How To Fix the E03 Error on a Hoover Washing Machine

What do you do when the dreaded E03 error code shows up on your Hoover washing machine? It’s like the blue screen of death on your PC, only your clothes are wet and you might not be able to rescue them from your laundry device.

The barely legible E03 Code
The hard to read E03 in action

What is the E03 Error Code?

The E03 essentially means the washer can’t drain all of that horrible soapy grey water from the drum. That could be on your Hoover, Candy or even your Whirlpool washing machine. So given the rudimentary minimum display for most washers, it’s easy to pop up a capital E, a Zero and a 3 onto the seven segment display. Harder to write an N or to distinguish an R from an A, so no chance of writing DRAIN, let alone FILTER.

What Causes an E03 Error Code?

Your washing machine has a pump that is used to clear all the water from the drum between cycles. It pumps out all the grey water and then the hopefully less grey water after the rinse. If it can’t pump out the water, it’s not going to let fresh rinsing water in, or spin the drum as fast as it can.

Most front loading washing machines in the UK have a flexible grey waste water tube at the back. It comes from the pump at the bottom of the machine, and then is routed up and into the drain. When it’s installed, it will have a U-shaped bend in it, and often discharges water into the same place that the kitchen sink does. Before it does that, the water passes through a filter.

So for water to get out, the drain pipe needs to be empty (not clogged with food), the grey pipe needs to be free from blocks, and the filter needs to allow water through at a reasonable flow rate.

Things that stop this:

  • hair bands, hair, coins and lego stuck in the filter
  • beans, grease and lego stuck in the drain

How to Fix the E03 Code

Most sensible washing machines allow you to service your filter from the front of the machine. Most of us never think to maintain the filter, but it’s good practice. When you get an E03 code, it’s essential.

Some Hoover / Candy / Whirlpool washing machines have a small drain tube at the front to help you empty the last of the water before servicing the filter. This is shown in the How To Fix Your Hoover E03 Error Code video.

How to Fix the e03 error video

If your machine doesn’t have the small drain tube at the front, you can either:

  • Take the filter off and clean it anyway, but expect to clean up gallons of water or
  • Use the grey drain tube at the back to remove the excess water in the machine. This is shown in Hoover’s own video.

You should also check that your drain tube isn’t blocked (though arguably this is the job of the filter, which may have become blocked). You should then check that whatever your grey drain tube feeds into isn’t blocked.

What Can I Do If That Fails to Clear the Code?

There are some Hoover washers that are susceptible to power spikes, and these cause odd error codes to flash up. You could try unplugging the machine for five minutes and then turning it back on again to see if that’s cleared it.

And as a last resort, sometimes the E03 is completely bogus, and gets thrown if your heater element is not up to snuff. You could try changing the heater element in a pinch.

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