Fixing the dishwasher

Started a load of dishes last night. A while later, I walked past the dishwasher and noticed that it was off, and thought Huh, that seems like it finished faster than usual. Then on my way to bed, I started to empty the dishwasher, only to discover that everything in it, although wet, was still dirty. And the soap dispenser hadn’t popped open.

So I ran it again. And within a minute or so, it beeped a couple of times and stopped. The 3-digit display said E:25.

I tried again; same thing—ran briefly, then stopped, with an E:25.

So I did a web search for that error message, and found that it indicated some kind of drain blockage. I also found a YouTube video that looked like it would explain how to resolve the problem; a year ago, I might’ve thought any such fix would be beyond me, but I remembered that garbage disposals are easier to fix with the help of online instructions than I had expected, which gave me some more confidence. But I was half-asleep, so I dropped a note to Mary Anne and Kevin to let them know about the problem, and I went to sleep.

This morning I got up and had a bit of food, and then watched the YouTube video. Which turned out to feature a British guy with a reassuringly calm voice fixing an E25 error in a dishwasher while explaining exactly how to do it.

(...This is the second time in the past week or so that I’ve had reason to reflect on how much calm confidence from an expert can help to allay a non-expert’s uncertainties. It’s sometimes really nice to be told It’ll be okay; I’ve seen this before; here’s how to fix it, at least when it turns out that the person in question is right.)

So I did it. I removed the dishes and the lower dish rack, bailed out the water in the bottom, took out the spinny/sprinklery thing, popped open the drain/filter thing, bailed out more water, turned off the circuit breaker (the dishwasher is on its own circuit! This seems obvious in retrospect, but it was very pleasing to discover), got a pair of needlenose pliers, removed the small plastic impeller cover, and found a rubber band and a small rubber ring and a couple of other bits of stuff tangled up in the impeller. So I removed those, and put everything back together, easy like cake.

Then I thought that maybe one of the bits of rubber I had removed was supposed to be there as a sort of gasket, so with some trepidation, I took it all back apart (went even faster this time) and tried putting the rubber ring in various places, but even though it was suspiciously close to the right size to fit in a particular place, it became clear that it really didn’t go there. So I put everything back together again (which also went even faster this time). And reloaded the dishwasher, and turned on the circuit breaker, and everything seems to be working!

So I’m grateful to the folks at for creating a helpful and informative video, and to the folks at YouTube for providing a platform, and to the folks at Google Search for making it easy to find the video, and to my high school stage tech teachers and classmates for teaching me that Things Are Made Of Stuff. And to the folks at Bosch for making an easily-user-serviceable dishwasher. And to you, just for being you.

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