How to repair a Bosch washing machine E18 error code
E18 error on a Bosch washing machine indicates a draining time out.
This could happen for a couple of reasons:
1) blockage inside the filter
2) blockage inside the draining hose
3) problem with the pump
The methods listed below have helped many people to get their Bosch washing machines functioning again.
1) Blockage inside the filter
The first thing to check is the filter. The filter is usually placed on the lower front part of your Bosch washing machine.
To access the filter, you need to remove the access panel first.
Photo 1: filter access panel
Before you take the filter out, you need to release the remaining water from the machine. After removing the access panel, you will see a small draining hose.
Photo 2: draining hose
The hose is used to empty the machine before opening the filter. Take a shallow dish and place it in front of the machine, below the hose. Open the draining hose to release water.
Photo 3: water release
If you don't have a draining hose, you can unscrew the round screw cap (the filter), and the water will come out.
Photo 4: round screw cap (the filter)
You should unscrew the cap counter-clockwise. If you are releasing water through the cap, instead of the hose, make sure to unscrew the cap slowly, so you can control the amount of water coming out.
If you cannot open the cap (the filter), something is probably blocking it, or it has been a while since you last cleaned it, so it's stuck due to dirt, threads and washing powder build up.
You can try tipping the washing machine forward or backward. In some cases this can shift the blockage enough for you to unscrew the filter. Unscrew the filter carefully, in order to avoid damaging it.
If you haven't cleaned the filter for a long time, it might be stuck due to all the hair, fluff, washing powder, etc collecting on it. If you are sure the filter is not blocked, try using a cotton rag or gloves and try to unscrew it.
If you need to apply more force, you can try using a pair of pliers, but be VERY CAREFUL. It is possible to break the cap, so do this on your own responsibility and don't use excessive force.
After emptying the machine, take the filter out.
Photo 5: Bosch washing machine filter
Wash it thoroughly; remove any fluff, hair, threads, or whatever else you might find on it. Make sure to also clean the cavity where the filter was placed.
Put the machine on spin and see if it works properly.
2) Blockage inside the draining hose
If you cleaned the filter and the washing machine is still showing the E18 error code, the next action, although it may require some work, would be to check the draining hose for a blockage.
Photo 6: draining hose
The draining hose connects your washing machine to the house drains. You should take the hose off and check whether it is blocked. Try inserting a wire or blowing through the hose to check if the air is flowing properly. If you removed the blockage, put the machine on spin and see if it works properly.
In the not so likely case that you damage your draining hose, trying to remove the blockage, you can get a replacement from
3) Problem with the pump
If there was no blockage in the hose, or you removed it, but are still receiving the E18 error code and the machine is not draining, the problem could be the pump. Take the filter out,
put the machine on spin, and with the filter out, check to see if the pump impeller is rotating.
Photo 7: two types of washing machine pumps, with marked impellers
If the washing programme is over and the impeller did not turn, it's possible that the pump is faulty.
If your machine is not under warranty, and you would like to replace the pump on your own, visit this link
for an excellent video explaining the procedure of washing machine pump replacement. For a good selection of Bosch washer drain pumps, you can visit
We do not recommend replacing the pump on your own if your washing machine is under warranty.
If the pump was running, or if the pump was not running and your washing machine is still under warranty, we recommend that you contact your local Bosch repair shop and ask for advice/repair.
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