Scooba Check Tank Light

The very latest news and updates for the iRobot Roomba robotic vacuum, the Scooba Robotic Washer and the Dirt Dog workshop sweeper. All discussion and troubleshooting questions go here.

Scooba Check Tank Light

Postby chelz3 » April 18th, 2009, 10:18 am

I am so frustrated! I cannot even get the scooba to turn on. As soon as I press the power button the check tank light comes on, the light is green. I had problems with the tank after first few uses when I first purchased the scooba as the tank had something loose in it and water would leak out. I Robot sent me a replacement tank and I have never received the actual correct model tank and that was over a year ago. I need help, am frustrated that I had to go purchase a mop to clean when I have a scooba sitting doing nothing!
chelz3
 
Posts: 15
Joined: December 24th, 2008, 2:11 pm

Re: Scooba Check Tank Light

Postby Gordon » April 18th, 2009, 11:46 am

What model Scooba is that?
What does its Owner's Manual say about "Possible Causes" for a CheckTank warning?
You need to chase each of those possible causes down to see which is impacting performance.
Gordon
Robot Master
 
Posts: 4195
Joined: April 6th, 2005, 2:02 am
Location: Santa Ynez, CA USA

Re: Scooba Check Tank Light

Postby chelz3 » April 18th, 2009, 12:21 pm

Scooba 5800
chelz3
 
Posts: 15
Joined: December 24th, 2008, 2:11 pm

Re: Scooba Check Tank Light

Postby Gordon » April 18th, 2009, 12:52 pm

Very good! "5800" answers the first question. I now know that it can perform a series of built-in tests that might help find the source of its complaint. But, before starting those tests, there are a couple visual checks that can easily be done.

It is important for you to be able to correlate warning lights with hardware problems, so I suggest that you find and read the 5800's Owner's Manual (OM).

If you can't find the hard-copy OM that came with Scooba, then visit the iRobot Support pages where you will be able to download an OM in pdf format.
Gordon
Robot Master
 
Posts: 4195
Joined: April 6th, 2005, 2:02 am
Location: Santa Ynez, CA USA

Re: Scooba Check Tank Light

Postby Higher Than the Sun » April 20th, 2009, 9:47 pm

I have a refurbished "Scooba 5999" (remanufactured version of the 5800) that seems to exhibit the same behavior. I've only run it once so far, but I was able to get it successfully running.

When I'd initially turn the power on and press "clean" it would sound like something was whirring up (a soft sound), and then the sound would sort of tone down, and then stop - that's when Scooba would give the error beep and the "check tank" light would come on. I found that if you give Scooba a little push (very little push; you don't need to start rolling it forward) then it'll take off and go through a cycle on its own.

I stopped it mid-cycle and restarted it, and had to give it a push to get it going again. The first time I pushed it, it wouldn't start, actually - I had to power it off, maybe reposition it, and try to start it up and push it again to get it going. I can't say for certain that this'll be a regular thing. To be honest, given that it's a remanufactured product, if it needs a little push each time then that's probably the least of the possible problems!

On the other hand, if someone out there knows that Scoobas that require a push are about to fail, please let me know. I'm still within the warranty period.
Higher Than the Sun
 
Posts: 11
Joined: April 20th, 2009, 9:41 pm

Re: Scooba Check Tank Light

Postby vic7767 » April 20th, 2009, 10:23 pm

That is not a normal type of treatment to get a 5XXX Scooba to exercise a cleaning mission. All that may be required is to "Prime the Pump".
Roomba and Neato Mods, come visit: http://www.vic7767.com/

http://www.Robot-Doc.com/
User avatar
vic7767
Robot Master
 
Posts: 12111
Joined: January 14th, 2006, 8:31 pm
Location: Haughton Louisiana - USA

Re: Scooba Check Tank Light

Postby Gordon » April 21st, 2009, 12:05 am

Higher Than the Sun wrote:...When I'd initially turn the power on and press "clean" it would sound like something was whirring up (a soft sound), and then the sound would sort of tone down, and then stop - that's when Scooba would give the error beep and the "check tank" light would come on.
vic7767 is right about doing a liquid purging (search for "turkey baster") of Scooba's pump, since one reason Scooba lights the CheckTank warning is it "thinks" the Tank's Clean chamber is empty.

There is no sensor inside the Tank to tell Scooba's controller about the quantity of cleaning solution inside the Clean chamber. The sensor that does that job is hidden in the Solution Inlet fitting; this thing:Image.

The sensor in that fitting may be dry because no solution is flowing from the Tank. Its a gravity flow system. The tip of the Solution Inlet presses on, and opens a valve inside the tank to allow solution to escape. Fluid may refuse to flow for at least two reasons: 1) valves in the pump are stuck shut (purging will overcome that condition), and 2) the tip of the Solution Inlet may have been damaged in a manner that shortened it, hence it can't open the tank-valve anymore!

So, those are some things to check.
I found that if you give Scooba a little push (very little push; you don't need to start rolling it forward) then it'll take off and go through a cycle on its own. ...
Pushing Scooba should have nothing to do with making it start a mission! OTOH, giving a a sharp rap, or bump, might indicate existence of an intermittent connection going to the pump-motor (that sort of thing used to be a popular fault).

This statement of yours concerns me:
...I'd initially turn the power on and press "clean" it would sound like something was whirring up (a soft sound), and then the sound would sort of tone down, and then stop ...
Normally: a) the pump (that whirring sound) starts before anything else and you hear that sound for three or four seconds, but the pump's sound is then drowned out by the louder noise of Scooba's blower-motor spinning up (the noisiest Scooba sub-system)! b) Scooba will start its initial spiral sweep and you should see a solution trail behind it. If liquid is not leaving the Clean chamber, it can't wet the sensor to tell the controller its OK to start the blower and wheels running, so you should check the above items.

To learn more about Scooba's pump, you can read about its innards on this page:
http://mysite.verizon.net/gsplews/17PumpAsm.htm
Gordon
Robot Master
 
Posts: 4195
Joined: April 6th, 2005, 2:02 am
Location: Santa Ynez, CA USA

Re: Scooba Check Tank Light

Postby Higher Than the Sun » April 21st, 2009, 12:10 am

I did prime the pump rather extensively - it didn't seem to have an effect. The first time I pumped the bulb there was a fair bit of resistance, and after that there was no resistance. I figure that the pump was probably primed after that first try, or else I shot the priming bulb :)

In my case, even when the Scooba did finally get going, it didn't put any liquid down for the first minute or so. It wasn't in "head drying mode" (or what ever it's called - when the clean button flashes as it cleans); I figured that it was taking some time for the liquid to get through the system. When I give it a second run I'll see if there's still a delay in how long it takes for liquid to come out.

Ultimately it put down liquid properly and sucked it up fairly well - no worse than some people have shown in pictures here, anyway. At the end of the cycle the cleaning tank was empty, and the dirty tank was 1/4 to 1/2 filled with dirty water. So it seems to be working well overall - it's just getting started that it was showing odd behavior. I'll see if having done a successful run once cleared any issues it was having...
Higher Than the Sun
 
Posts: 11
Joined: April 20th, 2009, 9:41 pm

Re: Scooba Check Tank Light

Postby Gordon » April 21st, 2009, 12:51 am

Higher Than the Sun wrote:I did prime the pump rather extensively -
You know you have adequately purged (its not really equivalent to "priming", such that a pump is able to create suction) when you observe liquid squirting out of both jets, i.e., jets which are indicated in this image:Image
If fluid ejects from one jet, but not the other, stopper the flowing one with a finger while continuing to purge.
...The first time I pumped the bulb there was a fair bit of resistance, and after that there was no resistance.
That's normal.
... when the Scooba did finally get going, it didn't put any liquid down for the first minute or so.
That is not normal.
It wasn't in "head drying mode" (or what ever it's called -
Internal Drying Mode.
...Ultimately it put down liquid properly and sucked it up fairly well - no worse than some people have shown in pictures here, anyway. At the end of the cycle the cleaning tank was empty, and the dirty tank was 1/4 to 1/2 filled with dirty water. ...
Yep! About normal there!
---Gordon
See Chat-Sticky "READ FIRST" then ask a Q.
Gordon
Robot Master
 
Posts: 4195
Joined: April 6th, 2005, 2:02 am
Location: Santa Ynez, CA USA

Re: Scooba Check Tank Light

Postby Higher Than the Sun » April 21st, 2009, 2:13 pm

Thanks for the diagram showing where both spray jets are - always helps to know the anatomy of the robot a bit better. I ran it for the second time today and there were no issues. It didn't even need a push to get started. Two runs isn't really significant enough to say whether the issue is gone or not - I'll run it heavily for the rest of this week to see if any problems materialize, but otherwise I guess I can now join the rank of happy Scooba owners. (I still prefer my Roombas, but they have a few years of usage over the Scooba.)

I'll add some remarks that may be of use to anyone who has similar issues as I did. I read the manual, but some parts still weren't clear to me (I was too excited to get the Scooba going, I suppose). First off, the measuring cup is only for your solution - either white vinegar or the Clorox solution. While the Clorox solution may seem obvious, you may be wondering (as I did) why you need to use 2 oz. of white vinegar. The reason is actually for Scooba's sensors. The way that it detects if there's liquid left in the tank is by electrical conductivity. The Clorox solution is conductive enough, but plain water may not be (it depends on your water source). Adding the white vinegar to water ensures that it'll be conductive enough, and Scooba can thus accurately tell if the tank has anything in it. If you don't do this, the risk is that you could have a full tank, but Scooba will mistakenly think that it's empty.

The second point has to do with filling the tank. I initially tried filling it just with the measuring cup. Nope, that's just a drop in the tank. Open the tank and put it under the faucet. In order to really fill it to the max, slightly tilt it so that the opening is above the rest of the tank. That'll allow you to really get the maximum amount of water in there. You don't have to fill it up all the way each time; filling it a bit less will reduce Scooba's cleaning cycle time (which you may want to do, if Scooba is cleaning a small area). Don't fill it up with the opening tilted below the rest of the tank - it'll look full, but in reality it may be far from it. As long as you get a sufficient amount in there it should be fine, but I suspect that a lot of the initial trouble that I had with the first run had to do with not having enough liquid in there.
Higher Than the Sun
 
Posts: 11
Joined: April 20th, 2009, 9:41 pm

Re: Scooba Check Tank Light

Postby Gordon » April 21st, 2009, 3:03 pm

Good show, HTTS! Glad to hear about success!

In response to what you said here:
Higher Than the Sun wrote:Thanks for the diagram showing where both spray jets are - always helps to know the anatomy of the robot a bit better.
You are welcome, and you might benefit by scanning all pages of Scooba-5900 Technical, if you like 'anatomy'.

In one advisory you said:
... you may be wondering (as I did) why you need to use 2 oz. of white vinegar. The reason is actually for Scooba's sensors. The way that it detects if there's liquid left in the tank is by electrical conductivity. The Clorox solution is conductive enough, but plain water may not be (it depends on your water source).
That conductivity requirement was most strict for the 5900-Scooba; however, iRobot reduced that requirement when it issued the 5800-Scooba just half a year later. The 5800s, and all subsequent (newer) Sccoba models, will function with (asserted) any water distributed by public water-supply utilities.
Gordon
Robot Master
 
Posts: 4195
Joined: April 6th, 2005, 2:02 am
Location: Santa Ynez, CA USA

Re: Scooba Check Tank Light

Postby scoobarocks » May 11th, 2009, 12:44 pm

Let me share my experience. I ran into the same problem. First, I went to get a turkey baster and cut the tip so that it fits tight on the solution valve. Then, as you inject water, you see water coming off the bottom of the scooba. So, that means water can flow through. but, that still doesn't fix the problem! then, I realize that I filled the tank with just water, and it's probably hard for the sensor in the scooba to detect water. So, I filled the tank again with some Colorox solution added (you can use white vinegar too), and hoooooooray, the scooba works!
scoobarocks
 
Posts: 1
Joined: May 11th, 2009, 12:37 pm

Re: Scooba Check Tank Light

Postby Angie Mc » August 4th, 2009, 2:27 am

I've been running my new Scooba 340 (purchased from HSN) most days for about a month and I am hooked on the convenience and my clean floors. A few days ago, it showed the "Check Tank" light before I tried to clean, therefore it wouldn't start. I read the Owner's Manual and confirmed that the tank is in the robot, the cleaning cycle is not complete, and I followed the steps on pg 23 to troubleshoot (inspect solution valve, confirm battery, filter, vac port are installed and tank is closed, shake 1 cup cold water in tank and refill.) Then I primed the pump according to this link: http://www.lisashea.com/lisabase/cleaning/roomba/primingscooba.html . It worked...for a day or two...now I'm back looking for more solutions because the "Check Tank" light is back on - third time I'm facing this situation - and nothing is working. I've read through the 5900 links but am at a loss as to what to do next? Can someone help me? I want to keep enjoying the Scooba but this is the third time it won't work and it all seems so random as to why.

Thank you!
Angie Mc
 
Posts: 2
Joined: August 4th, 2009, 2:05 am

Re: Scooba Check Tank Light

Postby Gordon » August 4th, 2009, 10:40 am

Angie Mc wrote:...It worked...for a day or two...now I'm back looking for more solutions because the "Check Tank" light is back on - ... Can someone help me? ...it won't work and it all seems so random as to why.
Seems like you have done a good job of following iRobot's recommendations, Angie Mc. There are two suspects that come to mind. One is loss of a magnet (which is one half of the sensor type that reports the presence of Filter, Brush, and Tank, as well as wheels UP/DOWN), or the Tank's dirty-chamber may contain residue that is reporting "full", when you know you have dumped it!

Loss of magnet (from the Filter's frame) has been reported, but when that happens, Scooba's performance results will be a consistent NO-GO.

Re: The false full-dirty-chamber problem can be verified by running Test-1,3 (Test-13) of Scooba's built-in test program. If the dirty-chamber's sensor electrodes are being connected by acceptably conductive materials, Scooba's I'mStuck warning indicator should light. So do that test with the Tank as it is now (do not add liquid to it).

If that warning light illuminates, that means you need to clean out the dirty chamber more thoroughly. Use the upper-right search box with "grief" in it; and, then search those results with "shake", in the left-side search box, to find clean-out guidance.

You will find Scooba's test procedure here:
http://mysite.verizon.net/gsplews/ScbaSelfTest.htm
Be sure to read about loss of warranty before starting into the tests.

Maybe the tests will reveal another cause of your problem(?). BTW, to reach Test-13, you will have to index through all the lower numbered tests -- you can't simply jump to 13.

Good luck!
---Gordon
See Chat-Sticky "READ FIRST" then ask a Q.
Gordon
Robot Master
 
Posts: 4195
Joined: April 6th, 2005, 2:02 am
Location: Santa Ynez, CA USA

Re: Scooba Check Tank Light

Postby richnorto » August 6th, 2009, 2:34 am

The "false dirty tank" issue is an easy fix! I discovered this in 2 "broken" scoobas I bought. You can actually reach your finger in the tank an see if the flapper is sticky. The clean might take a little more than hot water and hard shaking. If after shaking the goodness out of the tank, draining and repeating for a while, you may want to put straight vinegar in (a few ounces) and shake it some more. I got a lot more of the gunk out of the tanks and outlets this way. After a good clean, remember to leave the flaps open to dry so mildew and gunk don't grow in there again. Mom always had us clean the showers with vinegar...Mom must know something...! :lol:
richnorto
Robot Addict
 
Posts: 358
Joined: September 3rd, 2007, 11:31 pm

Re: Scooba Check Tank Light

Postby Angie Mc » August 6th, 2009, 11:05 am

Thank you, Gordon and richnorto. I especially appreciate the head's up to not void my warranty. My Scooba is up and running - yay! I called iRobot customer service and received excellent service - courteous, patient, thorough, helpful. I needed to do what I had done previously but much more vigorously. To be specific, I needed to squirt water via an aspirator bulb through the solution valve *4* times - not just twice. Then, I needed to add warm water to all four entry points into the tank and *vigorously* shake, shake, shake. I did this several times, sometimes putting the water into all four points at once, sometimes through one entry point at a time. Wow, did I get a lot of debris to come out! As a newbie Scooba owner, I feel much more comfortable handling it now and plan do these two procedures as part of Scooba's regular maintenance. Thanks, again!
Angie Mc
 
Posts: 2
Joined: August 4th, 2009, 2:05 am

Re: Scooba Check Tank Light

Postby arogers270 » August 9th, 2009, 5:12 pm

Hello! I just joined this site to mention what Angie Mac, above, just mentioned. It works every time! I have the blue rubber bulb syringe used for cleaning ear wax. I fill it up and squirt water through the two oval shaped protusions underneath the tank. Make sure you over a large sink or bathtub. As the water goes through, tilt the tank and watch the yuky stuff come out. It's really gross but it better to have it there than on your floor! I continue squirting the water and changing the tilt position until nothing else comes out. Then I resume normal operations.

I wish the instructions came with this step or even the rubber bulb syringe. It could really save people a lot of headaches.
arogers270
 
Posts: 1
Joined: August 9th, 2009, 5:02 pm

Re: Scooba Check Tank Light

Postby Jana » August 15th, 2009, 10:02 pm

GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE SUBMITTED HELP! I thought I'd lost my 2 1/2 month scooba already. Just as I fell in love with it. I had issues with the check tank light and your remedies solved my problems. Gotta go.....gonna mop floors (yea right) while watching tv! :cheers:
Jana
 
Posts: 1
Joined: August 15th, 2009, 9:57 pm

Re: Scooba Check Tank Light

Postby sarge7359 » January 4th, 2014, 9:26 pm

Gordon wrote:G
In one advisory you said:
... you may be wondering (as I did) why you need to use 2 oz. of white vinegar. The reason is actually for Scooba's sensors. The way that it detects if there's liquid left in the tank is by electrical conductivity. The Clorox solution is conductive enough, but plain water may not be (it depends on your water source).
That conductivity requirement was most strict for the 5900-Scooba; however, iRobot reduced that requirement when it issued the 5800-Scooba just half a year later. The 5800s, and all subsequent (newer) Sccoba models, will function with (asserted) any water distributed by public water-supply utilities.
Didn't detect my plain water. Very very soft water with PH near 7.8 from the tap. Had to put in cleaning solution before it would react properly.

This with a brand new, just out of the box, Scooba 390.

And necro-bumping this thread because it helped me solve the issue. MANY THANKS!
sarge7359
 
Posts: 1
Joined: January 4th, 2014, 9:24 pm

Re: Scooba Check Tank Light

Postby jimmywig » October 24th, 2014, 10:02 pm

Hi when i perform test 1,3 (13) i get check tank light flashing erratically in no particular fashion

I don't fully understand what i lights i should be seeing for this test. My Scooba has the same issue as described in this thread, when i turn it on you here about 3 sprays they Check Tank light comes on.

Water squirts out of both sides when running the tests, most of the time, sometimes is leaks out of the side :(

im lost if anyone can help, i performed the vinegar clean of the dirty tank and couldn't shake it anymore thoroughly

James
jimmywig
 
Posts: 8
Joined: October 24th, 2014, 9:54 pm

Next

Return to iRobot Roomba and Scooba Chat

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: sharkys, vic7767 and 142 guests