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Picture of Repairing E.04 Error on Bosch Washer
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It was a peaceful Sunday afternoon. A load of wash was in the washing machine. An unfamiliar series of beeps from the washing machine interrupted my football couch potato session. It was flashing an E.04 error. I restarted the cycle but the error reappeared.

Time to read the manual. The manual said that either too much suds or the drain pump was having a problem. I went to the Internet to try to find more information. Jackpot! I found a post of the description and the fix for the error code.

It was obvious that excessive suds was not my problem.

You will need a towel, a flashlight and a 4d nail / brad (or some other metallic pointed thing). You may or may not need some silicone grease to lube the sump cap. (I did not need any.)

If you have water in the drum of the machine, you will need a wet/dry vacuum cleaner with crevice end and more towels and maybe ear plugs if your vacuum is as loud as mine.

Note: Wet/dry vacuum cleaners use 2 inch and/or 1 and 1/2 inch hoses. The smaller hoses and accessories are easier to maneuver inside the washer.
 
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Step 1: Gaining Access

Picture of Gaining Access
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To be extra safe, turn off the washing machine and unplug it.

The access for the drain pump is behind the circular access panel on the bottom right front of the machine. This panel twists off. There are three ears on the panel that fit into three cutouts on the machine front. After the ears are in the cutout, the panel is twisted counterclockwise to lock ears behind metal.

If the panel were a clock face, there is a small hole in it at about the 5. Insert a nail in the hole to gain some leverage. Gently press on the panel with your other hand while you rotate the panel clockwise to move the hole to the 6 o'clock position.

Update - 10/2011: Be careful when you get the cover off. The edges of the hole may be unfinished and sharp. You can tape over the edge while you are working or wear gloves. The more adventurous can grind or file the rough edges.
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surfair726 days ago

Hello Peeps me again:)

The washer worked for about 3 weeks and now i am having issues again:(

The first time around i had a code and followed directions and it worked out great. All of a sudden the washer tripped a breaker and water was still in washer but leaked out some where? The fix i had performed still held and no sign of water leakage.

It sat a couple days with water in it and i plugged it in and hit rinse and pumped turned on and now no water! What do i do now? there must be a leak some where any thoughts would be great!

brgt40 (author)  surfair723 days ago
I have never had to get into the internals (i.e. under the sheet metal). Another follower "Jaytee999" has been inside the machine. Maybe you should reach out to "Jaytee999". There are other followers if you read the earlier posts. I hope this helps.
I stared at the washer for bout an hour trying to pinpoint the leak then had a come to jesus moment. I did what every husband,yuppie or man wants to do:) drug it out back and shot it full of holes! I will take it to the recycle center this weekend. I want to thank you so much for your help. This is probaly one of the best websites on the web.
I am sure i will be back when the dryer acts up:)
surfair725 days ago

Ok i decided to turn on rinse cycle and watch thru access hole. The previous fix held up like a champ but the leak came from the front of drum. Not a big leak but enough to run down and pool up. when in the drain phase and drum is spinning it makes a higher pitch sound like it is rubbing? As far as i could tell the rubber seal is not broken or torn. any thoughts?

surfair7227 days ago

OK i try again. I have a bosch 300 nexxt series washer, I followed your perfect instructions and it was great until i pulled the black cap off. behind it was a white plastic cap that has no groove or way to remove. i pry the sides and water drains but it lookes to be threaded? Your photos show the black coming out as one piece this is separate. Any thoughts on how to get it off?

brgt40 (author)  surfair7224 days ago
Will you please post a picture?
the black screw on cap held down a white cap that had an oring. I guess we have really hard water here so it was frozen on by calcium or mineral deposits. I pried it off and used clr and a tooth brush for bout 2 hrs then put it back together. I did have to use some pipe dope or puddy? stuff that my neighbor had due to a little cracking of threads caused a leak. I did not take pics :( The directions on this site were the best source any one could ask for. We were down a couple days with no washer so my wife was in a hurry to get it working agin.
Thanks again for your help!
brgt40 (author)  surfair7224 days ago

It sounds like you are back up and washing. I am happy for you. As far as lubrication, I would use teflon tape or silcone grease (in faucet repair aisle). They are generally inert. I am saying DO NOT use WD40 with Silicone or any other spray silicone. I simply don't know if those sprays are harmful to the plastics used by Bosch. Mine is a 500 series. It had no lube on the threads / o-ring.

surfair7227 days ago

I typed a paragraph and nothing showed up

surfair7227 days ago

Does the impeller pull out?

brgt40 (author)  vinny.penoro1 month ago
I had no reason to try to remove the impeller. However, as I remember, the impeller does not pull out of its chamber.
pberntsen12 months ago

Wow, awesome instructions. My impeller housing was so tight that I actua broker the handle trying to loosen it. I ended up using the end of a crowbar in the hole that I created like a key to get it open. I found one of my daughter's socks stuck in the impeller. Cleaned it out and used the crowbar "key" to tighten it up. No error code and no service charge! Thank you!!!

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brgt40 (author)  pberntsen11 month ago

I am glad I could help. Good pics! Man, who did they get to tighten that thing?!?! Maybe I should add "2 friends" to the tools list. They will turn you while you hold on to the cover :). If you decide to purchase a new cover, let us know how much they cost.

dundeescot1 month ago

Fantastic! One more tip, be sure the nail is thin enough as you need to push back a plastic piece behind the white round cover in order for it to release. Then it will turn with ease. Also have that shop vac ready as you unscrew the black pump cover!

brgt40 (author)  dundeescot1 month ago

I am glad to see this 'ible was useful for you. Yes, don't just open that pump cover or you'll have a wet mess under your machine.

cleaned everything out and put it back together and it still has E-04.

I think it may be time for a new drainage pump. I have the same issue. My washer is a Bosch Vision 300 model.

brgt40 (author)  johnnyleo113 months ago
Sorry to hear you may have to buy a new pump. Please let me (and the group) know how much it costs. As well, if it is not the pump, please post the fix.

Thanks
klaus.thiesen3 months ago

Thanks for the tip on removing the filter cover. When you specified that the hole should be in the 6 o clock position - that was key!

WilliamB75 months ago

I followed the instructions and had a sock and some other items in there.

I want to thank you for your great information ,saved me a service call.

brgt40 (author)  WilliamB74 months ago
Great! I am glad I could help save you some $$$.

Thank you so much for your instructions!! I don't know how one person can do it without help. We did it together with my husband, found only one hairpin and now everything working well. Thanks again!!

brgt40 (author)  jeanne.vassilenko4 months ago
I am glad my 'able helped!
mj20145 months ago
Thanks for the post. Since i had a washer full of water i used a large plastic funnel from wifes kitchen with the shop vac. The pump assembly is movable/flexible so i was able to raise it a little to make the funnel fit. I also duck taped the top of the plastic opening to prevent water from going where i didnt want it to. Everything went into the funnel. I had some legos stuck in the pump. The white cover needes to be moved towards the 4 oclock position instead of 6, but this may be a function of the previous owner cleaning the pump out. I would not attemp this without a shop vac if your washer is full like mine was. -michal
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brgt40 (author)  mj20145 months ago
Legos! Seriously, Bosch?!

I am glad my 'ible worked out for you. Yes, a wet-dry vac is critical unless your machine is where you can handle a wet mess. Actually, I am on the market for a vac. The next one must be more quiet. This one was always shrill and is now worse. Too much plaster dust got past the filters and into the bearings.

Excellent instructions. After having this washer for 6 years, finally had the error code 004. Followed the directions and was amazed at how much dirt, pins, paper, etc, I found in the pump! But what jammed the pump was a eyeglass cleaning cloth. One tip though. You won't need the towels. If you start your wet/dry vac then slowly loosen the pump cover, you can vacuum the water without spilling a drop. Loosening about 3 turns allows the water to seep out. Just make sure you have the vac on and at the bottom of the cover hole before you loosen it.

brgt40 (author)  andrew.v.bolduc5 months ago
Yup, I said to loosen the pump cover then vac the water as it dribbles out. The towel is a belt and suspenders, ounce of prevention kind of thing. But guessing from your last name, you like to live dangerously! :)
ddimac6 months ago

Thank you for these instructions! I followed exactly the steps, except putting tape around the edges of the hole. The result--I got a cut on my hand. Nevertheless I was able to fix the problem. I had a similar culprit as the one you described--mine was a hairpin.

rick.colson17 months ago

Awesome instructions and photos. My impeller was stuck with a rubber band around it. Now it works fine.

**Check this out - I first had an appliance repair guy come, he was here less than 5 minutes, only took the round disk off, and declared the pump motor was bad, needed a new one, and it had to be ordered and shipped from out of state...would take a week if lucky. I'm looking forward to placing a phone call to them now with the update...

Oh, btw, my impeller housing was clogged with a little, tiny rag, or piece of fabric. I have tiny rags I cut into 4x4 squares to serve as rags for my baby's (now toddler's) face and hands. And indeed, how do these things get through the crevices?

Thank you so much for sharing your experience and the steps you took to resolve this problem!! I had the same exact problem. And, on a Sunday afternoon, no less! I refused to call someone until I could play around and take a look at my machine. I bought "star" head tools and took the back panel off my machine, nothing seemed obviously wrong, so I turned to the internet and found your story. I had noticed and contemplated the front circular access, but had no clue what it might be or what I could do with it. Once I found this link, I realized I should have checked the internet first. Thanks to this instant electronic communication tool, we can be self sufficient and share our knowledge with each other! You lay it out so well and clearly. Thank you for taking the time!!! If you need any advice on elder care and Medicaid, let me know. This is something I can offer back to you...besides gratitude!

Thank you so much for sharing your experience and the steps you took to resolve this problem!! I had the same exact problem. And, on a Sunday afternoon, no less! I refused to call someone until I could play around and take a look at my machine. I bought "star" head tools and took the back panel off my machine, nothing seemed obviously wrong, so I turned to the internet and found your story. I had noticed and contemplated the front circular access, but had no clue what it might be or what I could do with it. Once I found this link, I realized I should have checked the internet first. Thanks to this instant electronic communication tool, we can be self sufficient and share our knowledge with each other! You lay it out so well and clearly. Thank you for taking the time!!! If you need any advice on elder care and Medicaid, let me know. This is something I can offer back to you...besides gratitude!

I am stuck trying to get the drain cover off! It turns, then clicks like a child-proof cap. I've tried pushing while turning, pulling while turning, every conceivable combination... This instructible is 2 years old, but I'm hoping someone somewhere is monitoring it......

I had the same problem, but remember, he said to "jiggle." I went back to my computer, reread, and tried again but with jiggling. By now, you must have gotten it!!!

legal2eagle7 months ago

Ok, so I have the same E04 error with my bosch washer. I was excited to find this DIY fix. I have a few issues that concern me and I wonder if I can pull this off myself.

1. My washer is on the second floor and for obvious reasons, draining the tub quickly, using towels and the shop vac is crucial. Also, the laundry room is tiny (and I mean TINY) which brings me to my second point.

2. Due to a ruptured achilles, I am in a knee high, completely inflexible boot, making my maneuverability in there difficult. (this of course, is a personal problem)

3. Probably the most important concern is that I don't want to take my laptop into an area where I could damage it with water. I am unable to print your instructions without 'going pro'. When I tried to do that, my computer warned me that sending my credit card would not be secure (full padlock missing from URL). Here is what the warning said:

The site uses SSL, but Google Chrome has detected insecure content on the page. Be careful if you're entering sensitive information on this page.

I simply can't afford to pay someone to come out here to do something I could do myself. Your thoughts?

Thank you in advance!

brgt40 (author)  legal2eagle7 months ago
1 - yes, you want to pay close attention to containing the residual water. I am talking about 5 gallons (20 liters) of water. Don't want to add ceiling repair to the project.
2 - Sorry to hear about your injury. There is a lot of up and down to complete this project.
3 - Going "Pro" is cool. Working from paper would be nice. Until you/Chrome/Instructables get it together - a) the job is not that messy (after the water is drained); b) after a couple of read-throughs, the workflow is fairly obvious once you start, so you don't have to have the instructions right next to you; c) you can put the laptop on top of the washer and wrap plastic wrap (or a dry cleaners bag) loosely around the keyboard (or entire laptop if using the bag) to keep any incidental moisture at bay; d) make it a two person job, someone drives, the other reads the map. HTH

JS78 months ago

Thanks! Pump was plugged with a piece of pink fabric. I have no idea how that got in there. Also found twigs, a bobby pin and various other gunk. BTW, I don't know where you live, but around here an appliance repairman won't answer the phone for $50. You probably saved me $200... and now I have a shop vac.

cleaned everything out and put it back together and it still has E-04.

brgt40 (author)  becky.mccollumprice8 months ago

Here are my assumptions: 1) your water is not excessively sudsy/foam; 2) you were able to spin the impeller; 3) you had no reason to believe the impeller was broken (i.e. that it was loose on the shaft or in pieces). My guess is a bad pump motor. Look further down in the comments. "Jaytee999" has gotten into the internals of the washer. Give J. a buzz before you throw in the towel. :)

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