Thinking About Purchasing an iRobot SCOOBA


I'm thinking about purchasing a floor washing iRobot Model 5900 SCOOBA.

I would purchase from Automated Outlet HERE.

I have a four month old puppy (who likes to dig) and a ceramic tile floor (large grouted tiles). ;)

I would really like to hear from members who already own this product (pros and cons). :blink:



I picked up the 5800 (which at the time was roughly the same price as the 5900). It's the second-gen unit and should fix some of the first-gen (5900) issues.

It will also run on pure water--which makes it great for sealed hardwood. But watch out--its battery can only do one round (200-250 sq. ft), and not two like its older brother.

All in all, it's probably one of the greatest robot investments I've ever made ;) It does a great job--although be aware that it can't get in the grout between the tiles.

It also has a serial port connector (although not easily exposed like its Roomba brother), so there's some "hackability" in there...

Hi Chris;

Thanks for the reply. I thought the 5800 was the older model and the 5900 was the newer one (with the increased battery life)?

I'll look into this some more.

5900 is the original model, with the longer battery life. They improved the machine and put in a smaller battery (to bring down the cost) to come out with the 5800.

I've had the 5900 since August of last year. Unlike my fleet of Roombas, I've had lots of problems with the Scooba. 2 main issues.

The pump that puts down the solution stops working almost every run. The fix (per iRobot) is to turn the Scooba off and bang the thing on it's side to reposition the pump. In sum, my Scooba requires continous monitoring during use.

There's a problem with the battery for Scooba. iRobot used to recommend that you leave the battery in the charger at all times to preserve battery life. Recently, they discovered the opposite was better for the battery. They now recommend that you charge the battery for three hours just before you plan on using Scooba. I know this because I just had to have my battery replaced and discussed this with iRobot directly. Imagine, you need to plan when you're going to mop and 3 hours before that time, you charge the battery!! Pretty unrealistic, but that's where we are. By the way, I asked the rep if this was also true with the new 5800 battery and was told "yes."

So, hate to say it, but I cannot recommend this generation of Scooba. I'm a huge iRobot fan though. I bought an original Roomba, and have gotten 3 more since then.

That's the kind of thing that scared me away from the 5900 :)

That said, I can't guarantee that the 5800 will work for you--but after getting it running the first time it has worked flawlessly for many months.

I have a Scooba, Roomba and Dirtdog. No problems with any yet. I have had the Scooba about 6 months and use it twice a month or so.

I have only used the Sooba juice in it. Don't know if that helps, but no problems with mine.

mwhistle, thanks for the reply. Your experience with the 5900 is also the same as many members on an iRobot forums that I recently read.

Brian, may I ask what model of the Scooba you are currently using?

It sounds like the prudent thing to do is to get the 5800 model after reading replies here so far. :)
BraveSirRobbin said:
Brian, may I ask what model of the Scooba you are currently using?
I've got a 5900. Likewise, I bought my son one at the same time (woot had them for $199.) His probably has three times the mileage as mine and I have not heard any complaints from him.

When I get home, I'll have to see if I have the 5900 or 5800. I used mine for about 2 weeks. After calling iRobot for help (as it was not cleaning) they had me do the which I asked...are you sure??

After my 20 minute phone call, they replaced it.

I have not used my new one as of yet.

It would seem to me the issue is whether you have GROUTED tile or a SMOOTH floor.

I bought the Hoover "Floormate" floor cleaner and although it was twice as slow as mopping, it did NOT get into the grout at all.

If you have substantial grout, you know thats where all the dirt settles. I doubt ANY automated machine can clean it. Smooth linoleum or wood floors are another game.

What I do find rather revealing, is that floor cleaning is a topic for this bleeding edge high technology forum.

In another time..........

GLT said:
What I do find rather revealing, is that floor cleaning is a topic for this bleeding edge high technology forum.
It's all about the bleeding edge way you can clean your floors, not the floor cleaning itself! :)