Monday, January 16, 2017

How to cope with owning an LG dishwasher - the dreaded 0E error - dishwasher not draining.

IF you are thinking of buying new parts to fix code 0E, read this first.  

A few years ago I decided to "upgrade" to a super quiet LG stainless steel dishwasher.  All was well, it was truly a quiet machine!  However, it began mysteriously giving the 0E error code.  I scoured the internet and gathered all the information I could find about this machine and its problem.
It turns out it was designed to get this error every so often in order to get money back to LG because its a drain hose issue, which isn't covered by warranty when it gets clogged. $269 they will charge you.  Well I'm here to help you redesign this machine and be able to once again enjoy it.

First off, you'll want to start scraping/rinsing your plates.  These things are actually dish sanitizers, not dishwashers.  I was a dishwasher for a year or two back in highschool - these machines they sell us for residential use are not dishwashers.  However, they are able to add a nice finishing touch.  Keep a stack of old rags around and you'll want to remove especially any grease or fat (any lipid matter) and throw it away!
Second, you'll want to install a stainless steel braided hose long enough to make it easy for you to pull the machine out and tip it forward on its door.  Here are some:
The DW has a 3/8" El on it that is a half-inch connect on the DW (Dishwasher) side.
I suppose you could get a plastic line, but I don't recommend it.  Definitely not copper - it will break and kink eventually as you have to do some yearly maintenance.
Third, you will want to install a proper Dishwasher Wye.  Something like this:

1-1/2 in. x 8 in. Brass Plain-End Branch Dishwasher Wye Tailpiece by EverBuilt 

Thing is, the cheap plastic ones don't have a big enough tube off the to the side.  So if you hook it up to the air gap, you run the risk of getting a choke point when the water flows and it might spew out the air gap (don't ask me how I know).  Also, I don't know about you put the plastic ones will come right off the sink threads and is easily stripped.  This sucker is solid.  Only problem would be corrosion.  I painted the inside of mine with some rust preventative paint to help prolong its life.  

Usually when I get the 0E error, I just plug the sink drains and hook up the shop vac to the air gap.  This time, I did that at first and kept getting the 0E error (3 times).  The 4th time, I could no longer do this, it was totally plugged.  This was a blessing in disguise. 
The first 3 times, the drain flow was simply restricted by fatty deposits.  The 4th time, it was totally blocked.  
The clog appears to occur in the second hose from the pump, about 8 feet in from the air trap, which is at the bottom corner of the dishwasher when installed.  

This is the farthest point from any accessible end of the drain hose. Its the low point, and a bend, about at the bottom right rear of the machine.  Since it was unreachable, the way we cleared it out was to disconnect the pump end and put it in a bucket full of hot soapy water.  I had to un-route a couple feet of it to get enough free for this to occur.  Then I disconnected the evaporator port (that is what I'm calling the black line in the upper left of the picture above), plugged it with a pencil by removing the round plastic .6” tube which is wedged in the blue rubber grommet, and disconnected the air trap end of the drain hose, and put it in a wet vac.  Its best do this with a helper.  We then sucked out the bucket of water through all the grey drain hose while shaking the hoses.  
I then reinstalled all the hoses, redid the air trap thing and unplugged it and put it all back together.  After I reinstalled the dishwasher, I ran the drain function by holding the cancel buttons for 3 seconds.  The water then drain through the filter inside and came out the circular port to the left of the filter in a recirculation pattern that you can observe, since this can thankfully be done while the door is ajar.  This is the round dark area in the middle of the above picture inside the translucent plastic piece.  I was treated to seeing a nice clump of moldy fatty brown gunk spew out of that port - it still retained the shape of the inside of the hose.  

One of the things I did to help prevent this in the future was that I took a stainless steel scrubber 

 and put it int he top of the circular filter trap.  The trap is poorly designed and can allow large particles past it when it is removed.  This scrubber will prevent that from occurring while allowing good water flow.  Additionally, it will cool grease/fat and hopefully collect some so if it does clog, it occurs in a more accessible area of the drain hose.  

Time will tell!
A lot of people online say they bought new parts to fix this error code.  ITs such a waste of money.  For a couple years, just the act of taking out the dishwasher and turning it over and back up was enough to clear the code, because the real problem is that the dishwasher is finicky about the flow rate of the drain.  If you get code OE, just clean your drain lines.  If that doesn't work, the first parts I'd buy are new drain hoses and that translucent plastic piece on the left side of the DW (shown above).  

If all else fails, use LG's handy troubleshooterL
I didn't find it very helpful for code 0E.  They should design dishwashers such that they filter out lipids before they reach the innards of the machine.  Also, the drain system should be more robust such that slight constriction of the drain lines leads to no degradation in function.  Who has perfectly clean and clear drains?  The leading edge of the Global 7000 flaps are designed such that it can retain a half inch of ice and it still wouldn't run into anything.  LG - how would you like to fly on a plane designed as well as your dishwashers?  Oh- sorry folks, its raining, we can't fly now the engines might get wet and seize up and explode.  


Anonymous said...

thanks for your insights

Anonymous said...

Reading this gave me hope on the dreaded OE error. Will be trying this on the weekend to see if it resolves my problem. Thanks for sharing.

Dennis Corraini said...

Spot on OE diagnosis !
I have a new LG , only 6 months old
Yes the OE error was the short hose plugged, between pump and the U shaped connector
Removed hose , hot water and air compressor fixed it fine !
Maybe installing a alternative hose , with a smooth inside , for this short length ?

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