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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.

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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I want to thank you for the detailed repair instructions . You are the best. I found the clog and fixed my Bosch . I promise to pass on the blessings.

brgt40 (author)  Rbernarduci6 days ago

Thank you. I am glad my instructible was a help.

LisaB4324 days ago

I have the same machine but it is not the model 03 as labeled but a 15. When I take the sump cover off I have no basket. I am looking at a white piece that has a raised circle in the middle and it has notches going around the circle (like a pry bar to fit in). Do you have any suggestions for me on how to get it out so I can clean it out.

brgt40 (author)  LisaB4321 days ago

Hey, can you post a picture? I have not seen your model. Maybe I or one of the followers can figure it out.

Cheekie31 month ago
These instructions are AWESOME!!! Thank you SO MUCH! I repaired my machine in less than 20 minutes. (Some sort of fabric was clogging the sump.) Please add a comment/update to step 1 to indicate the need to press in the nail or metal tool to release the "catch" so the panel will release and turn. Very sore fingers from trying to turn without first pushing in. Thanks again - you really helped save the day! ?
brgt40 (author)  Cheekie31 month ago
Thanks for the comment and the suggestion. This is what currently I have in step one currently:  

 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.

Did your machine need more than pressing on that circular panel?  Did you have to push on the nail to release something while pressing on the panel and turning it?

Or is this a case of  the-text-makes-sense-after-I've-done-it?

Thanks again
Oops, I mean impeller, not sump...
JaneS201 month ago

Hey - Thank you sooo much! Your instructions were spot on! My impeller was jammed up with a paperclip. Lots of other fun stuff down there too, just like yours.

We had called the repair guy and given a date two weeks from now for them to come out and look at the machine - you saved me laundromat visits, and tons of wasted time. Thanks again - Jane

brgt40 (author)  JaneS201 month ago
Hey, I am so glad this 'ible has helped you.
brgt40 (author)  brgt401 month ago

I know this is summer and vacation time. The repair business must be really good to have to schedule an appointment 2 weeks in advance! "Hello?, Three weeks from now my fridge is going to go in the blink. Can I get you to come out in two weeks to diagnose what may be the problem so you will have the part three weeks from now? Thank you"

DebraR12 months ago
NateW2 made it!2 months ago

If cleaning out the pump
doesn't work here is my experience:

First, I replaced the pump, my pump was 8 years old so I thought
it could be a good place to start. The new OEM pump is actually a better design
then the older pump, it has an added drain line so you can aim the excess water
into a container rather than letting it spill all over as you remove the cap.
It is also white; you can see blockages much easier. While replacing the pump I
cleaned out all of the return lines and the washer work for a few months. I
then started having suds problem again. I called Bosch with no help, they will
not let your talk to anyone with technical knowledge of the washer, I wanted to
know what caused the “suds” part of the error message. After some research I
decided to replace the pressure switches. I ordered the two switches, #25 and
#26 on the water system diagram. I also replaced the ball check #16. Luckily
the two switches are on back order. The ball check came and I swapped it out
and I have been doing many loads without a problem. The ball check is where the
pressure switches get their information; if it starts to wear out they will
give suds error. The part is cheap only round $40. I find it pretty easy to
replace, one hex screw driver and a pair of pliers are all that is required and
the hardest part is getting the rubber boot strap back on. I have scoured the
internet for information on this problem without anything and I hope this will
help someone, good luck.

Bosch.gif
brgt40 (author)  NateW22 months ago
Thanks so much for the update!! I am so glad you fixed your washer.

Your post supplies very good bits of information. One of which is the www.appliancepartspros.com website that provided the diagram of the machine. That site appears to be a goldmine for information.

I also appreciate your persistence and your methodical approach in solving this problem.

I have a question. Most ball check valves are used to allow flow in on direction. I assume this is true here. Can you see how your valve was "worn out"? Could it be water deposits preventing the ball from seating and thus allowing 2 way flow?

Again thanks for the update and the details of the fix.
NateW2 brgt402 months ago

Nothing visible between the new
and old ball check. I had cleaned the old ball check when I replaced the pump
so that was probably the reason it was working after I replaced the pump.
Washer is still working since replacing the ball check.

I also
replaced the rubber boot that seals the door, that was the cause of most of the
bad odor coming from the washer, no cleaners can reach the inner areas of it. I
highly recommend replacing it if you have had the washer for a while and it can
easily be done while replacing the ball check.

NateW23 months ago

I am also having issues with the suds or blocked pump. I
have had it on and off again for about a year I replaced the pump a few months
ago but it is still happening. I have also been trying some Epsom salt to take
care of any actual suds. So how do I clean or replace the sensor that is saying
there is suds? It even says suds when I empty the drum pour a glass of water in
it and select spin. Or when I open the pump and drain all of the water check
for blockage and try a spin cycle, the pump keeps running dry with no water
and then it stops and says suds. Something is telling the washer there are suds
and there are none. Please help!

brgt40 (author)  NateW23 months ago
I am confused.
1) is the problem constant or intermittent since you changed the pump?

2) Please explain what happens when you run an empty cycle (without clothes, without detergent).

3) Is there a difference between running a full cycle versus the spin/drain cycle?

4) Are you say that you followed this 'ible, cleared any blockages and the impeller is spinning freely?

5) Did you replace the pump for the E04 problem or some other problem?

6) If for the E04 problem, how long did the new pump work without reporting E04?

I don't know if I can help but maybe your clarification will help the followers of this 'ible to help you.
NateW2 brgt403 months ago

1) The problem was intermittent
prior to changing the pump, worked well for a few months after changing the
pump and now the problem has gotten worse.

2) It has gotten more consistent with time, today I can't get to
a spin cycle at all, the pump keeps running with the LCD displaying
"draining water" with an empty drum. With an empty washer it will go
up to the spin cycle and stop after the pump runs dry for about 3 or 4 mins.
The sud or Blocked pump error reads on the screen.

3) Message always appears just prior to spin cycle with any
selection.

4) yes the pump is clear, the new pump has a white shell so it
is much easier to see inside and see if anything has blocked it, it also has a
drain hose to get water out prior to opening the main seal.

5) I replaced due to age so that I could start trouble shooting
the suds problem, we can eliminate a bad pump as the culprit.

While I am able to repair
mechanical things, electrical is a bit harder for me. There has to be a way the
washer tells the pump to drain. So some sort of sensor must be there, that
sensor is consistently showing water in the drum, I just don’t know where it
is, if I could clean it or replace it I think it would work.

NateW2 NateW23 months ago

This is a picture from the bottom back of the
drum, black wires go to a temperature sensor and the green/yellow are the
grounds, what are the two end probes with white wires?

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NateW2 NateW22 months ago

Found the answer, white wires are the heating elements. I have turned my focus to the pressure switches.

ColeenB3 months ago
brgt40 (author)  ColeenB3 months ago

Struck speechless?

ColeenB brgt403 months ago
So some how my comment didn't show up... I am just so happy about the information I found here. I had been having difficulty with my Bosch 800 series washer for quite a while. "Suds or blocked pump" error message. I would just run my laundry through "Refresh" cycle, and usually that would work, sometimes after a few tries. But three days ago, it didn't work at all. Time to call Sears, where I bought it, but they don't service my area anymore. Called Bosch. They told me I was using too much detergent and probably not the right kind, but I do use HE. They told be to add a litre of water into detergent intake and run through cold was cycle and all would be fixed. Did that five times, laundry still stuck, no draining. Called Bosch again, they told be to call service repairmen. Left messages with a few companies, no call backs. Desperately, I turned to searching the internet. Found this sight, was impressed with clear directions. Followed them. Only difficulty I had was with getting pump lid off, really had to work at it. Found two long drill bits in there and a bunch of gunk; husband is in construction...never know what I will find in washer!!!LOL. So thank you to those who took the time to put these very helpful instructions online. My machine works like new again. In a day and age where things are not designed to last, it's nice to see we can extend the life a little longer!!!
brgt40 (author)  ColeenB3 months ago

Very peculiar about your comment not showing up. Kudos to you for tackling the fix. Good job. I am very pleased that my instructable was useful and saved you the cost of a service call. With your husband being in construction, you possibly had the wet/dry vac already. Your comment comes the right time to lift my spirits. Thank you for taking the time to write (Twice!!).

surfair723 months 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 months 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.
surfair72 brgt403 months ago
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:)
surfair723 months 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?

surfair724 months 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)  surfair724 months ago
Will you please post a picture?
surfair72 brgt404 months ago
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)  surfair724 months 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.

surfair724 months ago

I typed a paragraph and nothing showed up

surfair724 months ago
vinny.penoro4 months ago

Does the impeller pull out?

brgt40 (author)  vinny.penoro4 months ago
I had no reason to try to remove the impeller. However, as I remember, the impeller does not pull out of its chamber.
pberntsen16 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)  pberntsen14 months 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.

dundeescot5 months 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)  dundeescot4 months 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.

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