SOLVED Cleaning a dishwasher's water inlets

Our trusty dishwasher (Bosch Exxcel) had recently been getting worse at the daily job of crockery cleaning, and today it simply did no cleaning at all! On starting the wash cycle there was no water coming out of the cleaning arms, and the "check water" light had come on. To fix this, I did the following (after turning off the water and electricity supply to the machine):

Remove the top cover. This is held in place by clips at the back; use a flat-head screwdriver to prise each one up, and the top should then slide back a couple of centimetres. You can then lift it off.

Remove the left side panel. There are two torx screws on the front of the dishwasher; undo these, and the panel should pop off.

Looking at the left side of the machine, you'll see a soft-plastic pipe system. Near the top is a float devices. Ours was surrounded by brown gunk, so we removed the unit and gave it a good old clean with lots of water and detergent. It's very difficult to get at the section containing the gunk, so we kept shaking and gently banging it until most of the gunk had come out. NOTE removing this plastic pipe unit is straightforward, but there are several pipes going into it! Keep note of what goes where, and you'll need pliers to remove the circlip keeping the water inlet hose in place.

Clean out the pressure chamber. This was completely full of slimy brown gunk, and was the main culprit for a lack of water supply. Looking at the left of the machine, it's at the bottom and near the right. It has a micro-switch and a hose attached; both of these need disconnecting before pulling the unit out. After cleaning, don't forget to replace the red rod in the correct place, as otherwise the machine won't know when water is flowing!

I strongly recommend taking photos of things before you take anything apart. You can see from my photos and video below that there are lots of pipes and a bit of electrical componentry visible, so it would be easy to confuse things. If you don't feel confident, just stop and get a professional applicance repair technician in. Whatever you do, you do so at your own risk! The information here is what worked for me - but it may not work for you!


by Hugh on 08 March 2023
Hi John

Very helpful post. My Bosch Exxcel dishwasher has started leaving standing water in the bottom at the end of a wash cycle, although it still seems to be cleaning the dishes effectively.

Yours was the only post I could find showing pictures of the water inlet manifold, and mine has just the same gunk in the top left hand corner. I can't see What's inside that part, but I note that you refer to a float. Do you think that this might have anything to do with the machine not pumping out fully at the end of the cycle? (It does so partially, although the pump appears "hesitant", operating briefly,pausing, and then continuing, and the flow in the drain pipe doesn't sound as strong as I remember it used to be.)

Any suggestions most welcome.

by Rey Bentzen on 31 July 2023
I dont see the purpose of the red Rod when it is not possible for it to touch the micro switch due since it blocked to go up..
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by Charlie on 20 October 2022
Great blog entry, John! I've been struggling with this model of dishwasher for a couple of days, and finding your post is a Godsend. Now, can you help me identify where the flow diverter is in this machine? I mean the device that sends water to the bottom rotor or not, depending on the programme? I'm getting no water at all to the top rotor (it's clean and free spinning) but always get water to the bottom rotor, even when I select 'top tray only'. I suspect the diverter is jammed but don't know where to find it. There's no mention of one in the parts list on the Bosch website.
by John Swindells on 09 March 2023
Hi Charlie, sorry I missed your question. I hope you got it fixed! On my machine there's no "top tray only" option so I couldn't help.
by John on 16 April 2022
I did this and also removed the short convoluted drain hose that runs from the waste pump to the pressure chamber. It was almost completely blocked with limescale. Seems to be working ok now.
by Kate on 10 March 2022
Hi John at last someones posted pictures of the water inlet section..thank you. Anyway I must be bloody mad but I'm going to attempt to do exactly what you did cleaning the water inlets..they are disgusting and I'm hoping that will solve my problem of the machine going straight to draining. I've been trying to fix this problem for a few days and before I give up completely I'll try the cleaning like you did. Are they're any tips you can offer on removing the unit or is that a stupid question. All my husband says oh BH Kate give up.
by John Swindells on 10 March 2022
I hope you suceed with cleaning out the pipes, Kate! All I can remember is that the water inlet unit doesn't come out very easily, but it is made of fairly tough plastic. Take your time, keep track of what goes where (with photos etc) and you should be fine.
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