Siemens (Bosch) dishwasher with drying problem

martinlarsenApril 19, 2008


I am new in this forum. It seems that a bunch of clever people hang around here, so hopefully someone can help me with this problem :-)

Our Siemens SE36A290SK dishwasher (identical to the Bosch model, except for the name) does not end its final rinsing and drying cycle properly. It stops with 1 minute on the display and does not end. During this faulty cycle, it makes a strange "sucking" noise somewhat like when the dentist sucks the mouthwater with his suction pipe. Also, the dishes get a foggy, sticky layer because it is not rinsed properly.

The cycle problem starts when there is about 30-40 minutes left of the program. If at this time I pour a couple of liters water into the machine, the spray arms starts to work again and the program goes into the drying phase after some time and ends normally, with clean dishes.

Does anybody have an idea what could be wrong, and even better, what I can do about it?

Thanks in advance!

Spring greetings from Martin, Denmark.

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    Bookmark   April 20, 2008 at 3:13PM
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Welcome to this forum Martin. I don't have a Bosch or Siemens but can you tell us if there is any water in the bottom of your machine when you hear the sucking sound?

When you pour water in the machine to get it to finish, is there ANY water in bottom the machine at this time?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2008 at 11:12PM
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The filter is not clogged. There is no water in the bottom, but to say if there is ANY water (a little), I will have to check the next time I run it.

So I will return soon with more info.

Thanks for replying to both of you!


    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 3:34AM
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ME262 - STOP SHOUTING. Reading the entire post before you spout off would help too.

Martin is in Denmark, so the discussion of "American" dishwashes is pretty much moot. I'm sure he know of the Siemans/Bosch relationship and how to use and set the rinse aid dispenser. Europeans know how to use European DWs, It's only ignorant Americans that aren't used to using rinse aid because the typical domestic DW didn't require it for decades. BTW - Bosch does not make a DW with an exposed element and heated dry.

His problem is also not one of drying or rinse aid. It obviously is a computer malufunction and/or a faulty pump. This is not allowing enough water into the sump during final rinse ( which doesn't complete) which is why he's getting the gurgling sound.

Martin, you're most likely going to need a trained technicin to look at the machine. It's possible that you may be able to program more water into the final rinse from the front panel with help over the phone from Siemens technical support. I'm just not that framiliar with those units or the BSH customer service operation in Europe/Denmark.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 9:24AM
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You are right, I know of the Siemens/Bosch relationship. Both brands are very popular in this country.

You are also right that it is a malfunction, because it has not been like that always. Actually it started last summer, but then it disappeared by itself. Earlier this spring it started again and I guess it's for good now.

jerrod6 asked if there is any water in the machine. No, it's dry except for an inch or so in the bottom of the filter compartment. I have to unscrew the filter to see it. That is normal, is has been like that always.

What I don't understand is that it gets enough water for the washing cycle. So the pump works, unless there is a dedicated pump for the rinsing cycle.

I am used to repairing electronics, so I might give it a try if I just had a clue where to look!


    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 3:12PM
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The sucking noise is the drain pump switched on, and the 1min display is actually an error code...

...likely caused by the base (under the tub) being flooded, or at any rate, the water measuring device being clogged.

The usual culprit is the water inlet that enters the machine in the sump area. Proceed as follows:

1. Power OFF, Plug OUT.
2. Remove bottom basket completely.
3. Remove filters.
4. With the aid of a torch, examine the sump area. There is a tangential opening at the 6 O'Clock position, on the actual curved wall of the sump, at the front of the sump. This leads off left, upwards and backwards. It is a corrugated plastic pipe, and leads to the water level sensors/measuring devices.

5. With the aid of a slim bottle-brush, bent into a gentle curve, GENTLY & CAREFULLY rod the pipe out. You may get a substantial amount of greasy deposits out. This is quite a common fault.

6. Replace filters and bottom basket, and run the machine.

The base may also have water in it, causing the drain pump to run indefinately. This can be caused by:

1. a leak from a poor seal, or
2. using multifunction tablets AND using a liquid rinse aid. (Ditch the tablets and try powder and a liquid rinse aid). Some of those tablets are simply far too foamy.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 9:17PM
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Please let us know if this works.

I'm still trying to figure out what tangential means. :)

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 9:26PM
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think of a circle, on end, and draw a straight line under it. Place the circle onto the staight line. Where the line touches the circle, that is the tangent.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 10:08PM
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I'm still betting on a programing error. If there's a leak you would not have water in the sump (bottom) during the wash cycle either. You would also hear the sucking sound during that phase too. Dishes wouldn't be getting very clean either.

* * * * * * * remember he gets great result and no error when he ADDS water on his own. * * * * * * * *

You should be able to call technical service and have a tech. talk you through programing more water into the rinse cycle.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 9:40AM
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Bosch, Miele, and other high end Euro dishwashers all dry by evaporation and none of them have macerators at the filter, like most American models. This is what undoubtedly helps make them the quietest models. Bosch and particularly Miele now have so many computer chips that their ROM settings can get messed up, requiring unplugging for a minute and then plugging them back in to re-set that ROM.

Kind of like computers, satellite, and cable boxes.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 3:27PM
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Oskie - the grinde is only one part of the quiet equation. Better tollerances on the motors, more insulation and damping material, isolation of of motors and a few other things are what really makes euros more quiet.

Unplugging a Miele is not going to reset anything except the current wash program if one has been chosen. It's not going to adjust , reset or do anything else to the internal wash program settings.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 9:49AM
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Hi rolls_rapide and others,

I have been away for a couple of weeks, so I have first tried your suggestions now.

Unfortunately, it did not work. I did get a lot of goo out, though. Actually, most of the stuff got out from B on the picture, but the tangential hole A also had its share.

The image is here:

Now of course, I don't know if I got enough goo out...?

You also talk about water in the bottom, causing the drain pump to go on forever. Would that sound like this sucking noise?

There is no visible water in the base, but when I remove the filters I can see about 3 cm of water in the sump. Is that what you mean?

Anything else I could try before calling a technician?


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 2:50PM
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From the Bosch Service Manual:

Occasionally, dishwashers can run for hours, not finish washing & show a "1" in the display. This means the module (electronic control) has timed out due to an unidentified heating problem -- all heating related parts must be checked until the problem is found.

In my own experience as a Bosch service manager, I often found the heater relay and associated solder joints failed, a direct cause of a code "1" error. However, as the service manual states, all heating related parts are suspect until the faulty heating component is verified.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 10:00PM
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Hi svcmgr,

I have checked the solderings in the main pcb some time ago when I found another forum post suggesting this. I did not find any visible faults, which of course does not mean there are no bad solderings.

But you mention heating --- the heating seems to work just fine, because the dishes come out steamingly hot when finished.

Is it possible to download the service manual?


    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 6:13PM
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Seems to me that you don't have enough water in the sump. The whoosing sound is air entering the system when the impeller "A" is spinning. I am not a Bosch expert, but if the DW has enough water for the rinse then that impeller will definitely be submerged in water. Perhaps svcmag can chime in. I also don't / didn't think its a heater problem because the dishes are getting clean, especially when water is added and martin made no mention of the unit running cold.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 10:19AM
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"A" on your picture/diagram is the drain pump, while the circulation wash motor is on the right side of sump. As antss suspects, lack of adequate water circulation can also cause a delay in heating or no heat situation, as the water flow switch, which is in series with the heating element, (switch mounted on the flow-thru heater) will open due to poor water flow, causing a "heating problem." In this case, the delayed heat or no heat (causing code "1") may be a direct result of poor water circulation rather than a failed water heating component.

I would try to determine the cause of the low water level which you have stated occurs sometime during the wash cycle. When the machine is low on water, try to determine if the machine does not fill, due to an erratic operating fill/solenoid valve, or the water fill assembly (visible with left side panel removed) is not functioning properly, due to malfunctioning fill switch/air bellows (on pressure fill models) or contamination and debris within the water fill mechanism. I have seen plastic debris from the manufacturing process loosen over time and cause water fill problems as the plastic pieces float within the fill mechanism, causing fill problems at times.

Also, try to verify if it is the drain pump motor or the circulation motor that is operational when you hear that whooshing "air sound." Although you have stated there is no water in the plastic base of the machine causing the safety float to activate the drain pump (another possible cause of low water level), I have seen cases where mice or critters have nested in the base area, causing "dry" activation of the safety float. A visual inspection of the inner plastic base is possible with the side panels removed. And a thorough operational testing of the machine can be performed with the dishwasher operating in an open area, away from enclosed cabinets.

Perhaps it is time to contact a professional Siemens appliance technician who can spend some time observing and diagnosing. It appears you have been researching this problem since last year, see attached link. I cannot download the manual, but perhaps you can locate it on another appliance repair site.

Best wishes,


Here is a link that might be useful: Martin's previous post on Appliance Guru Forum

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 12:55PM
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I have had the similar problem with my Bosch SHU43C07UC for ~6 months: the motor (I guess it's the drain motor) keeps running and I can smell sort of something overheating/burning. If I open the front door and add some water, the pump stays on forever after the water is pumped out.

I "fixed" the problem 4 or 5 times, but it kept coming back. How I "fixed" it? SHAKE IT VIOLENTLY, up and down.

I suspect something (water level sensor? float? ...) gets stuck and thus the machine can not complete the cycles normally.

Like Martin, I also noticed that "There is no visible water in the base, but when I remove the filters I can see about 3 cm of water in the sump." I don't know if this is normal.

A local service provider would charge me $145 for the trip to my home and plus labor ($50/hr) + parts. I probably will fix the thing myself by shaking until it's dead.



    Bookmark   November 4, 2008 at 4:54PM
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Did you solve your dishwasher problem? I have a Siemens DW with an identical-sounding problem and would be interesed if you managed to solve yours.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 2:27PM
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Sympaul, "countdown to 1" is a fairly common problem with the Bosch circuit board. Mine (6yr old Bosch SHU series) has been replaced twice, first time under warranty. The last time, I replaced it myself. It is a plug-in board. The cost of the board was about 120 USD.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 4:29PM
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I have a siemens (se24661/12) dishwasher that had the described drain problem. the excess water/flood switch had been activated due to the sump float being stuck by scale buildup.
i now have the problem that the spray arms alternate in operation. on some cycles, only the top arm spins. on others, only the bottom arm spins. when an arm is not working, there is no water in it at all :S i might disconnect the feed to the top arm at the bottom of the wash chamber so that i can check for any gunk.
the circulation impeller seems intact, although i haven't had a chance to look at it physically (not too keen on removing the tub). the fill matrix is gunked up where the drain path is and was wondering what the water area above the drain loop is for?
any ideas svcmgr?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 3:18AM
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did you solve your problem?
I have exactly the same, my machine is a bosch sgs6962.
Thank you.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 10:31AM
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My machine, a Bosch Logixx Maxx (model No SGS69A02GB/20)

Had very similar symptoms to the opening poster, Martin.
-Poor cleaning.
-Cycle doesn't end but instead stalls with 1 min to go.
-Circulation motor runs constantly at 1 min, making a sucking noise.
-Adding water manually during the cycle causes it to finish normally.

Root problem: Lack of water during the cycle (as evidenced by last symptom)

Cause of the problem: Lime scale build up in the pressure chamber, causing the electronic control unit to incorrectly regulate the water entering the dishwasher.

Solution: Clean or replace the pressure chamber.

The pressure chamber houses the level float and its micro-switch, the diaphragm and its micro-switch, connects to the sump with a flexi-pipe on one side (which should also be cleaned), and to the large matrix/heat-exchanger on the other. I removed mine, disassembled it as far as needed, and used a toothbrush to remove the large amount of lime scale which had accumulated! I took great care not to get water in the diaphragm or on the micro-switches.
It may also be possible to add a liquid de-scaler through the float opening to save having to remove it. But because the pressure chamber is on the fresh water side, no amount of de-scaler in the wash will help!
This procedure may also help in the case of the drain motor constantly running, as that can be caused by a stuck float too.

My dishwasher now works perfectly, good as new, cheers!

    Bookmark   December 24, 2011 at 11:55AM
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I also have had several issues where the pump would stay sucking towards the end of the drying cycle. I read elsewhere the likely cause is a block in the tube that monitors the water level in the dishwasher. The simple fix is to empty the dishwasher and then rock it gently backwards and forwards to an angle of about 20 degrees. This does result in some water coming out of the machine so have a towel ready but does seem to clear the problem I am also going to try running the machine on its hottest cycle as recommended by washing machine engineers I have talked to allowing the machine to stay cleaner and also try the wire bottle brush cleaning method of the water level pipe as mentioned earlier in this blog

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 3:55AM
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I am thread starter and I found this post when searching for a new problem with my dishwasher.

Just want to say that the cause and solution to my problem was the same as posted by Trickyricky: Lime and dirt in the pressure chamber.

By cleaning and descaling it I could put new life to the dishwasher for some time but eventually I bought a new pressure chamber. Thet don't cost most.

Thanks to Trickyricky for posting the solution.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 8:30AM
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Btw, please se my post regarding the new problem:

Here is a link that might be useful: My new post

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 8:49AM
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