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Bosch WAE Fault Codes

Bosch washing machine error codes and spare parts

As we say in all these articles, there are a number of different version of the electronics used in Bosch Group made washing machines and washer dryers that are sold under the Bosch, Neff and Siemens and some of them use the same fault or error codes when they have a problem or a spare part fails.

These are the one of the common sets of fault codes for Bosch washing machine models as well as other Bosch Group produced brands.

These fault codes are displayed by way of lit or flashing light on the front of the washing machine. If it is the latter then you will see a pattern to the flashes if you look closely it will be a series of rapid flashes followed by a pause and then the series of flashes will be repeated, this is the error code being displayed. If you count the number of flashes being given then you use that number to correspond to the fault code, for example, three flashes would be fault code 3.

Before you start any investigation of the fault or even remove the lid of your Bosch washing machine please read and fully understand this article in full and pay particular attention to the safety and information notices at the bottom of this page as they contain extremely important information!

Please remember to support our site by buying spares from our spare part store here and, if you decide that you really need an engineer please support the local repairers that help make this site possible, you can search for a repairer from the links below.

  Reset The Washing Machine

For most BSH produced washing machines the reset procedure appears to be much the same and is carried out by following the steps as follows in order:

  • Turn the program dial to the off or reset position (should be at the 12 o’clock position)
  • Turn the dial to the 6 o’clock position
  • Press and hold down on the spin button and simultaneously turn the dial to the 7 o’clock position.
  • Hold the spin button for around 5 seconds and then release.
  • Turn the dial to the off position

Once the machine is powered up again the error should be reset or cleared.

If the same code comes up once again then there will be a problem of some kind that will require further investigation, diagnosis and any fault resolved. If you require further assistance to diagnose a problem with your washing machine please use the forums for that.

  Bosch WAE Washing Machine Fault Codes

These fault codes are written for washing machine repairers and not for the general public by Bosch and UK Whitegoods and as such they assume a certain level of competence on the part of the user in diagnostic routines. We have added some notes to try to assist you in determining the nature of the fault you have but, you will still need to investigate each failure on its own merits. For more help and advice on fault finding on a washing machine please refer to our basic fault finding guide from this link before you begin.

Please check that any Bosch washing machine spares recommended are suitable for use on your particular model and ENR code. If you are unsure about the suitability of any spare part please ask to ensure that you get the correct spares for your washing machine. Please, don't guess or assume as spares can be altered on a production run with the same model number having several different alternative components used.

These fault codes for the Bosch WOL Range of washing machines are very similar to the fault codes for the Bosch WFL Range as well as others and a some of the spare parts are common to these washing machine ranges as well. 

  Fault Code Lights Legend

This is our very simple legend to show the state of the lights, lamps or LED's as they are unlit, flashing or lit continuously.

Light off when error displayed Light or LED not lit Light or LED flashing when error displayed Light or LED flashing Light or LED on constantly when error displayed Light or LED lit solid, no flash

  Bosch Washing Machine Fault Codes

The LEDs in these error codes represent the spin, rinse and then wash LED's as you look at them, being either lit or not lit, they should not be flashing.

Fault Code 1

Light or LED on constantly when error displayed

Light off when error displayed

Light off when error displayed

Light off when error displayed

Light off when error displayed

Door lock or door error

  • Check door is closed correctly and latched
  • Check door lock wiring
  • Check door safety lock


Fault Code 2

Light or LED on constantly when error displayed

Light off when error displayed

Light off when error displayed

Light or LED on constantly when error displayed

Light off when error displayed

Drain error

  • Check pump filter is not blocked or obstructed
  • Check wiring to drain pump
  • Check drain pump rotor is not blocked or obstructed
  • Check drain pump housing outlet is not blocked
  • Check drain pump


Fault Code 3

Light or LED on constantly when error displayed

Light off when error displayed

Light off when error displayed

Light off when error displayed

Light or LED on constantly when error displayed

Filling error


Fault Code 4

Light or LED on constantly when error displayed

Light off when error displayed

Light or LED on constantly when error displayed

Light off when error displayed

Light or LED on constantly when error displayed

Motor error

  • Check motor wiring and harness
  • Check motor tachometric generator
  • Check brushes for wear and replace if required
  • Check armature


Fault Code 5

Light or LED on constantly when error displayed

Light off when error displayed

Light or LED on constantly when error displayed

Light or LED on constantly when error displayed

Light or LED on constantly when error displayed

Water detected in base

  • Check for signs of an leak
  • Check water detection system

  Other Bosch WAE Series Fault Codes

We have had reported the addition of the following fault codes via the forums we presume for Bosch WAE washing machiens that have a digital display.

F16: Door lock problem

Check the door lock and wiring to it.

F17: Inlet valve

Inlet valve failure detected, probably open circuit, test and replace if required.

F18: Drain pump

Drain pump error detected, check for blockage, wiring and operation. If open circuit replace the drain pump.

F21: Motor

Can be wiring, motor brushes etc, check and replace faulty components as required.

F23: Anti flood system activated

Check for leaks and check the float switch in the base of the machine if fitted. If there isn't one then all bets are off as to what the cause it but probably a wiring problem somewhere or possibly the control module but, that's the last option.

Wash light flashing but no effect on wash

Overfoaming detected, reduce the detergent dose!

  Child Lock

Bosch washing machine with the child lock stuck on

If your Bosch washing machine displays something similar to the image then the chances are that the child lock is active. It is possible that this is done inadvertantly.

To set and unset the child lock:

Press and hold the Start/Pause button for 5 seconds after the start/end of the programme.

The childproof lock can remain activated until you wish to start the next programme, even after switching off the machine.

Then you can deactivate the childproof lock before the start of the programme and activate it again as necessary once the programme has started.

Do note that on some models that the child lock can only be released from the program that it was set on so you will need to select the program used when the child lock was set and then unlock it as above.

  More Bosch Washing Machine Help

Should you need more help and guidance please use the links from this article as most of them will help you to understand your Bosch washing machine a lot better and probably very much help you in diagnosing the fault you have. Of course there are many other articles on the site that will also help you do this.

In addition you can post in our help and advice forums after registering but please do pay heed to the information below before doing so and read the guides, they are there to help you.

You must understand certain things before you begin or attempt any repairs on your own and we want to make these points very, very clear to anyone that decides to investigate one of these or any other washing machines:

  • We are not responsible for your safety, you are and by using this guide you accept that and accept that any damage that you may cause and work undertaken is entirely at your own risk.
  • We will advise the common causes of the fault codes but we cannot guarantee that any parts or work recommended will resolve the issue. It is entirely your responsibility to diagnose your particular problem and resolve it.
  • We are not responsible for you buying spares that do not resolve the problem, this is down to your own diagnosis not ours.
  • No warranty is inferred, implied or given.

You also have to realise that fault or error codes are not a "magic bullet", they will not tell you what the problem is, they will only offer you an indication of where the problem lies and they are no substitute for good old fashioned diagnostic skills. You can find out more about what fault codes actually tell you in this article. So please be well aware that, even with this new found knowledge you will still have to actually be capable of investigating and diagnosing the problem and this means adhering to basic appliance safety for working on them.

Please also note that manufacturers can and do change fault codes without notice and we cannot guarantee that these error codes will apply to your particular model as all codes apply to a wide range of appliances and not normally any one specific model. To determine if these fault codes do apply to your particular Bosch washing machine model please post a request to confirm this in the forums.

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