My Enemy, My Friend: The Scooba and Roomba

Official Manner of Forcing Scooba to Clean.  It doesn't work so well.I have had a Roomba for about six months now and it has made my life a lot easier. I have a rabbit and two cats that shed fur as a hobby, so as much as I should probably vacuum daily, I…don’t. Then came my Roomba. I have it scheduled to run daily and my home has become a lot cleaner. I still have to vacuum occasionally but the level of cleanliness of my home has definitely elevated.

My house has an open floor plan and it all needs to be vacuumed. The Roomba simply cannot do a good job on all rooms, hence the daily vacuuming needed. I want one on each level of my house for daily pet hair duty. I have considered buying not only a Roomba for the lower level carpeting, but also an extra Roomba for the upstairs and using a virtual wall to split the house. After I realized I’m not made of money, I just learned to live with the fact that the Roomba almost never finds its home base and I have to put its carcass to recharge. No big deal since I have to empty the bin anyway. I have a sick joy in emptying the bin and knowing I didn’t have to vacuum.

I was so happy with Roomba that I advertised it to my parents. Even though they have a weekly cleaning person, the Roomba runs in their home nearly every day and they love emptying the bin and seeing how effective the Roomba is.

I received the Scooba as a thank-you gift from my parents. It’s only been a couple of days, but I’m telling you that it’s love-hate. Reviews I’d read said that the only drawback is that it’s slow. True, but who cares?? I can go watch an episode of Heroes and not even have to hear the thing. Plus, playing with a gadget is much more fun than scrubbing, no?

I filled the tank, using the Clorox cleaner included in the correct ratio. Luckily my 5800 also works with vinegar/water or plain water. I’ve read complaints that the older models and the 5900 require the expensive and eco-unfriendly cleaner. I found these complaints because I did a quick search for “check tank error.” You know why…because my Scooba refused to start, claiming the tank was not seated properly. After a twenty minute battle and two internet searches, I finally made it work. Twelve minutes into the cleaning cycle, it
again gave the error. I attached and detached the tank twice and it finally went along.

I used the thing again today and it worked at first, but gave an error after about 30 minutes of cleaning. I think this is unacceptable and I will be exchanging the Scooba for an identical robot. If the new robot has the same issue, I will have to fire Scooba and *groan* scrub on my hands and knees again.

I was very pleased to see the comprehensive customer support answers to my questions, but I have a nagging doubt that the Scooba might just be too delicate to do its job properly.

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