Bosch Dishwasher Force Drain Cycle (4 Easy Steps)

By: Talen Quire

Every dishwasher has a drain mechanism that removes the wastewater from it after completing the cycle.

However, the drain mechanism can sometimes stop working due to blocks or kinks in the supply hose. During such a situation, the Bosch dishwasher force drain cycle can be helpful for you.

If you wish to change the cycle setting and run a force drain cycle on your dishwasher, you have come to the right place. 

In this article, you will get to know how to start the force drain on the Bosch dishwasher. I will also be sharing some pros and cons of forcing a drain on the dishwasher.

So, let’s dive in.

Forcing the Bosch dishwasher to drain

When Should I Use The Force Drain Cycle On Bosch Dishwasher?

The Force drain cycle is not a natural way for a dishwasher to remove wastewater.

No one will want to force the drain cycle for no reason. There are always some reasons that cause you to make this decision. 

Here are those reasons to use the force drain cycle on Bosch dishwashers.

Selection of the wrong cycle 

If you accidentally selected the undesired cycle, the force drain cycle can help you by canceling the current cycle and resetting a new one.

Once the Force drain cycle is done, you will be able to reset the new cycle and change the wash setting to your desired one.

Blocked or faulty drain mechanism

A blocked or faulty drain mechanism of a dishwasher is a potential reason for using the force drain cycle. 

The drain mechanism of a dishwasher consists of many components, including a drain pump, drain hose, filter, and garbage disposal. If any of them get clogged by debris or defective, the wastewater will not be removed, and you will find the standing water in the dishwasher’s tub.

In such a situation, you should force the drain cycle and later call a technician to fix your drainage system.

Incorrect loading and detergent usage

If you have ever read your dishwasher’s user manual, the steps to ensure correct loading and recommended detergent usage are already mentioned there.

Right way to load dishes

Still, many people load their dishwashers incorrectly and exceed the limit of detergent usage, which causes their soap dispenser not to open on time.

However, if your dishwasher is in mid-cycle and you want to correct the loading and quantity of detergent, you can cancel the current cycle by forcing the dishwasher to drain.

When the drain cycle is finished, open the doors, reload your dishes properly, and use limited detergent. Also, if you find any additional error codes on the display, fix them.

How To Activate Force Drain Cycle On Bosch dishwasher?

Activating the force drain cycle on your dishwasher is a simple process. Follow the steps mentioned below, and you will be able to start the force drain on your appliance.

Now, you can start the force drain cycle in two ways. First, by resetting your dishwasher, and second, by following the sequence of steps that I am mentioning below.

Resetting the dishwasher

  • First, turn off your dishwasher using the control panel power switch. Even better, unplug your appliance from the power source and flip the circuit breaker.
Circuit breaker
  • Your Bosch unit will start to drain within a few minutes. 
  • After a while, a clean light is illuminated to indicate the completion of the drain cycle.

However, if this method doesn’t work for you, you can use the alternative steps given below.

Steps for starting the force drain cycle

  • First, you will need to cancel the current cycle. To do so, hold down the “Start” button on the control panel for 3 seconds.
  • Now, you will have to wait for some minutes and let the clean light illuminate.
  • After that, press the “Start” button to start the forced drain and wait till the clean light turns blue to indicate that the force drain cycle is completed.
  • Lastly, press the On or Off button to finish the draining process.

Now, you can open the dishwasher door to access your dishes or to rearrange them. 

After changing the wash settings to your desired one, you can close the dishwasher and press the “Start” button to begin a new cycle.

For more information about the force drain cycle, you can watch the below-given video:

Advantages and Disadvantages of using Bosch dishwasher Force Drain Cycle

Every process comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. So, here I am highlighting some of the advantages and disadvantages of using the force drain cycle.


It saves time

On average, a wash cycle on a Bosch dishwasher can take up to 2 hours. And if you want to drain the water, you will have to wait until the cycle finishes.

But if you use the force drain cycle, it will save you time by draining the wastewater immediately. It will take less than 2 minutes to force the drain and start a new cycle of your choice.

It allows you to reset the cycle settings.

Another advantage of forcing the drain cycle is that you can reselect a new wash cycle cycle setting. If your dishwasher is in mid-cycle, but you don’t want to continue the cycle, then use the force drain cycle.

It will stop the ongoing cycle, and you will get a chance to reset the cycle settings.

Removes the excess water

Whenever you notice that there is more than the required water in the dishwasher, you can use the force drain feature to remove the excess water.

Excess water at the bottom of the bosch dishwasher


It is a simple and easy-to-do process depending on the model of the machine you are using.


Risk of damage

A force drain cycle is an excellent immediate solution. But if it is done frequently, it can negatively impact your dishwasher and probably cause damage to it.

This feature is made for emergencies or when your regular drain cycle is not working. You should not use this feature on a regular basis.

Temporary solution

Up to now, you must have understood that forcing the drain cycle is a temporary solution. Using it regularly can negatively impact your dishwasher’s health.

Even experts say that letting the dishwasher drain naturally is always the best.

If you are using this feature because your dishwasher is not draining, contact a professional and ask him to fix that issue.

What are the common error codes related to the force drain cycle on a Bosch dishwasher?

The most common error codes indicating drainage issues and necessitating a force drain cycle on Bosch dishwashers are E24 and E25.

Bosch dishwasher showing error code E24

E24 Error Code: This is the primary error code indicating drainage problems. It means the dishwasher isn’t draining properly, typically due to a blocked drain filter or other obstructions in the drainage system.

E25 Error Code: This error code often appears alongside E24 and also signifies drainage issues. It can be caused by a blocked or faulty drain pump, loose pump cover, or other obstructions in the drainage system.

Common Causes of These Errors:

  1. Clogged Drain Filter: Food debris or particles can block the filter, preventing proper drainage.
  2. Kinked or Blocked Drain Hose: If the drain hose is twisted or clogged, water can’t drain efficiently.
  3. Obstructed or Faulty Drain Pump: Debris in the pump or a malfunctioning pump can hinder drainage.
  4. Blocked Air Gap or Garbage Disposal: Blockages in these areas can lead to drainage issues.
  5. Loose Pump Cover: A loose pump cover can cause improper drainage and trigger error codes.

Fixing These Errors:

  1. Clean the Filter: Remove and clean the drain filter to ensure there are no blockages.
  2. Inspect and Straighten the Drain Hose: Make sure the hose is free of kinks and blockages.
  3. Check and Clean the Drain Pump: Remove any debris from the pump and ensure it’s functioning correctly.
  4. Activate the Force Drain Cycle: Press and hold the Start button for about 3-5 seconds to initiate the force drain cycle.

How do I troubleshoot a Bosch dishwasher that won’t complete the force drain cycle?

If your Bosch dishwasher is struggling to finish the force drain cycle, here are some steps to help you troubleshoot the issue:

Check for blockages: Start by removing and cleaning the filter unit at the bottom of the dishwasher. Make sure there is no debris clogging the drain pump by inspecting and clearing it if necessary. Also, inspect the drain hose for any kinks or blockages that might hinder water flow.

Verify that the drain pump cover is secure: Locate the white drain pump cover under the filter and ensure it’s pushed in firmly and locked in place.

Run multiple force drain cycles: Press and hold the Start button for 3-5 seconds to initiate a force drain. You may need to repeat this process several times to fully clear any stubborn blockages.

Check your external plumbing: Run the garbage disposal to clear any blockages that might affect drainage. Inspect the air gap, disposal connection, or S-trap under the sink to ensure there are no obstructions.

Reset the appliance: Turn off the power to the dishwasher for 30 seconds, then turn it back on. This can help reset the control board and might resolve the issue.

Listen for the drain pump operation: During the force drain cycle, you should hear the drain pump activate. If you don’t, the pump might be faulty and could need a replacement.

Why does my Bosch dishwasher sometimes take a long time to complete the force drain cycle?

There are a few potential reasons why a Bosch dishwasher may take longer than expected to complete the force drain cycle:

Partial blockage in the drain system: Even if there’s not a full clog, a partial blockage in the drain hose, pump, or filters can slow down the draining process.

A kinked or improperly installed drain hose: If the drain hose is kinked or doesn’t have a proper high loop, it can impede water flow and extend the draining time.

A faulty drain pump: If the drain pump is starting to fail, it may still work but at reduced efficiency, leading to longer drain times.

Control board issues: Problems with the dishwasher’s control board could cause it to run the drain cycle longer than necessary.

Excessive suds: Using too much detergent or the wrong type can create excessive suds, which take longer to drain.

Hard water buildup: Mineral deposits from hard water can accumulate in the drain system over time, gradually slowing drainage. This can significantly extend the duration of the force drain cycle.

Garbage disposal: If your dishwasher drains into a garbage disposal, ensure the knockout plug is removed during installation. A partially blocked connection here can slow draining.

How do I maintain my Bosch dishwasher to prevent issues with the force drain cycle?

Maintaining the Bosch dishwasher

Proper maintenance is important to avoid any unnecessary drain problems. Here are some tips to prevent issues with the force drain cycle:

  1. Clean the Filter Regularly:
    Remove and clean the filter every 1-2 months. Rinse it under running water with mild soap and a soft brush to remove any debris.
  2. Clean the Spray Arms:
    Check and clean the spray arms every few months. Use a toothpick to clear any debris or blockages in the spray holes. 
  3. Use a Dishwasher Cleaner:
    Running a cleaning cycle with a Bosch dishwasher cleaner a few times a year helps remove grease, starch, and protein residues that can build up over time.
  4. Descale Regularly:
    Hard water deposits and limescale can accumulate and affect drainage. Use a Bosch descaler a few times a year to remove these mineral buildups.
  5. Check and Clean the Drain Pump:
    Periodically inspect the drain pump for debris. Remove the pump cover and carefully clear any blockages. Keeping the drain pump clean ensures smooth drainage.

What are the potential risks of running the force drain cycle too frequently?

There are a number of risks of running the force drain cycle too frequently. While it can be a quick fix for drainage problems, overuse can lead to several issues:

  1. Increased Risk of Damage
    Frequent use of the force drain cycle can negatively impact your dishwasher’s components over time. The extra strain can lead to premature wear and tear, reducing the appliance’s overall lifespan.
  2. Stress on the Drain Pump
    The drain pump is designed for occasional use during regular cycles. Repeatedly forcing the drain cycle can put excessive stress on the pump, leading to failure and costly repairs.
  3. Hide Serious Issues
    Relying on the force drain cycle as a regular solution may hide more serious problems with the dishwasher’s drainage system. These issues could worsen if not properly diagnosed and fixed by a professional.
  4. Inefficient Water and Energy Usage
    Frequent force draining can result in wasted water and increased energy consumption.
  5. Voiding of Warranty
    While occasional use of the force drain cycle is safe, excessive use might be seen as a misuse of the appliance. This could potentially void your dishwasher’s warranty.
  6. Incomplete Cleaning Cycles
    Interrupting normal wash cycles to force drain means your dishes might not be getting properly cleaned or sanitized.
  7. Electrical Issues
    Repeatedly resetting the dishwasher’s control board through force draining can lead to electrical problems over time.

To avoid these risks, use the force drain cycle sparingly and only as a temporary solution.

Infographic: How to force the drain on the Bosch dishwasher?

Infographic of forcing the drain on Bosch dishwasher

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the signs of a faulty drain pump in a Bosch dishwasher?

Signs of a faulty drain pump include water not draining, a humming noise without drainage, intermittent operation, error codes like E24 or E25, slow draining, and water leaks from the pump area. These symptoms indicate that the pump may be jammed, blocked, or failing.

What buttons drain the Bosch dishwasher?

If your Bosch dishwasher model has a “Cancel drain” button on the control panel. You will have to look for the two dots indication under specific buttons. These buttons are required to be pressed in order to drain the dishwasher.

Can I perform a force drain cycle manually on my Bosch dishwasher?

Yes, you can manually perform a force drain cycle. Press and hold the Start button for about 3-5 seconds to cancel the current cycle and initiate the drain process. Wait for the “Clean” light to illuminate, then press the Start button again to complete the force drain cycle.

Can I run the force drain cycle as a preventative measure?

While possible, it’s not recommended to run the force drain cycle regularly as a preventative measure. It can cause unnecessary wear and tear on the drain pump, mask underlying issues, waste resources, and potentially affect your warranty due to perceived misuse.

Can I run the force drain cycle on a new Bosch dishwasher?

es, you can run the force drain cycle on a new Bosch dishwasher if needed. Although generally unnecessary for a brand-new dishwasher, you might use it to test the drain system after installation or if there’s an immediate issue with drainage.

Can I disable the force drain cycle in my Bosch dishwasher?

No, you cannot fully disable the force drain cycle. The force drain cycle is crucial for clearing blockages and resetting the system when needed. Disabling it would prevent the dishwasher from effectively addressing drainage issues.

How often should I run the force drain cycle on my Bosch dishwasher?

Run the force drain cycle only when necessary, such as when experiencing drainage issues or error codes like E24 or E25. Regular use without cause can lead to unnecessary wear on the drain pump and other components, potentially shortening their lifespan.

Is it safe to manually force the drain cycle, and will it affect the dishwasher’s warranty?

It is safe to use the force drain cycle if you are using it once in a while. It is one of the dishwasher’s features, so it will not affect the warranty. However, forcing the drain during every cycle can increase the risk of damage.

Can the force drain cycle be used to troubleshoot drainage issues in a Bosch dishwasher?

The force drain cycle is not the permanent solution. It can be only used as an immediate solution. You will have to call a repairman in order to troubleshoot drainage issues on your dishwasher.


In conclusion, the force drain cycle is one of the excellent features that can help you cancel the wash, remove excess water, and change the cycle settings.

Also, if your dishwasher drainage system is not working or you have selected the incorrect cycle, you can use this feature to correct it.

To activate the force drain cycle on the Bosch dishwasher, press the Start button for 3 seconds and wait till the clean light illuminates. Then, press the start button. After a while, the clean light will turn solid blue to indicate the completion of the force drain cycle.

However, you should not use this feature as a permanent solution. The natural draining mechanism of the dishwasher is always the safest and best.

This was all from my side. I hope you have got the information you were looking for. If you think I have missed something, comment below. I will always be ready to assist you.

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