So your Bosch SMS series dishwasher had broken down? If only there was a way to know what was wrong with it. Oh wait, there is! Luckily these Bosch dishwashers display error codes, which are very handy for giving you an idea of the problem. Once you know the nature of the issue, you can make a more informed decision whether to fix it yourself or whether it’s best left to the professionals.
It’s worth us mentioning that error codes won’t tell you exactly what’s wrong with your appliance. You’ll still need to get to the bottom of the problem with some further diagnosis, but error codes give you an idea of the area to investigate at least. That way you can also get an idea of the parts you might need to replace before taking the machine completely apart.
Identifying Bosch SMS Series Dishwasher Error/Fault Codes
These error codes for Bosch SMS series dishwashers are only useful if you know what they stand for so without further ado here they are. (Please note, we’ve displayed the codes in consecutive number order but some numbers aren’t used so we’ve missed these out.)
Safety First! Please make sure that you've switched off your appliance and disconnected it from the mains before beginning any repair.
E01 - E05: All these codes (E01, E02, E03, E04 and E05) indicate a power module failure
You’ll likely need to replace the module and may have to be configured in a specific way.
E06: Door switch fault
A door switch fault could be caused by a broken lock, and you’ll be able to see on inspection of your machine whether this is the case. Just find your replacement door lock on our site.
E07: Dryer fan faulty
The dryer fan fitted on some models dries your dishes after a wash so without it you’ll have to wait for your dishes to air dry. If Faulty you can fit a new fan to bring your dishwasher back to full working order again.
E08: The machine has detected too low a water level in the tub
Check the machine is filling correctly and if when running you stop the machine the water level should be above the filter grill but below the door seal. If it is low check the flow sensor next to the inlet valve.
E09: Heating circuit fault
It’s most likely a failed heating element which has caused this fault, but could be the control board.
E10: Heat pump scaled up
In hard water areas heating elements that come into contact with water like those in washing machines and dishwashers can become coated in limescale. Limescale build up makes your dishwasher run less efficiently, and can eventually cause the heating element to block up. You can avoid limescale build up in future with monthly use of a dishwasher cleaner that tackles limescale build up.
E11: NTC thermistor fault
Faulty thermistor or thermistor wiring this is the temperature sensor and usually fitted in the sump of the machine. Suspect the sensor if no other problem is found.
E13: Hot water inlet temperature too high, greater than 75°C
This is usually only applicable to machines in the Americas as most other markets do not have hot water inputs.
If your machine is connected to your hot water supply, turn down the temperature of your hot water. If not, there could be a problem with this sensor in your dishwasher.
E14: Reed switch flow sensor fault
This is the sensor close to the water inlet valve that measures the amount of water into the machine. If it sticks or fails the machine cannot identify how much water it has been filled with and you will need to replace it.
E15: Water in base
Water in the base of the dishwasher indicates there is a leak somewhere, or the machine has foamed up and the foam has leaked over the splash seal into the base of your appliance. You’ll need to both drain the water and fix any leak to prevent this problem from reoccurring.
E16: Inlet valve fault
If not enough water is getting into your dishwasher, there’s most likely a fault with either the water supply or the inlet valve which lets the water in. This part can be replaced, but valves vary from model to model so be sure to get the right one.
E17: Water level too high - flow sensor
The opposite problem to the above, this indicates that there’s too much water in the machine. There could be a faulty inlet valve, or as the description of the error suggests, it could be the flow sensor which is faulty.
E18: Water level too low
This is another indicator that the water valve which lets in water could have failed. But if you’re not sure of the cause, our video on diagnosing filling and dispenser problems in a dishwasher may help.
E20: Winding resistance of circulating pump fault
This fault indicates there is a short or break in the electrics in either the circulating pump or motor of the dishwasher. The machine will need to be taken apart and the pump motor tested with a multimeter to confirm the cause of this error.
E21: Circulating pump blockage
There are a number of possible causes for this fault including blocked pipes or spray jets or possibly a failed capacitor on the wash motor.
E23: Winding resistance of drain pump fault
If the drain pump is blocked or broken it will need replacing. You can find your replacement here.
E24: Drain filters blocked
If your drain filters are blocked you’ll need to remove and clean them. If you’re not sure where the filters are located on your machine or they are so gunked up that they need replacing, watch Helen explain here:
E25: Drain pump blocked or pump cover missing
If your drain pump is blocked you’ll need to investigate. It’s possible you’ll be able to remove the blockage without the need to buy any replacement parts, but it’s also possible you’ll need to replace the pump or pump cover.
E26: Water switch fault
We believe this is the switch on the left of the machine that monitors the flow of water into the machine. If water backs up it will raise a float operating this switch and stop filling and start emptying. This can be caused by a grease build up in the hose to the sump but if the switch fails or sticks it will need replacing.
E28: Turbidity sensor fault
The turbidity sensor identifies how ‘clean’ the rinse water is. If it is cloudy the machine runs an extra rinse to ensure the dishes are rinsed clean. If you see this error start by running a machine cleaner through as it may be caused by a bit of grease or other debris in the sensor. If this does not cure the problem suspect the sensor itself.
You’ll find videos explaining further how to diagnose and repair your dishwasher here on our Advice Centre or over on our YouTube channel. Remember when buying spares to fix your dishwasher find your model number and include it in your parts search to make sure the parts you’re buying will fit your model. There’s nothing worse when fixing an appliance than taking the whole machine apart only to find you’ve got the wrong spare part!