Bosch Nexxt 500 (WFMC3301UC) Review
By Mark Sticht
The Quick Answer
So far, so great, except that the "Start/Pause" button really means "Start/Stop".
We'll be sure to update this with any issues.
While trying to research, we found conflicting specs online. Retailers and even the manufacturer web site can't agree on what features the 500 series has. I posted a picture of the controls on ours - maybe that will help clear up any questions that you have.
Bosch was offering a $100 rebate on the washer. Lowe's delivered the washer and dryer the day after we bought them. The washer was missing the drain hose. I saw the Lowe's guys open up the box, it was new from the factory, but I guess they forgot to put it in. We ran to Lowe's and picked one up for free. They would have brought it to us, but we didn't want to wait.
The Real World
Nov 10th, 2007
We've only been using our washer for about a week, but we've put close to 20 loads through it. We just finished (is it ever done?) building our house, so we had a lot of pretty dirty clothes - they all came out very clean. One load that I wasn't sure about was a HUGE quilt with a wool top. It hadn't been washed in a long time because it didn't fit in our old washer, but that wasn't a problem at all with the Bosch washer.
- Low water usage
- Energy star
- Pause means stop. The "Start/Pause" button (as the control panel calls it) is really the "Start/Stop" button. It will start over at the beginning of the cycle if you "pause" it.
- The beeping that sounds at the end of the cycle will drive you insane if you can't get to the machine to turn the knob to "off". The dryer has a way to turn the alarm on or off, but with the washer you are stuck.
June 27th, 2008
We had our first problem with the washer, the E04 error, which for us meant the pump was blocked by something. It seems like Bosch wants to make sure their service people have something to do so they make it hard to find the solution. It is really pretty easy, and should only take about 15 mintues to fix once you know how to do it. I'll be putting up a step by step how-to with photos. Bosch includes a 'small item' bag that you should use for items like baby socks. We always try to use it but I guess one slipped by us and the rubber boot - and right into the trap before the pump.
Bosch E04 Solution:
- Get some towels and if possible a wet/dry vac. If the machine drained, it won't be too bad. If your machine is stuck full of water, I can't say! I'd guess you could get wet.
- Locate the round door on the front of the machine (about 6" in diameter, lower right corner)
- Find a drill bit or small screwdriver that fits in the hole in the round door.
- Insert the bit into the hole in the door. It will push in a tab, it doesn't take much force. Rotate the hole (clockwise) to 6'oclock and it should come free.
- Once the door is out of the way you'll be greeted by a 3-4" plastic cap with wings so you can unscrew it by hand. There is a small collector lip at the bottom of the cap, that is where I held my wet/dry vac to catch the water. Unscrew slowly so you don't get flooded. Take your time and keep unscrewing it until it is free.
- Pull out the trap that you just unscrewed and you'll most likely see the item that caused the E04 error code. There is an side of the trap that is marked that it needs to be installed facing downward, so watch for that when you put it back in.
- Read these directiosn upside down and backwards to put it all back together.
- Run a load and watch for leaks. You could leave the door off until you are sure you screwed the cap in tight enough.
April 2009, David H. wrote to tell us about his experience in fixing error code E04. His washer had a bit more water in it than mine and was also sitting on a matching set of drawers. He covered the holes in the drawer and let it catch most of the water. He found a few bobby pins in the cleanout. Here is what David has to say about their washer
"I like our washer and dryer. They are in the kitchen, and I am frequently working in the kitchen while the laundry runs. The quiet is a big improvement over the previous units. The higher efficiency is also apparent, especially the way the washer's spin cycle shortens the drying time. My spouse dislikes the long cycle, and the fact that the estimated time to completion can go up and down." I have to agree that the estimated time left is kinda bogus, but it has never bothered me, I just throw laundry in and forget about it.
June 13th, 2015
The washer is still going strong. It seems like we have to clean out the trap more often than we used to. It doesn't goet so clogged that it flashes "E04" at us, but we'll notice it start to smell bad. I think this has more to do with having two boys and the number of tissues left in pockets and the number of pockets full of pea gravel. There are a few cracks in the plastic, around a screw hole - but not in anything important. For 7-1/2 years, that isn't too bad in my book.