Knowledge for the World

How to replace a broken Roomba's brush assembly

  • by Nate (16)
  • 10 minutes

Roombas are fantastic but they are often prone to suicidal tendencies. Seriously, they'll slurp up clothes and cords like there's no tomorrow. No matter how hard you try to pick things up and keep the Roomba's brushes clean, a brush assembly failure is inevitable. Luckily, this is the most common part to break on a Roomba and it's inexpensive and easy to replace.

I'm going to perform this repair on a 500 Series Roomba (iRobot 560 to be exact), but the brush assembly (AKA cleaning head module, Part No. 21917) and procedure for changing it are identical across all 500, 600, and 700 series Roombas! So unless you have a really old Roomba, you're in luck.

So for about fifty bucks, your robot buddy can terrorize the family cat once again!

1

Forgiving your Roomba

Your Roomba doesn't understand what a cord is, or a sock -- or any of a number of other things that, when consumed, will allow him to meet his maker. Cut your Roomba some slack; he's only trying to help.

2

A sure sign of cleaning head module (a.k.a. brush assembly) failure is that your Roomba no longer sounds like a jet engine. In other words, it will be noticeably quieter than before.

To test the brush assembly, sprinkle some crumbs (cereal, crackers, tiny obscure objects, etc.) in front of the Roomba, turn it on, and see if it picks it up. I've provided a video on how to accomplish this complicated task.

3

Remove Roomba's side brush

Remove the screw holding the side brush in place and pull the brush upward to remove.

4

Remove Roomba's bottom cover

Loosen the 4 screws on the bottom cover of the Roomba and remove the bottom cover. The screws are clipped from beneath so they can't be fully removed, but they don't need to be.

5

Remove the old brush assembly

Loosen the 4 screws that hold the brush assembly in place. These screws are also clipped from beneath, but your new assembly includes some pre-installed!

Next, remove the dust pan and, finally, lift the module out of place. Lastly, throw the module in the garbage, angrily, because it sucks.

6

Install your new brush assembly

As always, assembly is the reverse of disassembly. While your Roomba is open, be sure to clean out the gunk that you'll notice has accumulated.

Don't forget to regularly clean your brushes from now on -- it only takes a few minutes, but it can save you a lot of money in the long run. Enjoy!