Bosch Washer Code E04 – Troubleshooting Guide

An E04 error code is an annoying issue, but is remedied with little effort or cost. While codes like this may delay your wash loads from getting done, they don’t indicate anything is substantially amiss with the machine. 

A Bosch washer code E04 indicates that the drain pump has too much foam or suds in it, preventing water from draining properly. It could be that you have used the wrong detergent or put too much soap in. A final reason is a clogged drain pump.

To determine which is the problem, you will have to look at the drain pump in your Bosch washer to see if it can be the cause of the problem. First, let’s look at your suds. 

Checking Your Detergent

In diagnosing a machine, always look to the simplest explanation first. This situation may show that your detergent is the primary problem. 

Bosch washer code e04

Here are some common facts about sudsy laundry detergents:

  • Problems with detergents are the most common reason for excessive foam.
  • Cheap powers have less defoaming action. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t want a lot of foam.
  • It could be the wrong powder or liquid, such as hand wash powder. Those shouldn’t be used in the washer.
  • You may have put too much detergent in the machine.

Some detergents aren’t made for these modern smart, high water efficiency machines. Look at your detergent to see if it is designed to work with this type of washing machine. You can change your laundry detergent if you this may be the issue. 

Also, be sure you are using the right amount of detergent. Some people will double the amount of detergent thinking that will make their clothes cleaner or maybe they like the smell. It won’t make your clothes any cleaner and, while it may smell nice, that will go away in the rinse cycle and the dryer.

Using an over abundance of detergent only suds up your machine where it won’t work. 

What Should I Do Next?

Now, you need to diagnose and fix your Bosch washer code E04. The immediate thing to do is stop the wash cycle if it’s still running. Foam can get anywhere, including the motor and the control board. That will cause you big trouble and could result in short-circuiting your washer. Turn off the power to the machine for safety.

  • Next, drain the water from the machine. You will use the drain filter, located in the bottom right under the front panel, to do this.
  • Remove all your laundry and then collect the foam from the drum. Remove all the foam from the washer manually without trying to wash it down.
  • Once you removed as much as possible, you can power up the washer again and turn it to rinse mode to remove the rest of the foam. You may have to do this a couple of times if there was a lot of foam.

Checking the Drain Pump

E04 codes that show up at the end of a wash cycle when the drain pump is operating are a sure sign that foam can’t be removed from the drum. You can fix the problem by cleaning the drain pump. 

Here is how to do it:

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  • Shut off the water supply and unplug it from the power outlet. 
  • Find the washing machine filter. It should be on the bottom front, under the panel. 
  • Open the hatch. It usually has a latch and you might need a flat wide screwdriver to pry it open. 
  • Now, remove the false panel on the bottom. It may need to be prie dup or it may shift from right to left. 

Get a bucket and some towels to drain the water from the washer. Water will pour out when you unscrew the filter so put something under to catch the water. There is also a hose near the filter you can use to drain the water.

  • Unscrew the filter cap. Remove it and clean it with cool running water. Clean the cavity too.
  • Next, take a flashlight and look into the cavity hole to check the drain pump. Remove any debris
  • Check the impeller by rotating it. It should move. 
  • Put the filter back and tighten it by turning it clockwise. Screw in the fixing bolt, if one is there. 

Turn on the machine on rinse and look for leaks. Look to see if there are water drops under the filter cover. If it’s dry, close the hatch and put the false panel back on. 

Will This Error Show Up Again?

It will show up if there is foam or debris in your drain pump again but if you take corrective measures with your detergent, this error code shouldn’t show up for a long time if ever. Bosch washer code E04.


How do you reset a Bosch washer?

Bosch washers can be reset easily:

  1. Move the program turndial to off before turning it back to the on position.
  2. Press down the cycle button for spin while also moving the program knob to “7”. Press it for 5 seconds before releasing. You should see light for the water cycle. come on.
  3. Now, rotate the program knob to off and then back on to clear the machine.

How to enter the diagnostic mode on a Bosch washer?

Getting into the diagnostic mode of a Bosch water can be a bit tricky but it can be done with these instructions.

  1. Turn the knob off.
  2. Now press the select and menu buttons at the same time while turning the program knob to the “permanent press code” mode. Continue holding the select and menu buttons until you see P1:Errors on the display. You are now in diagnostic mode.
  3. You can press the button for the menu to get to various tests. Be aware the start light will flash.
  4. The P1 mode will show you an error list. Hit the start button and it will show you an error code with the date it occurred. It only goes back eight washes though.
  5. Module codes will show as an Error 1-24 code while motor codes will appear as  dr:1-18 codes.
  6. You can get out of the test mode by pressing the spin button. Turn the program knob to get out of the program completely. 

What can I do to drain my Bosch washer?

There is a black drain pipe in on the machine front, located next to the drain filter. 

  • Pull up the front panel, the same one you accessed to get to the filter and you should see the black drain pipe.
  • You can drain water out by opening that up. It should be easy to open also. Be sure to put a shallow pan underneath before you do it because water will pour out. You may need some towels also to clean up any mess.

Conclusion: bosch washer code e04

An E04 code is troublesome because you have to manually clean out all the foam, drain the water and check the drain pump. However, it typically isn’t something that will cause any permanent damage. Thankfully, this repair doesn’t require a service technician. Just a bit of time and patience.

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