Siemens dishwasher won't start / odd behaviour / leaks

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E-Nr: SN65M030GB/16
FD8910

When I started our integrated dishwasher earlier this evening, it appeared to start as normal (red light on, pointing down at the floor) and made a few of it's usual noises for maybe a minute, then bleeped and the red light started flashing - like it normally does right at the END of its programme to tell you its complete.

Opened it up, and the programme was showing zeros - again suggesting it thinks the programme is complete. But it won't then power off at the on/off switch.

I've tried powering it off completely at the mains plug for a few mins, but when I turn it on at the mains, I've noticed it powers straight up without the on/off button needing to be pressed - which seems equally odd.

I've repeated this with ALL the programmes, but it behaves exactly the same on all of them.

I've checked the normal stuff as a matter of course: Drain filters (ok). Removed pump cover to check for anything fouling the pump (also OK). Input filter on the aqua-stop it's fitted with is also OK.

It hasn't reported any error messages on the display so I'm at a bit at a loss. I've even tried to prompt it to throw an error message by turning off the water supply but it just behaves exactly the same no matter what I do.

The only thing unusual recently is last Saturday morning, we had a power cut for about 15 mins in the early morning - so am wondering whether it *might* have spiked something on the control board, though it has done a couple of cycles without any problem since.

Any thoughts appreciated!

Thanks.
 
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Managed to dig the thing out this evening. First thing that strikes me is there is some pretty bad smelling water (I assume waste water judging by colour and smell) in the bottom of the casing which I guess shouldn't be there. See attached photo. Can anyone tell me if there is any sort of leak detector on these machines, and also if there are any common leak failure points?

Still not sure why the machine would behave in the way it is doing though. If there is leak detector and it has tripped, then why would the machine not spit out an error code?
 

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Quite a bit of progress this morning. Established the thing I couldn't quite see behind the heat pump is the float/flood switch, and mopped all the water out. Powered the dishwasher up at the mains, and unlike before, it didn't come straight on by itself - the on/off button had to be pressed to turn it on, and it then ran through a cycle without any further drama. Be nice if Siemens had thought of a more meaningful way of telling you there was a problem......

There is indeed a leak and it's coming from the area of the waste outlet on the big plastic water manifold on the other side. The water is running down the waste pipe, and dripping into the channel you see on the original photo (hence all the dried gunge in that), and then into the base of the machine. The only thing I haven't established yet is whether the problem is the sealing ring on the waste pipe outlet OR a problem with the manifold itself.

What's niggling me is when I first checked, as well as seeing water on the waste pipe (blue arrow) I also found traces of water where the red arrow is and it looks from the diagram for the machine that the collar is part of the manifold. So maybe I'm looking at a hairline crack OR something behind the manifold is leaking higher up and running down the back and onto the waste outlet. I'll no doubt have to pull it apart even further this evening, but in the meantime, if anyone has any experiences of this type of machine and knows where the leak might be, sing out.

Thanks.
 

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My hunch was right - when I removed the water manifold, it has been leaking from a vent thingy that goes through the side wall of the dishwasher. On the basis that it's been doing it a while so was probably not that good a seal method in the first place, I have cleaned all the gunge off and re-assembled with silicone jointing compound. The vent is directly above the waste water outlet which explains why the water gathered around the collar.

The water manifold was easy enough to remove. You pull up a dome shaped plastic cap inside the machine, and stick a 10mm allen key in to unscrew the water nozzle, and then unscrew the vent thingy using the same size key. If you look at image Leak1, there is a clip top left corner, and that then releases the whole thing. It can then be pulled upwards. The waste hoses are a push fit in. The mains water in is on a clip but I managed to work with that left in situ. The two pipes to the right of it are fresh water outlet nozzles and push into seals in the water softener unit.
 

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Well, that was the FIRST, and it turns out, the MINOR leak sorted!

Before I reinstalled the machine, I ran it through on the hottest 70 degree programme for the first time since "fixing" it. After it had finished, I turned the power off as normal, but it wouldn't power off again (same symptom as I had originally). Looked in the base, and there was a nice little pool of water again - but it was bone dry around the water inlet manifold this time. Quick check around and I found water leaking out between the pump housing, and the base of the dishwasher (red arrow, Leak7). So this is probably things expanding with the higher temperature - and is obviously the MAIN leak!!!

A quick Google suggests the machine *should* have flagged an E15 error if the float switch is activated but I have no idea why it consistently refuses to do so!

I tried tightening up the four Torx screws which hold the pump housing to the base of the machine but that didn't stop it - and as the pump housing is plastic, I didn't want to OVER tighten and risk stripping the threads which go into quite flimsy parts of the housing (e.g. red cross, Leak7).

So having got this far, it was off with the machine base which isn't actually as bad as it sounds:

1. Obviously, turn off the water supply to the dishwasher and unplug from mains. Also make sure you put plenty of cardboard down to protect your flooring as there are a lot of sharp edges on these machines, and have a bucket and plenty of cloths available to mop up any water.

2. Remove the control unit. This is held in place by two clips as shown in Controller Top. Just lever the side of the machine out from the controller a little with a screwdriver and pull the controller upwards (the mains cable needs unplugging first). Then note where the cables go, and bend the locking tabs back slightly and gently pull off each connector.

3. At the bottom rear of the machine in two rectangular holes either side (Base Removal Rear) bend the metal tabs back slightly with a pair of pliers as I have done.

4. At the front of the machine, remove the two L shaped hinge covers at each side by pulling outwards from the top and lifting upwards and outwards to release the bottom clip, and put the door spring under tension. I used strong steel wire wrapped around the gap in the last couple of spring coils and gripped the wire with mole grips to do this. BE CAREFUL as the springs are quite strong. You can then unhook the door cable from the door by lifting up the plastic hook (Spring Mechanism, red arrow). The cable guide can then be pivoted backwards and pulled off it's spigot (blue arrows). This will make the front base removal clip accessible (Base removal front).

5. Mop out any remaining water in the pump and base, and remove all the baskets. Not certain of the wisdom of flipping the machine completely upside down - but that is what I did, by first flipping the machine onto the side where the controller was (cables tied out the way inside the machine), and then fully upside down - supporting the front of the machine on some scrap polystyrene. I guess laying it on it's back is also an option so long as it can be done without damaging the hoses.

6. In the centre of the base, unclip the float switch by levering apart the tabs in the two square holes.

7. Unclip the front base securing clips (prise plastic tabs gently forward until they clear the metal) then push the base up slightly, so the base is clear of its clips.

8. Remove the water manifold I'd so carefully sealed back in place the other day! I managed to remove the clip on the water inlet hose OK but couldn't remove the hose from the manifold so I left it connected in place rather than risk snapping the spigot on the (expensive!) manifold. The base and the manifold can be removed together as you can see in the next steps.

9. At the back of the machine, unclip the water inlet plate by pressing the clip to one side, then remove the little wire clipped to the back of it which goes to the aqua stop.

10. Ease the base upwards (Base Removed).Base Removed 2 shows the plug to the aqua stop (blue arrow) and the float switch (blue circle) which are the only electrical connections to the base. The two waste hoses just unclip from the base. The polystyrene float has been removed and the gunge cleaned out.

11. From inside the machine (I put a box under the door to support its weight so I could work inside), the four Torx screws are then unscrewed and the whole pump housing can then be removed, where you can clearly see where it has been leaking (Leak8). I managed without disconnecting any of the pump electrical connections. As far as I can tell, the seal is bonded to the housing so I just gave it a very thorough clean, including moving the seal away from the housing a little, to dry out water trapped between. A good smear of jointing compound, then back together. Note that the base of the machine goes into the middle of the seal, not flat against it - which explains why tightening the Torx screws made no difference. See Leak9 - a fillet of sealant into the corner where the blue line is should suffice.

12. Re-assemble machine in reverse order.
 

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Excellent write-up, I had the virtually the same fun and games about a year ago.
Mine did give a clue with an error code (E15) when the float switch in the base was triggered. That also caused the drain pump to run continuously which is pointless as the leaked water is outside the sump.

My 'fix' was exactly the same as yours, remove the bottom of the case and seal around the sump gasket with some LSX silicone jointing compound. That was almost a year ago and so far it's still watertight. A replacement sump assy can be bought for less than £30 though.
I also found the seal along the inside bottom edge of the door was split causing another small leak into the base.
 
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Thanks for the feedback Gazza. I thought about replacement of the sump - but sometimes you just look at something and think it's not that good a design and it's gonna do the same again. As you know, LSX stays flexible so I think it will handle the handle the expansion/contraction better + it will cope with the high temperature OK. I'll look out for the door one next.......!
 
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Just a follow up on this for any of you who hit the same problem. My LSX repair on the sump lasted around four years but then started leaking slightly. It was at this point that I found out there is now a silicone seal kit part number 12005744, and this can be fitted without stripping the machine down. A YouTube video showing how this is done can be found here. However, because I'd used LSX in my previous repair, I ended up stripping the machine down again to remove it all and ensure the new seal did its job properly - and I fitted the new seal that way. Because this additional seal is compressed between the sump and the body of the dishwasher, it seals far better than the original sump seal ever did.
 
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I used Loctite SI5660 grey silicone gasket maker (available in Halfords) instead of LSX. It’s still sealed after more than four years use.
 
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Thanks YorkshireMidge for returning to this thread - your post and recommendation of the sump sealing kit came just in time to stop me attempting your earlier process of renewing the sump seal from the bottom of the machine. Kit arrived and was duly installed. Even put the "R" sticker on the side of the door to indicate that the ring has been installed now.
I installed that OK, as I thought it might help, couldn't hurt and was easy, but TBH I kind of knew that my leak was more likely what you call the MINOR one - dirty yellow water coming down the inside of the water manifold.
In my Bosch integrated washer SMV65M00 it triggers the E15 and continuous pumping every couple of weeks, so at least that's OK. Did you ever figure out why yours didn't?

The description of your work 5 years ago is very helpful, but I can't quite figure out how to remove the big plastic water manifold -
Here's a useful YouTube video:

IMG_3644.JPG
 
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@NotaJock - no, I never found out why it refused to throw an error code. Guess it will remain one of life's little mysteries! That YouTube video you posted is a LOT clearer than my description so thanks for adding it. If you look at photo Leak1, my Siemens machine is a slightly different manifold design - there are no torx screws, there is a slide-up plastic hood over the bottom screw inside the machine (see photo Leak6), and only one clip securing the manifold to the body of the dishwasher. In the video he mentions lifting the manifold up - but you actually have to pull the top of it it outwards so the bit with the seal on (Leak4) is clear of the hole in the machine (Leak3)- and then it just lifts up, but it needs a bit of brute force to pull the manifold off those flexi hoses with the O rings. I managed to do my repair without needing to remove the inlet hose, as I just needed the manifold clear of the body of the dishwasher to do the clean and re-seal.
 
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I managed to do my repair without needing to remove the inlet hose, as I just needed the manifold clear of the body of the dishwasher to do the clean and re-seal.
Now that is going to be really helpful to know.
Unless I decide to try to clear the gunge inside the manifold (what I discover is often called the matrix in other places) - a whole new level of complexity... I need a little more If It Ain't Broke... restraint.
Thanks again.
 
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@NotaJock you're welcome. Looking at your photo, I'm just thinking that you have a lot more gunge below that left hand joint than I had, yet it's still surprisingly clean above it. I've just dug out this posting of a similar example where you can see the point I'm trying to make - i.e. it is a mess above the joints too so it's obvious the leak is from above. So don't rule out that O ring as a possible cause unless when you run the machine, you see tell-tale traces of water where I have the red arrow in photo Leak2. Hope you get it sorted.
 

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