Bosch Dishwasher E15 Error? (here’s why & how to fix)

Bosch is well known for making efficient, reliable appliances and their dishwashers are no exception. However, at some point, even the best appliances can trigger an error code.

Once an error code has been triggered, there’s a strong possibility that the dishwasher will stop working until the problem is resolved. This means you’ll need to diagnose and solve this issue as soon as possible.

On Bosch dishwashers, error code E15 indicates that there’s water detected in the base of the unit. This is often easy to fix and doesn’t usually require the intervention of an engineer.

In many cases it’s just a glitch in the control board which is easy to resolve.

However, you might have to remove the kickplate and the front panel of the dishwasher to gain access and make sure there’s nothing bad going on.

Why Has The E15 Error Code Been Displayed?

If the error code E15 is displayed on your Bosch dishwasher, it is because the device detects water in the bottom of the unit. This might be real or just a fault in the software on the control board.

Bosch dishwashers are fitted with many safety features, one of which is the anti-flood feature. This works by detecting water in the base of the appliance and stopping whichever cycle is running until the water is removed.

This is to prevent your kitchen from becoming flooded during the rinse and drain cycles on your dishwasher.

There are Several reasons why this error code could have been triggered which include;

  • Excessive amounts of detergent suds
    Using a detergent of inferior quality or using too much detergent is likely to cause too many soap suds. These are likely to leak into the base of the unit and trigger the anti-flood device which then triggers the E15 code and stops the cycle from continuing.
  • A faulty hose or water tank
    If the water tank or one of the hoses is leaking, it will need to be replaced before the dishwasher will function properly.
  • A leaking sump basin
    In some cases the screws holding the sump basin can become loose. All you need to do if this is the case is tighten the screws. However, sometimes it’s the seal that has worn or perished and will need to be replaced.
  • Damaged or broken fixtures & fittings
    Often there are broken fixtures or parts that have become damaged that can cause the unit to stop working. They will need replacing before the appliance will work again.
  • Clogged or damaged spray arms
    If the spray arms become clogged or damaged in some way they will spray water in the wrong direction. Which can lead to the anti-flood switch getting triggered.
  • Clogged filter
    If the filter becomes clogged the wastewater has nowhere to go which could cause it to leak into the base of the unit.

Too Many Soap Suds

For the dishwasher to wash your dishes, it needs detergent in the correct quantity. The water is regulated automatically by the dishwasher, but the detergent levels are monitored by you.

If you use an inferior quality detergent or you use too much detergent, when mixed with water they can create too many soap suds which can trigger the E15 error code.

This is because the soap suds will flood into areas they were not intended to go which could eventually cause a leak into the base of the appliance. This would then activate the anti-flood switch which would subsequently activate the E15 error code.

To solve this problem all you need to do is run an empty cycle to remove the excess soap suds. Then check the advice in the user manual of your appliance and the detergent packaging to determine exactly how much detergent is needed.

A Faulty Hose Or Water Tank

Bosch dishwashers have a number of hoses and an internal water tank which supplies the dishwasher with fresh, clean water to get the dishes clean. They also remove dirty water from the appliance once the dishes have been washed.

The water tank holds enough water to run a full wash cycle. In some cases, these hoses or the water tank can develop a leak often due to the connections becoming loose. 

This can lead to water dripping into the base of the unit and triggering the anti-flood switch. Which will then trigger the whole E15 error code system and prevent the dishwasher from functioning until the issue is resolved.

This problem can be solved by taking the front panel and the kickplate off and examining the water tank and all of the various hoses. Even if you cannot see the exact point where water is escaping from, you’ll be able to see that there’s a visible presence of water where it shouldn’t be.

Once you have determined where the leak is coming from you can either tighten the connections or replace the worn part.

A Leaking Sump Basin

The sump basin is situated just above the area where the anti-flood switch is located. It’s where all of the water collects before it leaves the dishwasher.

If the sump basin develops a leak, water will flow into the base and activate the float which triggers the anti-flood switch and subsequently triggers the E15 error code and shuts down the appliance.

In most cases, the sump basin leaks because the seal is worn or corroded. This allows a small trickle of water to leak into the base of the appliance. 

You can sometimes fix this just by tightening the screws on the sump basin. However, eventually you will need to replace the sump seal with a new one.

Damaged Or Broken Fixtures & Fittings

Bosch dishwashers are composed from various fixtures and fittings that all work to direct the water around the system. Over time, any one of these parts can become worn, damaged or broken. 

This could easily lead to water seeping through into the base of the unit and triggering the E15 error code.

Fixing this will involve removing panels from the dishwasher and as there are so many different fixtures and fittings, you might be better off consulting an engineer for this task.

Clogged Or Damaged Spray Arm

If you don’t remove large particles of food from your dishes before placing them in the dishwasher, they can clog the nozzle of the spray arm causing it to spray water in areas where it should not go. 

To resolve this you’ll need to inspect the spray arms and carefully remove any debris and ensure that the spray is pointing in the right direction.

Clogged Filter

The filter which is located in the bottom of the dishwasher removes all of the food particles which are washed from the dishes. If it becomes full of debris it can prevent the waste water from draining away.

This can lead to water leaking out through areas where it shouldn’t flow.

To solve this remove the filter and give it a good clean using warm water and a brush. Then replace it back into its housing and run the dishwasher as normal.

open dishwasher

How To Remove The E15 Error Code

Once you have repaired or replaced any broken or damaged components, your dishwasher will still display the E15 error code. This means the appliance will still not run until the error code has been removed.

Sometimes, there’s nothing actually wrong with the appliance and the E15 error code is due to a glitch in the control boards programming.

Hard Reset

The best way to remove the E15 error code is to perform what is known as a hard reset. This entails removing the plug from the wall socket and waiting for around 10 minutes. After 10 minutes replace the plug into the wall socket and turn the power on.

If the E15 error code is still displaying, you will know that it wasn’t a glitch in the programming and you’ll need to perform the tasks set out above.

There is another way to temporarily resolve the E15 error code which can be effective but only for a short while.

45 Degree Tilt

This involves tilting the dishwasher backwards by 45 degrees. This works by physically removing any water from the anti-flood mechanism. However, this is not a good idea because the appliance will still be leaking.

All you will do is allow more water to leak the next time you use the dishwasher and you’re also increasing the possibility of flooding your home. This is because it’s always easier to fix a small leak compared to a major leak which is what could happen if you ignore the E15 error code.

This should only be attempted if the E15 error code has been triggered due to excessive soap suds because of too much or inferior detergent usage.

You will usually need to allow the polystyrene float around 24 hours to fully dry out before reusing the dishwasher.

How Does The Anti-Flood Safety Switch Work?

The safety switch is typically located above the sump basin in a plastic container. Below the switch you will see a polystyrene disk. 

If the water below the sump basin rises high enough to float the polystyrene disk, it triggers the switch which then activates the E15 error code and protocol.

You can carefully remove the safety switch by twisting it and gently pulling at the same time. This then allows you to carefully remove the polystyrene disk.

You can then dab a cloth into the water to remove it before checking that there’s nothing likely to block the disk once replaced like crumbs or a dead insect.

Then reassemble the polystyrene disk and the switch. This should resolve the issue that caused the E15 code to be triggered. However, it won’t resolve whatever caused the water to leak out in the first place.

You will need to resolve this problem before your dishwasher will run properly.

SEE ALSO: Should You Turn Off Taps When Dishwasher Not In Use?

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I fix the E15 error on my Bosch dishwasher?

To clear the E15 error on a Bosch dishwasher you will need to do a hard reset by removing the plug from the wall socket for around 10 minutes. However, this will only work if the E15 error code was generated due to a glitch in the control board. If it was due to a leak, you’ll need to repair the problem.

What is E15 on a Bosch dishwasher?

The E15 error code on a Bosch dishwasher indicates that there is a water leak that has triggered the anti-flood switch.

Where is the anti-flood device located in a Bosch dishwasher?

The anti-flood device in a Bosch dishwasher is located just above the sump basin. It consists of a polystyrene disk that floats if water gets into the device. This then triggers the E15 error code which prevents the dishwasher from continuing with its programme.

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