so it is firm against the black disk. Blow into the other end with your mouth to push whatever is in the lines out. Keep blowing until it hisses.

5. Now you can clean these lines using the same method, but put water in your mouth and push that thru instead of air.

6. Make sure to leave water in the lines as it appears that the pump is not self priming.

7. Reassemble after cleaning up your mess, and set scooba to work again.

Postby shramj » February 23rd, 2006, 4:28 pm

I wish I would have tried that before Irobot had me ship mine back to them, hopefully I will get my new one soon. They received mine back on Tuesday.
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Re: How to purge the lines

Postby max » February 27th, 2006, 12:34 am

I have the same problem -- scooba does not discharge any water (I used the included clorox, so it's not caused by wrong solution). I tried to follow your instructions (they are good, btw, thanks!) and got stuck on the step 4:

user wrote:4. Put the pen over the post so it is firm against the black disk. Blow into the other end with your mouth to push whatever is in the lines out. Keep blowing until it hisses.

I just can't blow through the post, no air goes through. The piping appears to be completely blocked somewhere inside... Well, at least I tried to fix it :) Tomorrow it will be Brookstone's problem.

PS. Sheesh. Doesn't iRobot have basic quality control?.. This looks like something you'd sport right away (if you were looking at all, of course)

Worked for me

Postby Leslie » March 1st, 2006, 11:39 pm

Thanks for the solution. This did the trick for me.

What Worked For Me...

Postby hamltn » March 7th, 2006, 12:52 am

My new Scooba's lines also seemed to be either clogged or unprimed, and I tried the blow-through-a-pen-tube solution posted above, but blowing as hard as I could, I still couldn't get any air to pass through. Inspiration struck: I grabbed the kids' balloon pump and tried again. Success! A ball or bike pump would probably work also.

I love my Roomba, and the Scooba seems to be doing a fabulous job so far. :mrgreen:
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Postby RoombaRob » March 7th, 2006, 11:18 am

a can of compressed air used for cleaning computer keyboards etc would also be a good solution.
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Postby rnmomx2 » March 24th, 2006, 9:13 pm

Well, the same thing happened to me, wouldn't discharge water after letting it run for 30 minutes out of the box. I knew you guys would have the answer for me, pushed air through the tubes and it is mopping as we speak! Saved me a trip back to Sharper Image and possibly more headache even with a new one. Thanks so much!
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Blocked Clean-Solution Plumbing

Postby Gordon » March 25th, 2006, 3:10 am

To all who have been affected by blocked Scooba-plumbing:

If you seem to have cleared the 'blockage', you need to find some way to inspect output from the jets while the inlet connector is pressurized with water. You need to verify water is being ejected from each jet. If you can't do that inspection, it would be a good idea to exchange that unit for a new one. The reason? There are two jets, two conduits between the jets and the pump, two outlet valves, and two inlet valves in the pump. You can confirm most of that by scanning the pictures in this document.
I had not thought of the following scenario until I read about so many Scoobas having this same problem. The fault must be caused by valve-sticking in both sides of the pump!
When you pressurize the single inlet-connector to the pump, the applied pressure will break free whichever valve(s), {thinking of the inlet and outlet pair that are in-series on one side of the pump}, break loose first. That will relieve the pressure within the pump-housing, and insufficient force will be applied to the second set of stuck valves (after all, they are more securely stuck, because they did not let loose first!).
As your 'repaired' Scooba goes about its business, only one jet will be squirting solution, thus floor-cleaning will be impaired.
If you find only one jet is squirting liquid, and want to try to clear the opposite side, you will have to block the flow from the working side while applying pressure to the inlet-fitting. CAUTION, there is an upper limit to the pressure that can be applied, before internal damage occurs (an outlet line may be blown off a fitting, or worse, a pump-diaphragm may balloon out and burst. Oral pressure is far from a threat; but, compressed air could be worrisome.
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Postby THX-1138 » March 25th, 2006, 1:31 pm

:? Gordon, this is a worrysome issue. How can some one check the injectors while its running? Also what would stop flow? I can see that there is a pre-wired filter for the solution to go through before it reaches the pump so I don't know what will block passage unless the owner was using some other solution to clean their floors. :roll:
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Postby Gordon » March 25th, 2006, 3:07 pm

THX-1138 wrote:...How can some one check the injectors {"ejectors", might be more descriptive} while its running?
That tactic would be a bit tricky -- probably requiring the use of a very large, glass-topped coffee-table! In my post above, I was suggesting the un-powered flow-check, and assuming two people would be needed. One to look, one to pressurize.
...Also what would stop flow?

We have two cases, as far as I can tell from the posts. We have a) No-Flow cases, right out of the box, and b) Induced no-flow, by something the owner caused (and cleared). Type (b) cases can be cleared (should be able to be cleared) by the owner, by flushing the CT, and back-washing its outlet fitting and pre-filter.

Type (a) is mysterious because, both jet-paths are blocked, and it IS a fault that should have been detected at the factory. We will never be told whether the factory does a wet-pump check-out. My guess is they would do it early in the assembly sequence, like before fitting/sealing the Controller's cover. At that stage, they could feed the pump and conduits with water and run the pump-motor via a test-connection direct to the motor-cable. When finished, the wet-system could be air-purged to remove the test-liquid.

Whether they do such a trial, or not, I must assume they are careful to not contaminate the liquid pathway, because they know some particle stuck under a valve will disable the pumping. Note that this type of "blockage" impairs pumping, but when the pressurized clearing tactic is applied, water, or air should flow out both jets -- perhaps more from one than the other.

I have the impression, from descriptions given on this board, that there is no flow -- until something breaks loose, to free up the flow. That action fairly well says the blockage is probably due to valve-diaphragms being temporarily stuck to their valve-seats. That suggestion depends on the common feed-pipe being free of obstruction; and I think it is fair to claim that conduit is not contributing to the problem, since relatively large size debris/globs would have to be present to block that line, and if there were such debris, no one would be able to blow it all the way throught the pump, and OUT the jet orifices (they have only one-mm size holes).

So, what are the prospects for valve-diaphragm-material to adhere to the valve-seat-material? I don't know. Based on the 'feel' of it, I would guess its a polyurethane compound. That material exhibits slight self-adhesion to clean, smooth surfaces. I can say that adhesion need not be very great, based on testing Roger did. He checked "lift" of his pump -- to demo whether the pump had any self-priming capability. It does not. The pump must be gravity fed -- as the Tank normally provides. That tends to say that the pump's intake action cannot apply enough force to an inlet valve to de-stick it.

OTOH, IF the outlet-valve is stuck, but not an inlet-valve, that side of the pump should be able to intake a chamber full of liquid, and then as the compression stroke occurs, the inlet-valve will seal and all the force of trying to compress liquid will be applied to lift the outlet-valve and cause pressure relieving flow. So cases having ONLY stuck outlet-valves might be self-healing. These case could be occurring, and we don't know it, because there is no need to complain!

Regarding the 'sticking', there is no appreciable force on the diaphragms, to force them against their seats -- its only the radial tension in the disc-shaped valve-diaphragm (I hope everyone is following along by looking at "Scooba Technical"'s Pump-Section) that impresses (a very small) force on the seat.

At this time, I can only guess that sticking is due to dry-shipping. iRbt will never tell us. Some new owner, who is experiencing this blockage, and who has the guts and mechanical expertise to follow the path in Scooba Technical, will have to dismantle his new Scooba and carefully remove the flexible-casting from the pump-plates, to see if the material is sticking to anything, or if some other cause becomes apparent.
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Postby rnmomx2 » March 25th, 2006, 7:04 pm

Gordon, thanks so much for the info. Well, I guess I might be taking it back for an exchange after all. I don't really want to take it apart and conduct experiments, I just want it to mop my floor, lol! This is frustrating that this is a known problem and irobot doesn't seem to be addressing this. I guess that is what happens with first generation technology though.
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Postby Ian » March 26th, 2006, 3:00 am

I ordered my Scooba from Sharper Image last week, and was excited to get it working. I encountered the same problem, not a single drop of cleaner gets sprayed on the floor. I just exchanged it at a local store. Scooba #2, exact same problem. Frustrated I search and found this thread. I was unable to blow any air through the post with an empty pen tube so I used my Air Compressor (regulated to a low pressure) and blew air through the pen tub, into the post, and voila! By doing this, you can easily check both jets for air flow and don't have to check the flow with liquid.

My thought on this is, that you probably won't ever encounter 1 out of the 2 jets not working. If you notice the type of rubber being used for the spring loaded valve on the clean water tank you will see its a very "sticky" type. Probably the same type of rubber used under the post in the main unit. Since the valve in the main unit was probably tested with a liquid, then allowed to dry (then shipped from China), I can see how the valve could become stuck together and the liquid pump not having the power to suck the valve open. This valve simply branches off into a Y to feed 2 opposing jets underneath.

Unfortunately, I wouldn't bet that iRobot will be releasing a memo anytime soon. If a company spends a ton of money manufacturing these, the last thing they would want to do is tell everyone theres problem with a stuck valve and give instructions on blowing air through a straw to fix it. Consumers just want it to work out of the box. Could cause bad publicity. The other option, is to recall them all (yeah right). Which leaves the last option (the one they probably chose). To ignore the problem, allow people to return them, "fix" them here in the states, then re-shelve them for sale as new or refurbished. However, I could be wrong.

I own an original Roomba and now own a 2nd generation Roomba Scheduler and a Scooba. I had both roombas running at the same time today (kinda cool to watch) and am now running my Scooba. Isn't this technology great?!

Thanks for the fix!
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Air Bubble?

Postby Phrozen Horse » March 26th, 2006, 5:20 pm

My Scooba ran OK for 3 runs, but upon the 4th it wouldn't start -> Check CT
I found out that it actually thought the CT was empty, although I'd filled it with Scooba Juice -> the reason seemed to be the pumping lines. After priming those with water everything is back to normal.
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Thanks to "Guest" User from Feb 19 Post!

Postby jills » March 26th, 2006, 8:04 pm

Thank you to whomever wrote the step by step process for how to purge the Scooba line on Feb 19, 2006. I had the same issue when I first used it....vaccuumed great but no water or solution coming out. I followed the step by step directions and it worked perfectly. I love it! Thanks again for the help!
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Scooba pump blow through

Postby Roger crier » March 27th, 2006, 10:22 am

I am going to suggest that while there is nothing wrong with the pen tube hard straw approach, anyone finding they are making a habit of this pump clearing lark might considder getting down to the local model shop and buying some model IC (internal combustion) engine fuel line, which is clear, flexable and tough. Take Scooba along and select a suitable size
I use about a three foot length and suck water into the tube, then connect the tube to the blue inlet lance and then blow the water into the pump.

To get to see if the outlet nozels are working fine, you have to tape up the three cliff sensors so that Scooba doesn't baulk at seeing three cliffs at once. You can then sit Scooba on three slim upturned mugs on the draining board of the sink, placing the muggs carefully so that two of them hold the drive wheel drop arms flush against the underside of Scooba and the third is holding the front wheel in the up position. You can then send it off on a static test run. The nozels send out a set of drips rather than a flow and because the electronics are not seeing the front wheel rotating, Scooba stops squirting water after a minute or two, but gives you long enough to check the workings without the expense of going and geting a glass topped table.

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