Bosch is a well-known German company that makes every appliance and tool you could imagine, including household dishwashers. If you have one in your kitchen, you may find yourself facing an E15 error code at some point in the machine’s life. But what does it mean?
On a Bosch dishwasher, the E15 error code means that there’s water trapped in the lower base of the appliance. The dishwasher stops working when the E15 error appears because the anti-flooding feature prevents excess water from filling up your kitchen floor. It’s usually caused by a leak, perhaps in the sump basin, water tank, or hoses. Worst case, the leak might come from a broken fixture.
Let’s take a look at the possible causes of the E15 error code on a Bosch dishwasher and how you can fix it.
What Does The E15 Error Code Mean On A Bosch Dishwasher?
In a Bosch dishwasher, the E15 error code means that water has collected at the bottom of the machine. More specifically, water has collected in the trough and triggered the safety switch. As a result, the machine will stop working, and the E15 error message will continue to stay on until it has been reset.
The E15 error is part of the dishwasher’s leakage protection system. It prevents you from using the dishwasher when water is present where it shouldn’t be so that you do not end up flooding your kitchen floor.
To resolve this issue, you will first have to reset your dishwasher’s E15 error code. Once that’s done, you’ll then have to troubleshoot what caused the water to flow to the bottom of the machine and resolve it as well. If not, the E15 error message will simply come back again and again until you do.
How To Reset The Bosch Dishwasher E15 Error Code
The safety switch that triggers the E15 error code was activated because of the presence of water. So, there are two ways you can reset the error code: by using the tilt method or by resetting the safety switch manually.
The Tilt Method
The first way is to pull the dishwasher out from under the sink or your kitchen cabinet. Then, carefully tilt the machine back at a 45º angle. That should allow the water to flow away from the safety switch and return it back to its default status. That should reset the error code and allow you to continue using the machine as usual.
Resetting The Safety Switch Manually
Another method is to access the bottom of the dishwasher and free the safety switch yourself. You see, that safety mechanism consists of a switch and a polystyrene disc in the trough. The presence of water in the trough will cause that polystyrene disc to float and depress the safety switch.
So, to reset it manually, you’ll first need to remove any water in the trough. You could use a cloth or any other tool to remove all the water. If the polystyrene disc is stuck, you’ll need to free it with your hand and return it to the bottom of the trough where it should be.
Doing that will reset the E15 error code and allow you to continue using the dishwasher again as you usually do.
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What Causes The Bosch Dishwasher E15 Error Code?
Resetting the error code as mentioned above will allow the dishwasher to function again. However, the problem will come back again if you do not address the root cause.
Unwanted water in your dishwasher trough could be caused by the usage of excess soap, a sump basin leak, a leak in the water tank or hoses, as well as broken fixtures within the dishwasher.
Related: 5 Common BOSCH Dishwasher Problems
1. Excess Dishwashing Soap or Detergent
To perform a washing cycle in your Bosch dishwasher, you require two things: water and soap. More importantly, both of those things must be in the correct amounts.
The water supply is usually automated, so the dishwasher will decide for itself how much water is required for that washing cycle. Then, it’ll control the volume of water using the water inlet valve.
However, the dishwasher’s soap or detergent is typically added manually. So, users must refer to the instructions on the dishwasher soap’s bottle and only add as much as is necessary.
Why it fails:
Unfortunately, there are situations where users will add far too much dishwasher detergent than they need. That simple user error will cause the washing cycle to generate more suds than the machine can handle.
As a result, the suds and water will flow to parts of the machine where they shouldn’t go. In some cases, that might force water to drip into the trough at the bottom of the dishwasher, triggering the safety switch and causing the E15 error to come on.
How to fix:
After resetting the error code, you should run an empty dishwashing cycle to wash out any excess suds or detergent buildup. This will be much more effective if you choose the hottest water setting possible.
The next important step is to refer to the dishwashing soap packaging. There, you’ll see the manufacturer’s recommendation for how much soap or detergent to add to a washing cycle to prevent this from ever happening again.
2. Sump Basin Leak
The lowest part inside your dishwasher is the sump basin. That’s where all of the dirty water flows into before it’s drained out of the dishwasher’s main compartment.
Why it fails:
The E15 error code means that there’s water in the trough at the bottom of the dishwasher. Typically, that means that there’s a leak allowing water to go there even though it shouldn’t.
The sump basin is located directly above the trough, where the safety switch and polystyrene disc sit. When the sump basin leaks, the water will flow directly to that trough, causing the disc to float and trigger the safety switch.
Typically, this happens because the sump seal (also known as the sump gasket) at the bottom of the basin may have started becoming loose, corroded or worn out. As that happens, it fails to create a tight seal, allowing water to escape and drip into the trough below.
How to fix:
From the inside of the dishwasher, it would be best to try and tighten the screws holding the sump basin in place. That might solve the problem if the seal is simply loose. However, if the leak persists, then you’ll want to remove the sump basin and replace the sump seal with a brand new part.
3. Leaking Water Tank Or Hoses
Like most dishwashers, the ones from Bosch also tend to have water tanks and several hoses inside. Some hoses are used to supply and circulate clean or filtered water around the inside to wash the items inside. Other hoses are also there to help drain the dirty water and take it out of the machine.
On the other hand, the water tank is generally found on the side of the machine under an access panel. Generally, its purpose is to store enough water to run a complete dishwashing cycle.
Why it fails:
Over time, water tanks and hoses can start to leak. It could be that they were not installed correctly in the first place or that their joints were not sealed appropriately. In some cases, their connections may have come loose, allowing water to leak out.
Naturally, water will flow to the lowest point in the machine: the trough at the bottom. That will trigger the safety switch to do its job, stop the machine, and display the E15 error code.
How to fix:
Fixing this problem is pretty straightforward once you’ve located the leak. That means:
- You’ll need to remove the access panels on all sides of the dishwasher and inspect the water tank and each hose upfront.
- Typically, it’s easier to find even the most minor leak by touching the entire length of the tank and hoses. That way, you’ll be able to feel the water on your fingertips and identify a leak, even though you can’t do so visually.
- Once you’ve identified which part is leaking, all you’ll need to do is replace it.
- Replacing hoses is very straightforward and intuitive, though you could refer to the user manual or technical sheet for guidance that’s unique to your dishwasher model.
4. Broken Fixtures
Besides tanks and hoses, Bosch dishwashers also have several fixtures that help to guide the flow of water. These fixtures allow water to get to where they need to be and to circulate smoothly so the machine can run optimally.
Why it fails:
Dishwasher fixtures, even those made from the most rigid materials, can break over time. Perhaps their surface has been corroded after many years in use, or something fell inside the dishwasher with a strong enough impact to cause a crack.
If any of that were to happen, water could seep through those cracks and breaks towards the trough at the bottom, triggering the safety switch and then the E15 error message.
How to fix:
Typically, you can’t fix a broken fixture inside your dishwasher. So, replacing the part in question may be the only workable solution. Replacing any sort of part will typically involve removing the closest panel to access the part and removing any screws that hold it in place.
Your best references would be the user manual and technical sheet, which will show you the fixture’s location that’s unique to your Bosch dishwasher model.