How to Fix the E18 Error Code on a Bosch Washing Machine

Bosch washing machine E09 fault code on the display

The Bosch E18 error code means that the water can not be drained from the machine. With this error code the drum will usually be full of water.

If a Bosch washing machine can’t drain the water away within 3 – 5 minutes, it will give up and display an error. This is to protect the drain pump from overheating and getting damaged.

If your Bosch washer is displaying an error code, it can be difficult to determine what exactly the problem is.

We have put together 4 reasons why your Bosch washer has stopped draining the water and also what you can do to stop it in the future.

1. Remove any blockages from the drain pump

When a washing machine is failing to remove the water from the drum, it’s probably because there’s something stuck in the filter.

Washing machines are equipped with a screw in filter that you can remove to check for any objects that have fallen out of your pockets and gone through the drum.

If you want to check the filter on your Bosch washing machine, you can drop down the access panel on the bottom right of your machine.

When the panel is down, you will see the filter cap. You can unscrew it counterclockwise and it will come out for you to take a look inside.

Be careful if you’re going to do this when there is water in the machine. When you take the filter out, the water will flood out all over the floor.

It’s best to try and lean the machine back and catch any water with a bowl or a bucket. A good tip is to always have some bath towels handy to mop up all the water.

You’re looking for anything that could stop the pump impeller from turning like small socks, coins, or house keys.

2. Look inside the sump hose pipe for any obstructions

The sump hose pipe can be found in between the drum and the drain pump housing.

Because it’s a larger pipe than most others on a washing machine, it’s more prone to get blocked up with larger items.

Sump pipes have filter balls at the top to stop big items from going through and damaging the pump.

You can lean the machine back and unscrew the sump pipe so that you can look inside and remove any obstructions. It’s usually held into place by a metal band that can be unscrewed with a crosshead screwdriver.

You’ll often find small pieces of clothing and tissue paper in the sump hose. A common item to find blocked in a washing machine is a cleaning cloth for glasses.

3. Inspect the water waste pipe for a blockage

The waste pipe is the grey hose that leads out of the back of the machine at the bottom. It usually connects to the pipes under your sink.

Coins are the perfect size to get lodged in the waste pipe and they can create a butterfly valve effect, meaning sometimes they block the water from passing and other times they don’t

It’s also fairly common for food waste from your sink to get backed up at the end of the pipe if it’s connected under the sink.

You should take a look down the end of the pipe to see if you can identify a blockage. Using a long flathead screwdriver can be helpful for removing anything stuck in the pipe.

If nothing is at the end, it might be in the middle or near the drain pump housing. You will have to remove the pipe and make sure water can pass all the way through.

4. Replace the drain pump if it’s faulty

If you can’t find a blockage in your washing machine, it’s time to start considering replacing a faulty part.

If your machine has an E18 fault code and is not draining, it’s worth replacing the drain pump.

If your machine has had a blockage that it has had to clear, the pump can overheat, and the impeller can become damaged.

If you try to drain the machine on a drain cycle, you should listen out for any noises that you can hear coming from the machine.

If the machine is full of water and you can’t hear the pump working, it’s probably broken.

How to stop the E18 fault code on a Bosch washing machine

The E18 fault code is mainly caused by blockages in your washing machine. You can prevent blockages in a washing machine by making sure you check your pockets before loading the machine.

Things like coins, hair clips and other small items can slip through the door seal and make their way into the drain pump housing.

This can cause a range of faults and often leads to damaging the drain pump.

Making sure that small items of clothing like baby clothes and socks are protected while in the wash is important. You can use washing bags to put small items into.

Socks are actually one of the most common items to get stuck in the drain pump, sump pipe and detergent drawer hose.

Final thoughts

Just to summarize, this is what you should do if your Bosch washer has an E18 error:

  • Remove any blockages from the drain pump filter
  • Remove the sump hose pipe if you can’t find a blockage in the pump – socks and other items of clothing get stuck in the hose
  • Check the water waste pipe because blockages can get lodged in there
  • If your machine has an error code for a drain fault but has no blockage, then you should replace the drain pump

Checking your pockets before you load the drum is a great way to extend the life of your washing machine.

If you do need to replace the pump, they are usually reasonably priced from Bosch or other spare parts retailers. For more information on Bosch washing machine error codes, take a look at our complete list.