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Bosch Dishwasher Troubleshooting & how-to Guide

Bosch Dishwasher Troubleshooting & how-to Guide

Bosch dishwashers are some of the most reliable dishwashers in the market. However, they are still susceptible to breakdowns and other issues from time to time.

This troubleshooting guide will make it easy to resolve any problems your Bosch dishwasher may experience.

How do you reset a Bosch dishwasher?

Dishwasher resetting is essential for canceling cycles or fixing an operational problem. The easiest way to reset your Bosch dishwasher is by pressing the On-Off button for at least 10 seconds. This should stop the complete operation.

Bosch dishwasher buttons are located atop the dishwasher door or on the door’s front panel, depending on the model you have. There are two main ways to reset a Bosch dishwasher;

Resetting using the ‘cancel drain toggles’

This method resets the dishwasher by preemptively completing a cleaning cycle. To reset using this method;

  • Open the doors slowly to see the control buttons.
  • Press the “Cancel Drain” button slightly for about 3 seconds.
  • Then close the door gently and give it around 1 minute to make sure the cycle is well completed.
  • Re-open the door and press the “ON/OFF” button.
  • The reset cycle is complete.

Resetting the Bosch Ascenta Model

This model has a child lock feature for increased safety. You will have to turn off the child lock feature before you can reset the dishwasher.

  • Press the “<” button until the label “CL” disappears from the screen.
  • Open the Ascenta dishwasher door gently to see the button inside written “START RESET.”
  • Hold the button down until the “ACTIVE” LED is gone.

Note: For the SHE5AM model of the Bosch dishwasher, the display clock turns to “0:00” when the reset is complete. Always refer to your user manual for further clarification.

Check this too: Frigidaire Affinity washer troubleshooting & How to Guide

Why is my Bosch dishwasher not starting?

If your dishwasher doesn’t start up when you turn it on, it may have power issues or an operational issue. Here are the main reasons why your dishwasher is not starting;

  • The dishwasher is not getting a power supply due to a blown fuse or damaged wire connection. Check for continuity using a multimeter, then hire a licensed electrician to fix the issue.
  • The dishwasher door is not fully closed. The dishwasher door latches are fitted with sensors that control the dishwasher when a door is opened. They automatically turn off the dishwasher whenever the door is opened.
  • The dishwasher has not been programmed to clean. Ensure that you have selected a cleaning cycle. The cycle selector instructs the machine on the operation required. Also, ensure that the machine settings are not hindering its operation.
  • The dishwasher may have a faulty timer. The timer is vital for controlling the cycle and the power used to run the dishwasher. Inadequate distribution of power to the various parts of the dishwasher will prevent it from starting.
  • Check for clogs as this may also prevent the dishwasher from working.
  • The dishwasher may have a faulty motor. If all the other components are working correctly, hire a professional to see if the motor needs repair or replacing.
  • Water supply is another cause of this issue. The dishwasher cannot run if there is a water supply hiccup. Ensure the water valve is turned on and connected to the water supply.

Bosch dishwasher troubleshooting blinking red light

This means the dishwasher door is not latched correctly. To remedy the issues, repair the door latch or replace it if it does not work after the repair.

Bosch dishwasher not draining

If your dishwasher is not draining, check the filter and pump and see if they are clogged. To do this;

  • Remove the filter and clear any debris and objects that are trapped in the filter.
  • Clean the filter using soap and a soft brush under running water.
  • Before reinstalling the filter, remove the pump cover and remove any debris in the pump.
  • Use caution as some debris may be sharp.
  • Then reinstall the pump cover and filter.

Note: Always refer to your user manual when opening or disassembling parts of your dishwasher.

Bosch dishwasher error codes and their meaning/fixes

Error codes denote an underlying issue that needs immediate attention. Here are the Bosch dishwasher error codes and their meanings;

Error E12Limescale buildup
Error E14Flowmeter failure
Error E15Water in the base trough
Error E16/17Water filling the system
Error E18Water flow into the dishwasher
Error E22Blocked filter
Error E23Malfunctioning wastewater pump
Error E24Dishwasher not draining
Error E25Wastewater pump blocked, drain issue, filter clogged, or pump impeller is jammed.

Bosch dishwasher not cleaning

Having dirty dishes at the end of the cleaning cycle can be extremely infuriating. This means your dishwasher is not cleaning dishes as it should. Here are some steps you can use to ensure your dishwasher cleans your dishes properly;

  • Load the dishes strategically to ensure there is sufficient space between items. This will ensure they are all properly cleaned. Also, ensure the spray arms can move freely after loading the dishwasher.
  • Do not pre-rinse your dishes before loading. Just scrape the food off the dishware. The dishwasher detergent needs small food debris to cling to work properly.
  • Add rinse aid to the dishwasher. It helps water droplets slide off dishware so you can’t see watermarks. Refer to your owner’s manual to learn how to use rinse aid.
  • Clean your dishwasher’s spray arms to prevent clogging. Run them underwater to see if any of the holes are blocked. You can use a toothpick to loosen any debris caught in the holes.

How to change the cycle on my Bosch dishwasher

Here are some easy steps to change your Bosch dishwasher cycle.

  • Open the dishwasher door slightly to expose the control panel.
  • Press and hold the “Start/Reset” button.
  • When the active indicator light goes off, release the button.
  • Then close the dishwasher door.
  • The dishwasher will beep to signal that draining is done.
  • For model numbers that begin with SHI661, SHU33A, SHU43C, SHU53A, SHU66C, SHV46C, SHV66A, SHX33A, SHX46A, SHX46B, SHY56A, SHY66C, press the desired cycle button twice to change the cycle chosen to wash the dishes inside the dishwasher.
  • For all other models, press the button once to change the cycle.

How do I reset the control panel on my Bosch dishwasher?

Press and hold the start button for at least 3 to 5 seconds to reset the dishwasher. The reset feature may be called “cancel” or “drain” on older Bosch dishwasher models.

How do you unblock a Bosch dishwasher?

Start by breaking up clogs in the dishwasher using a mixture of vinegar, baking soda, and hot water. Pout the solution in the basket at the bottom of the dishwasher and let it sit for a while. This should be able to unblock any clogs caused by food accumulation of fat buildup.

Check this too: How to Reset a Frigidaire Dishwasher

Then use the Bosch dishwasher cancel and drain procedure to drain the solution.

  • Push “Start” on the front of the dishwasher and hold it for three seconds to cancel the cycle.
  • Then wait at least one minute for “Clean” to light upon the dishwasher’s display.
  • Press “On/Off” to finalize the canceled cycle.

Note: if this does not work, check to see if the filter has any food debris obstructing the drain. Then work your way down to the drain pump to see if it is working.

how to keep your dishwasher clean

How to Clean and Sanitize Your Dishwasher

Cleaning your dishwasher may seem like a not-so-urgent task to perform until that unpleasant smell tells us it’s time. It doesn’t have to be like this all the time since the cleaning procedure will only take a few minutes of your time once a month depending on how often you use the washer. 

What one needs to know is that over time, grease, scum, grime, and food residue will build up and this will make your dishwasher inefficient, have a bad odor, and look dirty.

The following cleaning tips for your dishwasher will present you with an effective way of cleaning properly cleaning your appliance and eliminating the smell from the source using inexpensive household cleaning agents. 

You will need to purchase or assemble the following items for a thorough cleaning job.

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Regular bleach
  • A soft cleaning brush
  • A few toothpicks
  • A clean set of dishcloths

Switch off the power to the dishwasher and unplug

Cleaning the Dishwasher Accessories

  1. Take out the utensil holders and racks then wipe off any stuck-on food particles or other debris. 
  2. Mix ¼ cup baking soda with one-quart water and clean the dishwasher door. 
  3. Use a soft cloth and the cleaning solution to wipe fingerprints and smudges. 
  4. Open the door to access and clean the top and the sides. If there is build-up on the grooves of the rubber seal and the hinges, use a soft brush and warm soapy water to gently scrub it out. Take a damp clean sponge to wipe out the dirt.
  5. Wipe dry using a clean microfiber cloth.

Cleaning the Dishwasher Filter

The work of the filter is to screen out food residue that could make the dishwasher drain clogged. As a result of this, the food particles over time start decaying and produce a foul smell to your dishwasher. To clean the filter:

  1. Pull out the lower rack and spray arm to access the filter.
  2. Twist and pull the filter cap then remove the mesh screen and the filter.
  3. Soak the filter in the kitchen sink if it is dirty and grimy. Use warm water, soap, and a soft brush. Scrub the inner and outer parts of the filter to ensure that all food particles come out. Rinse the filter in running water and wipe dry using a clean cloth.
  4. Carefully place the filter back into place by twisting the filter cap to lock it into place. Note that, you run the risk of being hit by the spray arm if the filter is not properly tightened into place.
  5. Replace the spray arm and lower rack 

Cleaning the Dishwasher Tub

This is one part of the dishwasher that has a warm and moist environment that can easily transform into a bacteria breeding area. 

  1. Use paper towels to remove debris from around the drain at the base of the dishwasher.
  2. Fill a dishwasher-friendly cup with white vinegar and place it on the top rack. Clean the dishwasher tub by running a full cleaning cycle using hot water to have it cleaned and disinfected at the same time.
  3. In the case of a stubborn bad odor, sprinkle the base of the tub with a cup of baking soda and let it sit overnight. Run a normal clean cycle in the morning.
  4. To eliminate persistent mold use one cup of household bleach on the base and a regular clean cycle. Do not carry out this procedure if the interior of your dishwasher is stainless steel to prevent it from discoloring. 

Cleaning the Dishwasher Spray Arms

The spray arms have small holes that spray water on the dishes while cleaning takes place. Food particles often block these holes and prevent water from spraying outwards, resulting in dishes that are not well cleaned.

  1. Pull out the lower racks and remove the lower spray arm by lifting it. Remove the upper arm by twisting the knob.
  2. Remove debris and food particles from the holes using a toothpick.
  3. Rinse the arms under a faucet of warm water.
  4. Wipe the spray arms dry using a clean cloth and reinstall them on the dishwasher.

Cleaning the Drain

A dirty and clogged drain will deny your dishwasher a fresh clean smell even after carrying out all the cleaning procedures above. 

If this is your case, you will have to spend a little more time inspecting and clearing the drain.

  1. Disconnect the drain hose using a screwdriver and pliers.
  2. Get a bucket and inspect blockages by running a clean cycle while holding the hose over the bucket. If the hose fails to drain it means there is a blockage that needs to be cleared.
  3. You will need a plumbing snake or a straightened hanger to remove the clog. 
  4. It is advisable to have a professional remove the clog if it is on the drain line at the back of the dishwasher.

The best way to maintain a clean dishwasher is cleaning splutters and smudges on the outside as soon as they happen and scheduling a thorough cleaning once every month.

Of great concern also when it comes to maintaining your dishwasher clean is the type of water you use. Hard water will make it more susceptible to scum and mineral deposits buildup. 

Descaling the dishwasher

Using lemon juice to clear the drain has proved to be a hack that works wonders but only for the short term. Fill a dishwasher-friendly cup with lemon juice and place it in the top rack. Run a normal cycle.

Using Bosch descaler a few times a year will also have a better outcome in clearing lime buildup over time. 

Empty the dishwasher and run the longest and hottest cycle using plain water. After 20-30 minutes add one pack of descaler to the bottom of the dishwasher and allow the cycle to continue. 

Run another normal cycle to clean any remaining traces of the descaler.