What kind of Scooba to seek on eBay?

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Re: What kind of Scooba to seek on eBay?

Postby leonicholson » November 17th, 2018, 7:08 pm

NoJimForHome wrote:Well the 230 arrived and it looks to be brand-spanking new, minus the charger and battery.


Great. I ordered a cheap "Parts Only" Mint once that was evidently new, still in the box.
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Re: What kind of Scooba to seek on eBay?

Postby Botty » November 17th, 2018, 7:11 pm

i can recommend picking up a second battery so you can do consecutive runs when you need to. Just charge the extra one up on a day when you don't use the 230 and then you'll have two ready to go at all times.

They're dead cheap on ebay
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Re: What kind of Scooba to seek on eBay?

Postby NoJimForHome » November 19th, 2018, 7:07 pm

Well, the battery showed up and seemed to be charged already! Very exciting. I Roomba'd my bathroom, filled Scooba230 with water and a dash of vinegar and... it doesn't work. :(

It makes all the right noises, but the thing doesn't drive around! It just makes little pumping sounds but otherwise sits there. :(

Am I missing something?

Edit: ran the built-in-test, all seems well there! So I tried running Scooba230 again and BAM! Off he went! Go figure.

After about 2 minutes I got the sad tones and a solid light, which suggests "fill tank empty." Except it's not. I tried adding a little salt but it was no help. Any thoughts?
Last edited by NoJimForHome on November 19th, 2018, 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What kind of Scooba to seek on eBay?

Postby Botty » November 19th, 2018, 7:13 pm

I got a brand new one and it did something similar. Started up but didn’t move, made motor sounds for a while then beeped and shut down. Like this: https://youtu.be/fq-meNuhfas

Take the cleaning plate off the bottom and locate the small transparent pipe that’s threaded round a plastic cylinder and connected to a tiny pipe at either end. It might have become pinched from being in place. Gently remove it from its pipes and squeeze it a bit to make sure there are no pinch-points that could stop the water flowing through it, then reconnect it.

I did that and it instantly fixed the 230 which has worked flawlessly ever since.
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Re: What kind of Scooba to seek on eBay?

Postby NoJimForHome » November 19th, 2018, 7:34 pm

OK, I'll try that. I will say it has been spitting water just fine, but worth a shot! Thanks.

Edit: your diagnosis may be accurate. The tube does have a pretty decent kink in it. I tried rolling it to a few different positions but I keep getting the error. Any ideas what a good replacement would be? It seems pretty dang soft, not sure if I could find its like at Home Depot.
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Re: What kind of Scooba to seek on eBay?

Postby NoJimForHome » November 19th, 2018, 9:06 pm

So. I took the tube out and put a snug-fitting drill bit inside, then put the heat gun on it (repeat several times) in hope that I could heat the kink out, but no joy. There might have been slight improvement, but nothing significant. Put it back in Scooba230 and still the same issue. So back to my previous question... ideas for a good replacement?
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Re: What kind of Scooba to seek on eBay?

Postby Botty » November 20th, 2018, 4:33 am

try this?
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=20698&p=149094#p149094

i never replaced the tube I'm afraid
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Re: What kind of Scooba to seek on eBay?

Postby NoJimForHome » November 20th, 2018, 11:11 pm

OK, tried that.

I also went to Petco and got the same sized aquarium tube for $2.50. Just a hair thicker but I figured worth a shot. Came home, cut it to size, same error. In fact, it gives the "no water" error almost immediately upon hitting "Clean." Like, within 1-3 seconds.
Put Scooba back into BIT, ran the pump test while holding it up in the air. Plenty of fluid squirting out! As a last ditch, I poured out the vinegar water and put in some "gentle citrus" floor soap with more water; maybe the different chemistry would help... still no joy.

So I'm thinking maybe there's a wiring problem with the full bladder sensor? :/
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Re: What kind of Scooba to seek on eBay?

Postby vic7767 » November 21st, 2018, 1:08 am

Someone posted of hacking their 230 with an Arduino and connecting the different sensors to it. One of the sensors was for the O2. Might try a forum search for 230+arduino and find info about the sensor.
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Re: What kind of Scooba to seek on eBay?

Postby Botty » November 21st, 2018, 4:24 am

just a thought, but i read a couple of times that water compositions in some areas are such that they occasionally fail to register in the 230. Hence one of the reasons you can't use distilled water.
One way to solve this is to put some salt in the tank along with the water. Maybe try that.

https://uksupport.irobot.com/app/answer ... t%3F?cc=uk
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Re: What kind of Scooba to seek on eBay?

Postby NoJimForHome » November 21st, 2018, 3:15 pm

Vic - interesting. I'll look into that.
Botty - yep. I appreciate the thought; as I mentioned, I tried a couple of different things for a fluid just in case. First was tap water with a bit of vinegar (we have pretty hard water here.) Then I added a little salt to that. Finally, I poured that out and tried the tap water with a squirt of "gentle citrus floor cleaner." Presumably one of those variables would have fixed the issue if that was it.
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Re: What kind of Scooba to seek on eBay?

Postby vic7767 » November 21st, 2018, 4:34 pm

OK, my memory on the hacking of a 230 Scooba was a little fuzzy but here is the hacking reference link:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=17999
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Re: What kind of Scooba to seek on eBay?

Postby leonicholson » November 22nd, 2018, 12:58 pm

Is it a grout problem that precludes just using a 240 or 380t?

Our 380t's do well on our floors (after the Roombas) with the proper solution. We don't have grout, though.
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Re: What kind of Scooba to seek on eBay?

Postby NoJimForHome » November 23rd, 2018, 2:26 pm

Leon, not sure I'm following the question. The primary benefit of the 230 as far as I can tell is its small size, which lets it get behind things like the toilet.
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Re: What kind of Scooba to seek on eBay?

Postby leonicholson » November 23rd, 2018, 6:00 pm

True, the Braava doesn't fit beside a commode. We put a mat in front and do that by hand. I do wish they made a smaller 380t type, as they are so simple to use and not subject to Scooba mechanical problems.
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Re: What kind of Scooba to seek on eBay?

Postby NoJimForHome » November 23rd, 2018, 8:33 pm

So now the 5800 arrived. I ran it in the kitchen for about 20 minutes and it left the floor super wet. Not sure if that was by design; when the battery died I checked the "dirty" tank and it was bone dry. A bit of research suggested "put hot water in the dirty tank and shake the crap out of it; often dirt clogs up the vacuum ports. I tried this and a bunch of crud came out. Now charging the battery to see if it works better next time. Fingers crossed!
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Re: What kind of Scooba to seek on eBay?

Postby NoJimForHome » November 24th, 2018, 10:28 am

Okay, follow-up. This met with moderate success. The 5800 left the laminate flooring in our living room fairly wet still (but much less-so than the first time). Enough that my wife followed it around with a dry mop. That laminate has a subtle wood grain texture to it, which I think inhibits the squeegee from getting down in the grooves. Not sure if anyone else shares this issue or if the "refresh kit" would fix that. The manual says most of the vacuum is directed into the brush spin zone, which makes me think I should be getting more water up since the bristles ought to be gettng into the grooves... anyway. (Edit: holy cow, I don't even see the Scooba refresh kit available on Amazon or eBay, except for one where they're asking like, $90! Lots of people selling new squeegees though.)

It also seems pretty dumb in a couple of situations. I have stairs that go down from the living room. I know the cliff sensors work because it didn't drive off down the stairs, but it does go right to the edge and sit there... mebbe doing a little dance back and forth... backing away from the step and approaching it again. Like COME ON MAN, HOW ABOUT YOU TURN AND GO A DIFFERENT DIRECTION?? It does the same thing when it gets to the little threshold where the bedroom carpet starts. Won't go up the threshold, but it'll sit there, not deciding what the best course of action is, but still squirting out a puddle of water. Also, if it hits a wall/object at just the right angle (maybe contact around 1:30-2:00) it does a VERY slow wall-following dance.

Moving the 5800 into the bathroom with a more traditional vinyl/linoleum floor, it did quite a bit better... pretty much dry to the level I expected everywhere. When I went to empty the dirty tank, brownish-grey water came out... but not a whole lot of it. Maybe a half-cup? At least there was SOME this time, and a bit of debris in the vacuum filter.

Hope you guys are having a magnificent Thanksgiving weekend!
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Re: What kind of Scooba to seek on eBay?

Postby NoJimForHome » November 24th, 2018, 5:22 pm

Another quick data point: I conducted four tests, each time putting ½ cup of warm water in the clean tank. The first time I put it down in our master bedroom on the linoleum floor and let it run until it gave me the "Check Tank" alert. Then I measured the "Dirty" fluid. It was right about 1/8 cup... which I found a bit odd.
Next, I did the same thing in our smaller hall bathroom (also linoleum) and got about ¼ cup.
Then I did the laundry room, which is sort of in-between those two bathrooms in size, but has the textured laminate. Again I got about ¼ cup, maybe a smidge less. When I went to pick Scooba up, however, the tank lifted away from the body, which meant it wasn't snapped down properly. I thought, therefore, the suction might have been off so I repeated the laundry room test. Again I got ¼ cup of dirty water; but of course this time it ran on a pre-moistened floor, so I'm not sure how valid that number is either, because some of what it sucked up was probably left over from the first run...

Curious what percentage of water the rest of you expect to be in the dirty tank after a run?

In other news, I filled the dirty tank with hot water and shook it quite aggressively again; shook out more old crap, though not as much as last night. Hopefully that's more improvement though! What I really need is some sort of fishing weight with line attached to it and the other end has a graduated cloth so I can pull it through the various passages...
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Re: What kind of Scooba to seek on eBay?

Postby Botty » November 24th, 2018, 5:55 pm

A while back I picked up a used 390 and had exactly the same problem. Laying down loads of water, but an empty dirty tank at the end. Vic the oracle here gave me advice about cleaning it so I blasted hot water through every orifice on the unit and shook up the tank until it nearly came apart and performance massively improved!

Then I noticed that the tank was warped and sitting very slightly off the body of the robot, (only by a millimeter or so), which I guess might be misaligning the filter and vacuum hose, so I bought a new tank (for about £26) and the performance was perfect after that. Amazing the difference a millimeter can make!

Regarding movement, I noticed my 390 was sometimes struggling to turn round, as if the floor was too wet and one wheel was spinning. It was slightly clumsy, but not so much that I thought to check the unit over. But then one day the wheel happened to be showing just so after a clean and I noticed that the rubber had perished, causing a chunk to come away leaving the plastic hub exposed. Because both are black it wasn't obvious unless you happened to look closely. So i bought a set of new wheels very cheaply on ebay and now the mobility is also perfect.
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Re: What kind of Scooba to seek on eBay?

Postby NoJimForHome » November 24th, 2018, 7:34 pm

Good reply; thanks! Have you ever measured the before and after quantities? Also. Have you ever replaced the brush & squeegee? The manual says $28 for a refresh kit, but that's obviously several years ago; now I don't even see them available... just the squeegees and tanks.
Last edited by NoJimForHome on November 24th, 2018, 10:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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