Is a Roomba worth it?
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  1. #1
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    Default Is a Roomba worth it?

    Our downstairs is all hardwood/tile floors except one bedroom. I have wanted a Roomba since they came out but just not sure they are worth the money. Does anyone have one and like it? What are the downfalls if any? Expensive to run?

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    I love mine!! We've had it for 3 years now and I use it every day! I have all hardwoods too and a huge dust issue so I need to run it often! In my family room I have a large area rug on the wood floor and then our couch and loveseat plus a trunk style coffee table and end table. The roomba tends to get stuck under that furniture so I roll the rug up a bit and it blocks the roomba from going in that area. Mine did come with that electronic "fence" deal where you can keep the roomba where you want it but it is a pain to set up so I do it the easy way and just block off areas I don't want it to go. I can set it on our entry way which is raised and the roomba will go to the edge and then move away, it has never gone over the edge.
    I have the auto dock on mine so once the floor is done I hit dock on the roomba and it will go to the docking station. There are times it has run completely down and can't get back to the dock so thankfully I can just plug it in too. It does need to be cleaned after each use (mine collects tons of stuff) and it is a bit loud so I usually run it as soon as everyone goes upstairs for the night or very early in the morning after dh and ds have left for the day. It really makes our wood floors look beautiful so it is totally worth it to me!!

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    Registered User Frugal Nurse's Avatar
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    I have one too. I liked it when it ran. But the battery has pooped out on me and it costs $75 for the battery. poopy. Both of mine died. Upstairs and downstairs. I have been waiting for the extra cash to replace the batteries.

    So in a nutty shell - it was really great. You can put it on a timer and it automatically runs say.. in the middle of the night while you're asleep. But for the first 10 times. you're going to want to watch it.. only as cheap entertainment. lol. It really does clean the entire floor. Amazing.

    was it worth it ($400 at the time)? no. Would I get another one? no. Do I like it? yes.. because it was a gift and I didn't have to pay for it. lol

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    I just bought mine, so I have limited experience.
    But so far, I love it. I have cats and it picks up all the cat hair and stray litter.
    It works great on my large area rug in the living room but occasionally gets stuck on some of the smaller ones. So I just take those up, take them outside and give them a good shake. Then I put them back when the vacuuming is done.
    I tried letting it run all over the house and found that it spent too much time in some areas and not enough in others.
    So now I just block off a smaller area and let it do its thing there. That works better for me.
    I would never leaving it running while I'm gone. When researching it, I read horror stories about it running through "pet accidents" and spreading that everywhere. (My cats occasionally regurgitate cat food or throw up a hair ball.)
    Not knowing how much I would like it, I did not buy the top of the line model.
    Mine is a 585 that I ordered from Sam's Club for $279+tax+shipping - a total of $304.

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    Moderator Ceashels's Avatar
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    Greebo and I were given one as a wedding present from his cousins. With 3-4 long hair animals living in the house it needed cleaning after every use and sometimes after each room. For me this was an extra 15 mins to disassemble. After a while I just decided it wasn't worth it on our carpets and eventually used it less and less. I think if I had short haired animals and more hardwood floors it would have served us better. That was 10 yrs ago. I would look at the newer models and see what it takes to clean the brushes before buying one.

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    Registered User CookieLee's Avatar
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    I own one and don't use it. I find it a pain to clean to the small collection compartment. I'd rather break out my Dyson occasionally.

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    Registered User Frugal Nurse's Avatar
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    Oh - don't bother to get a used one.. people are selling them when the battery doesn't hold a charge. so when you ask for a demo to be sure it works, voila. it works.. but not for longer than 10 min.. because the battery doesn't hold the charge. You could potentially sit there for a while (and hour or so) and make sure. lol but that would be uncomfortable. lol

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    Registered User nodmicks's Avatar
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    Will they fall down the stairs or do they sense a drop? We have all hardwood and ceramic floors but 3 levels of stairs so I was curious. I wouldnt have to block the 2 stairways going down from the main level

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    Quote Originally Posted by nodmicks View Post
    Will they fall down the stairs or do they sense a drop? We have all hardwood and ceramic floors but 3 levels of stairs so I was curious. I wouldnt have to block the 2 stairways going down from the main level
    Mine senses the edge and backs away from it. They do come with a set up you can use to block it from going in areas you don't want it to go but I think it's a pain and just block those areas off myself. Also I've had mine 3 years, use it every single day, make sure it is clean after each use, put it back on the dock to charge and it still runs like brand new. It can do my entire downstairs.....small hallway, bathroom, laundry room, bonus room, family room, kitchen, dinning room, front room and entryway (I have to move it up on the entryway, the rest of the downstairs is open concept) all on one charge. It runs about 45 minutes. We paid $199 for it, it is a Roomba and for me it has been totally worth the money!

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    Registered User nodmicks's Avatar
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    That makes if much more practical to me if it will back away from the stairs. I really can't block them since the pets are always up an down them. I've thought they looked pretty cool since they came out. I could sweep a zillion times a day and still see pet hair.

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    Registered User low-1's Avatar
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    Frugal nurse (and others...), you can find replacement batteries for significantly less than that. My old roomba has sat in the corner of the basement for prob 5 years with a dead battery. Since we had laminate flooring put in everywhere, I decided to replace the battery. Bought one off eBay for $25 or so, and it's been great. Definitely NOT a vacuum, but does a good job as a sweeper

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    Quote Originally Posted by nodmicks View Post
    That makes if much more practical to me if it will back away from the stairs. I really can't block them since the pets are always up an down them. I've thought they looked pretty cool since they came out. I could sweep a zillion times a day and still see pet hair.
    me too..I am thinking about if I want a roomba or not...

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    Registered User Libby's Avatar
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    I think it is. It seems to do a better job then a traditional vacuum. I block it into a different room w/carpeting a day so that it can get a thorough cleaning. I usually turn it loose when we leave to drop DH at work & to run errands. It runs about 1.5 hrs if I let it or it finds enough to suck up. We used to have it programmed so that it would run daily but our schedule isn't always the same. It is fairly loud but not as loud as a traditional vacuum.

    It supposedly has a sensor to not 'eat wires' but still does on occasion. It does sense stairs/drops, basically when there's no more floor and it stops, retracts, turns and goes in another direction.

    Overall, I think its totally worth it. You can either be working in another area of the house or not even home while its doing its thing. And when you come back, you have a clean carpet. Emptying the compartment is a small thing to complain about for not having to push around a bulky vacuum IMO.

    ETA: we don't have pets so the excessive hair collection in the bristle brush isn't an issue for us.

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    Registered User Libby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nodmicks View Post
    Will they fall down the stairs or do they sense a drop? We have all hardwood and ceramic floors but 3 levels of stairs so I was curious. I wouldnt have to block the 2 stairways going down from the main level
    Dad has issues understanding how the 'invisible' wall works so instead he just puts a 2x4 across the top step so the roomba bumps it and turns away thinking its a physical wall. Would your pets be able to walk/climb over a 2x4 with ease?

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    Registered User reader99's Avatar
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    I absolutely loved my Roomba but when it quit I didn't get another because they are quite expensive and mine always crapped out within a year. Usually I could invoke the warranty so that was nice but overall to me it's a luxury item. They do sense a drop, and also can climb from tile or wood up onto an area rug.

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