Bosch Dishwasher Not Starting & Red Light Flashing? (here’s why)

The majority of dishwashers have LED lights to indicate different things and Bosch dishwashers are no exception. If you notice a red light flashing and the appliance won’t start, it can be worrying.

The usual reason for a flashing red light on a Bosch dishwasher is that the door isn’t latched. However, sometimes the door is latched correctly but the red light is still flashing which could indicate there’s something else going on.

As there are a number of reasons why the red light could be flashing you’re probably wondering what your next step should be. But don’t worry because in this article we’ve got it covered. We look at all of the possible reasons why the dishwasher won’t start and the red light is flashing.

What Does It Mean When There’s A Flashing Red Light On A Bosch Dishwasher?

There are several things that could cause your Bosch dishwasher to not start and show a flashing red light. Let’s have a look at all of them and see how we can solve this issue.

Door Obstructed

This should be the first thing that you check if there’s a red light flashing on your Bosch dishwasher. The flashing red light is usually associated with the door not being fully closed so you need to check for any obstructions.

Anything like a large plate, pan handle or anything that is preventing the door from fully closing. If there’s nothing physically preventing the door from closing fully, try pushing the door shut as it can sometimes just need a firm push to solve this issue.

Faulty Door Latch

If none of the above works then it’s probably a problem with the door latch. There’s a sensor that is attached to the door that registers when the door is properly latched. This sends a signal to the control panel which then starts the appliance.

At the same time, as soon as the door latch is fully engaged, the appliance creates a seal around the door to prevent water from escaping. As you can see if the door latch isn’t fully closed, there’s the potential for the appliance to flood your kitchen. This is why there are safety procedures in place to stop the appliance from working if the door isn’t fully latched.

If the door is open or not fully latched, the red light will flash and the machine won’t start. You will need to replace the door latch with a replacement part that’s compatible with your Bosch dishwasher so you’ll need the model number when ordering the part.


How To Replace The Door Latch On Your Bosch Dishwasher

Once you have a replacement door latch you will need to;

  1. Disconnect The Power Supply
    Remove the plug from the wall socket to ensure there is no power running through the appliance.
  2. Remove The Front Panel Of The Dishwasher
    On opening the door, you should see 6 screws that keep the front panel in place. Unscrew these 6 screws and remove the front panel.
  3. Remove The Existing Door Latch
    Locate the door latch and unscrew the single screw that holds it in place. Remove the door latch and then unscrew the 2 screws that hold the sensor in place and remove the sensor as well. You will also have to remove the connectors in the wire harness.
  4. Replace The Door Latch
    Replace the door latch and the door sensor with the replacement parts then replace the wiring and any screws etc.
  5. Reassemble The Dishwasher
    Now replace the front panel and secure it using the 6 screws before returning the plug to the wall socket. Instigate a wash cycle to check that the new door latch mechanism is fitted correctly and is working as it should.

Control Panel Fault

In some cases the door latch isn’t the cause of the problem at all. Sometimes it’s due to a faulty control panel. In most cases this will be caused by a glitch in the system that can be cleared by performing a hard reset.

How To Perform A Hard Reset

To perform a hard reset all you need to do is remove the plug from the wall socket and wait for 10 to 15 minutes. Then return the plug to the wall socket and turn the dishwasher on. This clears any programmes stored in the short term memory of the dishwasher and the flashing red light will have stopped and the dishwasher will work as normal.

However, if the red light is still flashing and the dishwasher won’t start, and you’re sure it’s not anything to do with the door latch, you might need to replace the control panel. This is a job best left to an engineer so we would recommend contacting Bosch to solve this issue.

Blocked Filter

In some cases, the filter on your Bosch dishwasher can become clogged with food particles, grease, etc. This can prevent the appliance from draining and the first you know of it is the appliance won’t run and there’s a flashing red light.

To solve this, simply remove the filter and clean it using warm water and a brush. Once you have replaced the filter back into the appliance, it should work as normal.

Faulty Drain Pump

The drain pump is responsible for forcing all of the wastewater from the dishwasher. If it becomes faulty, it leads to a clogged dishwasher which won’t run and is often accompanied by a red flashing light.

You can check whether the drain pump is working by using a multimeter or if you’re not confident with tampering with electrical appliances, we recommend contacting Bosch and getting an engineer to sort this for you.

Faulty Heating Element

Bosch dishwashers use a cold water feed and the water is then heated up in the appliance via a heating element. If the heating element develops a fault, the water might not reach a sufficient temperature to wash the dishes properly.

This could lead to a flashing red light and the appliance not starting. If this is the problem, you will need to get the heating element replaced which is another job we recommend leaving to an expert.


How Long Will A Door Latch Last On A Bosch Dishwasher?

Bosch dishwashers are among the most reliable appliances you can buy but nothing lasts forever. The door latch mechanism on a Bosch dishwasher should last for around 4 years before it starts to become defective.

What Does A Glowing Red Light Mean On A Bosch Dishwasher?

When it comes to Bosch dishwashers, a red light is not always a bad thing. Bosch actually uses lights to indicate various stages in the wash programme. For instance, a small red LED light in the bottom right corner of the dishwasher indicates that the wash cycle has started. 

Once the wash has completed, that light will turn green and it will stay on for around 120 minutes. Then there’s the Infolight feature which shines a red light onto the floor below the appliance. This indicates that the appliance is running and the door should remain closed.

A flashing red light could also indicate that the appliance has run out of rinse aid. To solve this all you need to do is fill up the rinse aid reservoir.

So red lights are common on Bosch dishwashers, it’s just flashing red lights that indicate problems.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my Bosch dishwasher flashing a red light and won’t start?

The most common reason for a Bosch dishwasher to not start and display a flashing red light is the door latch isn’t fully closed. This could be caused by an obstruction like a large plate or pan handle or the latch is faulty.

What is the first step in diagnosing a Bosch dishwasher that won’t start?

The first thing to check if your Bosch dishwasher won’t start is that it has power. After that, check that the door is closed securely because the most probable cause is the door isn’t latched correctly.

How can I clear the current cycle on my Bosch dishwasher?

If your Bosch dishwasher is stuck on its current cycle, you should remove the plug from the wall socket for 10 to 15 minutes. This will clear any programmes from the memory and allow you to select a new cycle.

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