How to reset the Anti-Flood Device on your Electrolux Dishwasher

Have you ever had that heart-sinking feeling when an appliance makes a noise you’ve never heard before? An alarm sounds and all you can think of is how much it’s going to cost you to call an engineer out to fix it. This happened to me a couple of evenings ago. I have an Electrolux integrated dishwasher, model ESL 4200LO. It’s only just out of warranty, typical!

I checked the machine out and found that the empty pump was running constantly, even when I opened the door, usually everything stops at this point, but it didn’t. The alarm was beeping 3 times intermittently along with a flashing “end of cycle” LED. The only way I could get everything to stop was to turn off the power, not the ideal situation.

I checked the manual to see what the alarm meant and it turns out that the Anti-Flood device had been activated. This activates if the machine detects a leak, handy to know that your kitchen won’t be flooded if something goes wrong.

So how to fix it? With the help off Google and some common sense I managed to do it and it was surprisingly easy. Why am I writing this post if it’s easy and you can find the information online? I found the information from lots of sources, there was no one site that told me the full story and definitely none with pictures.

Please make sure the power is switched off for this method, we don’t want any accidents.

Here goes…

1 – Remove the kickback (this is the narrow piece of wood found below your cupboard doors that hides the area under the kitchen cupboards).

2 – Use a screwdriver to remove the screws that hold the lower cover in place on the base of your dishwasher. It’s a little awkward but doable.

3 – You should now be able to see into the lower part of your dishwasher. If you have a torch or a phone with an LED flashlight this will help. You will be able to see into the “reservoir” and hopefully be able to see the water. Here’s a picture of what mine looked like:

Dishwasher anti flood device

Reservoir filled with dirty water, polystyrene switch in the background

You can see the water and also towards the back you can see the anti-flood device activation switch. It’s the white polystyrene float that’s in the water. This is what has floated in the water and activated the empty pump.

4 – Get a small sponge or cloth and empty the water from the reservoir into a bucket. This may take some time as you can only do a little bit at a time but it will work.

5 – Once all the water has been removed the polystyrene switch should be fully down. If not gently pull it down so it sits on the plastic base. Here’s how it should look:


6 – Now reattach the cover with the screws and replace the kickback.

Your dishwasher should now work as normal. If not then you’ll unfortunately have to contact an engineer to fix the issue.

I fixed mine last night so I am hoping it’s either a one off job or something I have to do yearly. If it’s something I have to do any more often than every quarter then I think I have a proper leak.

Please note, this way worked for me. I can’t accept any responsibility it doesn’t work for you or if your dishwasher is broken as a result. This is done so at your own risk.

Let me know how you got on, feel free to comment as I always reply.

Good luck with the fix!

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Also published on Medium.

41 thoughts on “How to reset the Anti-Flood Device on your Electrolux Dishwasher

  • Evening!

    Thank you! I live just down the road in Farnborough and my Electrolux dishwasher broke on Saturday exactly the same thing, followed your instructions and hey presto working again. Ironically mine was 1 month out of the the 2 year warranty.
    Great detailed instructions, same as you i’m waiting to see if its a proper leak.
    just the boiler now but that wont be a diy job!
    Thanks again


    • Hey Huw, I’m really pleased to hear it worked for someone else! Mine was 1 month out of warranty too, typical or what! Fingers crossed if we have to do it again that it’s a good long way away haha. Good luck with your boiler! M

  • Spot on worked a treat very simple fix took about 15mins soaking up water with sponges and kitchen towel and resetting float. Waited through cycle after switching back on no further water leak.

  • Wow! Just followed the instructions posted here after the dreaded beeping last night and this am and it appears to be fixed. Always wondered if I would ever find a use for those old Disney towels.
    Thanks very much!

  • Mark you’re a star. Not sure why it did it but it is under warranty so I’ll get the buggers to replace it if it keeps happening
    Happy :-)))))

  • What is the white plastic screw in front? Wouldn’t that open a drain of the water? It is accessible even without removing the metal cover. I could easily catch the water into an old towel then…

  • Thank you for this manual! Do you happen to know what is the white screw in front? Isn’t it a drain? It is accessible without removing the metal cover, and I can easily catch the water into an old towel…

  • Thank you so much – this advice worked like a dream! Money is so tight and this dishwasher issue had added to my worries.

    • I’m so glad it worked for you too! I know exactly what you mean, when you hear beeps like that all you can think is how much is it going to cost. Fingers crossed it’ll be a while yet before you need a new dishwasher 🙂

  • I followed your steps and had the same thing,I cleaned the water it stopped the sound and when I started the dishwasher,water was leaking after a while from the two plastic black tubes above the float device…I’ll have to find the technician to fix it.It is something from inside.but well done and thank you for the info,you are the only one who found how to stop the alarm.

  • Just for reference, I had the exact same problem with my ESL5310lo dishwasher. Followed the same steps, remove the lower front plate, clean the tray of water using kitchen towels, and the machine was back in operating condition. Then ran the machine without front plate on the maximum temperature setting, to see if anything leaked. Everything stayed dry, the water must’ve accumulated over a longer period.

    Note for others: the front plate does give some structural stability to the machine (keeping the bottom plastic plate in shape), so it’s not wise to leave it off for too long, but it’s apparently OK to run just one program with the plate removed, to be able to verify there are no structural leaks in any of the equipment.

    • I agree, however, I also think it’s caused by pouring liquids into the machine as it’s being filled before running a cycle. Plus the accumulated liquids over time build up and it drips below. I may be wrong though haha

  • Your are an absolute star – thinking we needed a new dishwasher. Done exactly what you said and my husband is amazed I have repaired it with your help. Much appreciated

    • I’m really glad it worked for you! I’ve had to do it once or twice over the last 6 months, but certainly cheaper than a new dishwasher haha

  • I can think of better things to do on a Saturday night, but Thank You very much for your advice, I followed your instructions and it’s worked, and mine too is 1 month out of the 2 year warranty. Have never had this problem with with a BOSCH.

  • Hi,

    This helped me too.

    Great photos that really helped.

    Once the water was removed from the drip tray the Micro switch float fell down flush back onto the drip tray. Just a little addition maybe its an idea to run the machine and observe if there are any leaks in the pipes and hoses with the metal cover removed.. In my case it was a blocked filter causing the water to run through the overflow into the drip tray.

    Ps. Always rinse off before putting shepard’s pie dishes in the dishwasher. Lol

  • Hi from sunny Scotland

    Our dishwasher failed last night in the exact way you described and your fix worked perfectly today. So pleased at not having to call out an engineer. You’re a star – many thanks David

  • Mark – thanks you so much for doing this. We had the same problem and thanks to you have fixed it without any cost. You’re an absolute star. Best wishes Emma

  • Thankyou sooo much Mark- followed your instructions and it’s worked!!! No payouts!!!! You’ve made me very happy!!! (No more washing dishes!!!)

  • Hi Mark found your thread on another site (how to mend it). Thank you so much for your helpful advice, just putting it on a 70 wash now so fingers crossed 😀

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