Samsung Dishwasher OE Code? (here’s why & how to fix it)

If your Samsung dishwasher is displaying an error code it can be worrying and confusing. If it’s displaying the OE error code, it indicates that there’s a problem with too much water in the appliance. 

In this article we take a close look at the OE error code, explaining what it is and more importantly how to fix it.

What Does Error Code OE Mean On A Samsung Dishwasher?

The OE error code actually stands for outlet error and is related to drainage issues. It is a safety feature designed to prevent your kitchen from becoming flooded. 

You’re most likely to see this error code displayed once the appliance has filled with water. If there’s a problem that is preventing the proper drainage of waste water from the appliance, the OE error code can be expected to appear.

What Causes The OE Error Code On A Samsung Dishwasher?

There are several reasons why the OE error code might be displayed on your Samsung dishwasher which we’ll look into below. They include;

Probable CauseSolution
Installation IssuesCheck the drain hose and waste disposal unit (if applicable)
Blocked FilterClean the filter
Clogged Drain HoseRemove any blockage from the drain hose
Blocked Waste Disposal UnitRemove any blockage
Blocked Sink Waste PipeRemove any blockage from the sink waste pipe
Blocked Air GapRemove any blockage from the air gap
Defective Drain PumpCheck and replace the drain pump if necessary
Defective Drain SensorCheck and repair/replace the drain sensor if necessary
Faulty Drain SolenoidCheck and replace the drain solenoid if necessary
Obstructed Check ValveRemove the obstruction
Malfunctioning Control BoardReset the dishwasher/ contact a technician

First Installation Issues

If you have just installed your new Samsung dishwasher, and on first use it displays the OE error code, it’s probably because it hasn’t been installed correctly.  You will need to check a few areas to resolve this issue.

You will need to check that the drain hose isn’t twisted or kinked as this could be the cause of the OE error code. If the drain hose looks OK, you’ll need to check the waste disposal unit (if you have one).

There is often a cap fitted between the drain hose and the disposal unit which will need to be removed. If the cap is still in place, contact a plumber or technician.

Blocked Filter

open dishwasher

The filter traps all food particles and other debris and prevents them from returning to the dishes and from clogging the drain pump. If the filter becomes clogged with food particles, grease, fat or other debris, it can impede the flow of waste water from the dishwasher and cause the OE error code to be displayed.

You will need to locate and remove the filter. It will typically be at the base of the unit under the lower rack. Remove the lower rack and turn the filter anti-clockwise then lift it from its housing.

You should wash it under fast running water or, if it’s really clogged you might need to soak it first in warm soapy water or a white vinegar warm water solution (50/50 mix).

For really stubborn stains, you can use a toothbrush or similar to scrub the particles away. Once the filter is fully clean, replace it into its housing turn clockwise to secure it and retry the dishwasher.

Clogged Drain Hose

The next place to check is the drain hose which can easily become clogged with fat, grease or food particles. Check for twists or kinks as these could cause food to become clogged in the hose.

However, even if there are no twists or kinks, it doesn’t mean the drain hose isn’t clogged. You will need to remove the drain hose and run it under a fast running tap to try to clear any blockages.

Stubborn clogs can be removed using a plumber’s snake. If you are unable to remove the drain hose, you could try pouring 1 cup of bicarbonate of soda into the base of the tub. Followed by 1 cup of white vinegar and leave for 30 minutes.

This should be enough to remove most clogs, you should then run a short wash cycle to flush the drain hose through properly.

Blocked Waste Disposal Unit

If your dishwasher is connected to a waste disposal unit, try running the unit for around 30 seconds to remove any blockage. If the disposal isn’t turning, you can often turn them manually using an allen key.

Just place the correct allen key into the socket and turn backwards and forwards until the movement is less restricted.

Blocked Sink Waste Pipe

If your dishwasher is connected to the drainage system under your sink, it could be the sink’s waste pipe that is blocked. This would normally be apparent due to the dirty water filling the sink up.

If the sink waste pipe is the problem, it will need to be cleared before the dishwasher will work properly again. This can be achieved using a commercial drain cleaner, a plunger or a plumber’s snake.

If you can’t solve this by yourself, you may need to contact a plumber.

Blocked Air Gap

The air gap (if fitted) prevents dirty water from syphoning back into the dishwasher. Over time, the air gap can become clogged with food deposits, fat and grease and will need to be cleaned.

To access the air gap, you will need to remove the cover on the air gap and then remove the plastic cap. Once open, check inside for any visible causes of the blockage and remove them using tweezers.

Then using a bottle brush, clean as far into the pipe as you can reach. Finally pour hot water down the pipe using a turkey baster. Once completed, replace the cap and cover.

Defective Drain Pump

loading a dishwasher

If everything else seems to be OK, the issue could be caused by a faulty drain pump. The drain pump removes the waste water from the dishwasher and pumps it through the drain hose.

If the pump develops a fault, it won’t remove the water which will trigger the OE error code. There are various components in the drain pump which include; the impeller and the motor both of which could develop a fault which would cause the OE error code to be displayed.

As the drain pump is difficult to access, we recommend getting a technician to inspect and replace the drain pump if necessary.

Defective Drain Sensor

The drain sensor can become clogged with food particles, fat or grease or it can become defective due to old age and wear and tear. In many cases, there’s nothing wrong with the sensor and it’s just a glitch that triggers the error code.

If that is the case, all you need to do is reset the appliance. This involves disconnecting the power supply for 10 to 15 minutes to remove any residue electricity. Once the power has been reconnected and the dishwasher turned back on, the error code should be gone.

Obviously, if the error code remains or returns soon after, the drain sensor will need to be checked. It is typically located in the base of the dishwasher and involves removing panels and electrical connectors.

We recommend getting a technician to check and replace the drain sensor if necessary.

Faulty Drain Solenoid

For the water to leave the dishwasher, it is forced towards the drain hose by the pump impeller. However, it needs to pass through the exit valve to get to the drain hose.

The exit valve is powered by the drain solenoid which receives a message from the control board as soon as the drain cycle is initiated to open the exit valve. If the solenoid becomes defective, the exit valve fails to open and the waste water backs up into the dishwasher triggering the OE error code.

If you feel confident, it is possible to replace the solenoid yourself, but we recommend getting a technician to do it for you.

Obstructed Check Valve

The check valve allows waste water to leave the dishwasher but prevents it from returning. Over time the check valve can become obstructed with food particles, grease and fat.

If it gets stuck in the closed position, the waste water cannot leave the appliance leading to the OE error code being displayed. If the valve gets stuck in the open position, waste water could flow back into the appliance causing even more problems.

We recommend getting a technician to solve this issue for you.

Malfunctioning Control Board

The control board is likely to malfunction in dishwashers that have been regularly used for some time as opposed to newly installed appliances. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible in new appliances, just less likely.

If there is a control board malfunction, it could send an incorrect message to any part of the dishwasher. Which could cause the error code OE or any other error code to be displayed.

This is often just a glitch that can be cleared by disconnecting the power for 10 to 15 minutes. Once the power has been reconnected the error code is usually cleared and the appliance can be used as normal.

If after all of this, the error code remains, you will need to contact Samsung if the appliance is still under warranty or a technician if not.

How To Prevent Error Codes From Appearing On Your Samsung Dishwasher


Once you have successfully removed the OE error code from your Samsung dishwasher, there are a few ways to minimise the risks of another error code appearing. These include;

  • Running A Hot Service Wash Once Per Month
    To prevent the buildup of food particles, grease, fat and limescale deposits, it is recommended that you run a hot wash cycle in an empty dishwasher once per month. You can use a commercial dishwasher cleaner or a bowl of white vinegar to thoroughly clean the dishwasher.
  • Having A Regular Cleaning Schedule
    As well as a regular hot wash cleaning cycle, you should also clean the filter, seals, gaskets and spray arms of your dishwasher every month.
  • Scraping Dishes Before Placing Them In The Dishwasher
    By removing as much of the food and other debris from the dishes before placing them in the dishwasher, you minimise the risk of the filter and other components from becoming clogged.
  • Always Use The Correct Detergent In The Right Quantity
    Consult your user manual for the detergent approved by Samsung for use in your dishwasher. It’s important that you never use any type of detergent other than that recommended by the dishwasher manufacturer. Plus you should never use more detergent than is necessary.
  • Check The Inlet & Drain Hoses Regularly
    By keeping a regular check on the condition of the hoses of your dishwasher, you can prevent any problems from occurring. Check for leaks, twists or kinks and deal with them as soon as they appear.

By following these simple guidelines, you will reduce the risk of your dishwasher developing any faults or displaying any error codes.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Dishwasher Touchpad Not Working

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes The OE error code on a Samsung Dishwasher?

The OE error code on a Samsung dishwasher indicates the appliance has a drainage issue. This can be caused by a blocked filter, blocked drain hose, drain pump malfunction, blocked waste disposal unit, blocked air gap, blocked sink waste pipe, a faulty drain sensor, a faulty solenoid, or a malfunctioning control board.

How do I clear the OE code on my Samsung dishwasher?

To clear the OE error code on a Samsung dishwasher you should disconnect the power supply for 10 to 15 minutes. This will allow any residue electricity to dissipate. If the error code was caused by a glitch this should be enough to clear it.

What causes a dishwasher drain pump to fail?

A dishwasher drain pump could fail if the filter is blocked, the impeller is broken or the drain hose is clogged.

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