Side Brush not working

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Side Brush not working

Postby dog.tired » March 2nd, 2009, 10:26 pm

Today I heard the dreaded "O-OH!" coming from the upstairs landing, so I went to investigate.....

My Roomba 560 was hanging off the edge of the top step! I suppose the fact that it had automatically stopped and saved itself should have made me happy, but I am still a little worried.

I tried to reconstruct the error and found that the 560 would stop at the step facing forward, then move off slightly sideways, (which would normally have it jerking back a few times), but this time it kept going.

I imagine that this is simply a fault with the detectors? I have given them a quick clean, but this does not seem to have fixed the problem, so I thought I would mention it here incase it could be something else. (I will be doing a complete cleaning asap).

Now for the reason for this post...

Because of the previous fault, I noticed that the side brush was not turning. I did a "demo" and it squeeked when it got to the side brush, (making me think the screw was too tight). I took the brush off and replaced making sure the screw was ok. I let the 560 run for a while and after the brush stopped and started a few times due to obstructions. etc. it stopped again.... I did this a couple more times and the same thing happened.

I then let the 560 run without the screw and it didnt seem to have any problem at all. So the screw seems to be self tightening, (because of the brush getting jarred when hitting objects?), so is there anything to do about this? It has not done this the whole time. Is it safe to run the Roomba without the screw?

Thanks for your help.
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Re: Side Brush not working

Postby vic7767 » March 2nd, 2009, 11:09 pm

You can perform a system reset by pressing both the spot and dock buttons down at the same time for about 10 seconds then you will hear a reset tune play. Then send the Roomba on a cleaning mission and see how the side brush performs.

The screw is used to spread the plastic shaft open thus helping to hold the side brush in place. Make sure that when you install the side brush on the shaft and press down that you hear a "snap".

The screw is really not needed to keep the brush on but if you have many obstacles it is better to leave the screw in place.
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Re: Side Brush not working

Postby dog.tired » March 2nd, 2009, 11:43 pm

Thanks for the quick reply. :D

I have been dismantling the Roomba, (for cleaning), for a while now and have a basic knowledge of the 560. I have put the side brush on correctly "snap" and I cant think of anything different in my actions or in the environment that may be causing the problem.

I do understand the reason for the screw, but am still a bit confused as to why it is seeming to self tighten? Could it be because of the collisions? (meaning I should watch for trouble areas and make changes to help the 560? Note that I have made every effort to Roomba-proof the space, but maybe I need to go that step further)

I will try a thorough clean then loosely fit the side brush screw, reset and keep a watchful eye on its progress.

I never thought about a system reset. Hopefully this will help sort it, as I'm going to be very confused if the problem isn't fixed after the above steps. :?

Thanks for the advice. :)
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Re: Side Brush not working

Postby dog.tired » March 3rd, 2009, 9:43 am

Update:

I seem to have overcome the cliff sensor issue, although I have just had the thought that the side brush could have been interfering, (it is on this side the problem occurred, and the brushes were sort of "bunched" at times)?

I put the screw back in fairly loosely, but after a couple of minutes of stopping and starting for room edges, (no major obstacles), the side brush stopped again! Trying to move manually shows it has tightened again! Why on earth had this just started happening?

Anyway when I get back from work I'm gonna put the screw in so it is, "just", in. I just cant figure out why this has become an issue now. I'm sure it has only started recently.

Anything else I could try?
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Re: Side Brush not working

Postby jesperv » March 3rd, 2009, 4:13 pm

Sorry for my engelsk.

The side brush is not working becouse there is dirt in the motor/gear.you have to disamble the motor for the side brush and the clean the gear,i have had the same problem with mine 2 romba 530.
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Re: Side Brush not working

Postby dog.tired » March 3rd, 2009, 10:19 pm

Hopefully it wont turn out to be that jesperv!

I have tested the 560 tonight and as I stated would put the screw, "just", in....and it seems to be back to normal again!

I will be keeping a close eye on it over the next couple of days, to make sure tonight wasn't a one off. If it is still tightening itself it may just not have been active long enough to jam, this time. :roll:

thanks for your help, I will post in a couple of days with an update.
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Re: Side Brush not working

Postby derfberger » March 4th, 2009, 3:20 pm

happens to me a lot

dog hair will get wound around the brass hex shaft and work it's way into the space between the shaft and plastic surrounding it.

About all i can do is get a needle nose pliers a pull it out
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Re: Side Brush not working - me too!!

Postby tribeca » March 5th, 2009, 12:08 am

I got a replacement 570 recently. By the fourth trip, the side brush stopped spinning. I tried adjusting screw tension - no help. It can't be dirt because everything is clean.

I took the spinning brush off. Some hair wrapped around post, but not a lot. I tried to open case to adjust the spring but I can't get the blue case to open. I hate to force it & end up breaking something. Screws are out but the blue plastic parts don't come apart. Suggestions for opening????

I remember seeing a photo somewhere here that shows a spring & some mention the spring may need to be adjusted. But I can't find it. Can anyone help??

Anyway, what should I do now? Thanks for suggestions. Tribeca
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Re: Side Brush not working

Postby vic7767 » March 5th, 2009, 12:24 am

You can test the side brush motor by removing it from the Roomba and then connect a 9 volt battery to the two plates on the motor. Connect the positive and negative leads one on each contact plate, observe the motor runs in one direction then reverse the leads and verify the motor turns in the other direction.
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Re: Side Brush not working

Postby derfberger » March 5th, 2009, 12:02 pm

You can test the side brush motor by removing it from the Roomba

and how is that done?
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Re: Side Brush not working

Postby vic7767 » March 5th, 2009, 12:21 pm

The side brush motor on the 5XX models can be removed by loosening two phillips head screws that attach the module to the plastic case of the Roomba.
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Re: Side Brush not working

Postby tribeca » March 8th, 2009, 3:32 pm

connect a 9 volt battery to the two plates on the motor. Connect the positive and negative leads one on each contact plate, observe the motor run

I must be missing something here. How do you do this? There is something on the bottom of the motor that prevents the battery terminals from touching the gold plates. Thanks.
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Re: Side Brush not working

Postby vic7767 » March 8th, 2009, 4:17 pm

tribeca wrote:I must be missing something here. How do you do this? There is something on the bottom of the motor that prevents the battery terminals from touching the gold plates. Thanks.


There are also solder points that connect to the gold looking plates that can be used to make contact with the battery so that you can get the motor to run, or you can obtain some different wire connectors at Radio Shack or elsewhere to perform the same function.
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Re: Side Brush not working

Postby dog.tired » March 13th, 2009, 3:54 pm

I thought I would get back now that I have had plenty of time to test. Seems like it was just a matter of slackening the screw! (never had to have it like that before though). Anyway, thanks for the help. :wink:
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Re: Side Brush not working

Postby misterpogi » March 13th, 2009, 8:44 pm

The side brush on my Model 580 stopped spinning and here is what I found to be the problem: The plastic on the inside edge of the hole in the middle of the side brush had worn down over time so that, even though the axis was spinning properly, there wasn't enough friction to move the brush. So, I just removed the side brush, took a piece of cellophane tape, cut a very narrow strip with scissors, wrapped that around the axis to effectively make it thicker/wider, popped the brush back on and voila! I suppose you could wrap the tape around the inside of the hole as an alternative but I didn't try that. Anyway, I hope someone finds this helpful.
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Re: Side Brush not working

Postby TechGuy » March 13th, 2009, 9:16 pm

misterpogi wrote:The side brush on my Model 580 stopped spinning and here is what I found to be the problem: The plastic on the inside edge of the hole in the middle of the side brush had worn down over time so that, even though the axis was spinning properly, there wasn't enough friction to move the brush. So, I just removed the side brush, took a piece of cellophane tape, cut a very narrow strip with scissors, wrapped that around the axis to effectively make it thicker/wider, popped the brush back on and voila! I suppose you could wrap the tape around the inside of the hole as an alternative but I didn't try that. Anyway, I hope someone finds this helpful.

Thank for the information.

If the cellophane tape wears out quickly, consider to use brass shim instead.
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