Samsung dishwashers will display an error code on the front panel when the machine has a problem that needs fixing. These usually take the form of a 2 letter code which you can then find out more details about in your user manual.
One such code that users have trouble dealing with is the OC error code (it may also display as 0C or oE, depending on your model). This error indicates that more water has been detected inside the washer than should be.
While this not only means that the water is not draining away, if you aren’t careful, you may accidentally open the door, causing dirty dishwasher water to spill out. I’m sure you’re keen to get this error fixed as soon as possible, so in this article, I’m going to outline exactly what causes this problem and explain in-depth how to get it fixed.
Causes of Samsung Dishwasher OC Code
When large amounts of water have been detected inside the washer, it usually means a problem with the drainage system, such as a blockage causing excess water to remain inside the machine.
So let’s first walk through all the main areas that will cause this problem so you can better diagnose exactly what’s wrong with your machine.
1. The Drain is Blocked
This is the most common issue which causes the OC code to appear. When the drain at the bottom of the washer becomes partially or fully clogged up, the water will struggle to drain out.
As the water level builds up, it will trigger the water level sensor, and the machine will freeze the wash cycle until the problem is addressed. The drain must be inspected and any blockages cleaned out before the water drains again.
2. The Filter is Blocked
As the name might suggest, the water filter at the bottom of the washer is designed to catch unwanted debris, such as food particles, from getting circulated around your machine.
Inevitably over time, the dishwasher filter will accumulate so much debris that it will eventually become blocked up and prevent water from draining properly.
How often you should clean the filter will vary based on how often you use the dishwasher, but for the average user cleaning the dishwasher filter out roughly once a month should be good enough.
3. The Drain Pump Needs Cleaning
The drain pump may develop a restricted water flow due to a buildup of things such as oil or greasy residue from the dishes, or unwanted foreign items may have made their way into the pump, causing clogging issues.
Regardless of the cause, when the drain pump gets clogged, it will operate at a lower efficiency and cannot properly drain the water from the washer. It’s a good idea to clean out the drain pump at the same time you clean the filter.
4. The Water Level Sensor is Failing
You might be asking yourself, how does a dishwasher even know how much water is in the machine? Well, there are no cameras inside it to give you a better look; dishwashers actually use a small sensor that can monitor the internal water level.
Once that water level exceeds a threshold designated by the manufacturer, it will freeze the wash cycle until the problem is addressed. Otherwise, you might accidentally open the door and spill nasty dishwasher water all over your kitchen.
However, these delicate sensors are prone to malfunctioning or even completely failing, which might cause them to trigger the OC code even when the water can still drain away.
When this happens, the sensor will need to be tested for functionality, and if it’s found to be non-functional, it should be replaced with a new, working one.
5. The Washer Needs Resetting
Modern washers rely a lot on computerized assistance to manage the myriad of user options and washing cycle types. As with any computer-reliant appliance, it can sometimes just run into strange bugs and glitches with no discernible cause behind them.
The good news is that this can often be rectified by performing a power cycle or hard reset. This essentially involves fully resetting the washer, which will usually clear the error code without any further drainage issues.
6. The Drain Hose is Kinked
If you have recently moved the dishwasher machine, it’s easy to accidentally introduce a kink into the drain hose or pinch it against the wall. A kinked drain hose may restrict how quickly the water can drain away and force it to back up into the dishwasher.
So the hose needs to be inspected carefully, and if anything is kinked or pinched, you’ll need to arrange it so that the water can flow through it unimpeded.
How to Fix a Samsung Dishwasher OC Code?
As you can see, this error is almost always caused by some kind of blockage, which can be addressed with some cleaning and general maintenance. In rare cases, the sensor may have failed and require replacing, but this is also easy to do.
1. Unblock the Drain
As the most common cause of the problem, this is a good place to start.
The first thing to understand is that the drain system isn’t just the hole at the bottom of the dishwasher, blockages can occur inside the drain, somewhere down the dishwasher drain hose, or there may be an issue with your sink’s air gap.
Here’s how to get everything unblocked and cleaned out:
- The first thing you need to do is clean the drain at the bottom of your dishwasher. You may have to remove the filter to gain access to it.
- Create a cleaning solution using equal parts baking soda and vinegar; this is highly effective at breaking down mold, grease, and food accumulation.
- Pour this down the washer drain, trying your best to coat the drain walls and not just pour it straight down the middle.
- Wait 15 minutes for the baking soda and vinegar solution to thoroughly break down the blockage.
- Then the simplest way to rinse it is to just close the dishwasher door and run a rinse cycle using the highest heat setting available.
2. Clean Out the Filter
Once you’re sure the drain is cleaned out, the next step is to clean the filter. This is something that should be performed as part of general maintenance, and as such, Samsung has made removing the filter quite convenient to allow for easy cleaning.
- The filter is located at the bottom of the dishwasher; you’ll first need to remove the lower rack to gain access to it.
- Rotate the filter counterclockwise to release it; then, you can lift up the filter compartment door and pull it straight up and out of the washer.NOTE: Very old models of Samsung dishwashers may not have a removable filter. If this is the case, you should refer to your user manual to ascertain the correct procedure for filter removal based on your specific model.
- Using an old cloth, wipe down the area around the filter housing and door.
- Place the filter inside a bowl filled with distilled white vinegar and leave it overnight, then rinse it thoroughly under running water the next day.
- Re-install the filter, close the door, and then rotate it clockwise to lock everything in place.
3. Clean Out the Drain Pump
Much like the filter and drain, the pump will also need cleaning if it’s become clogged up.
- Start by once again removing the lower rack.
- You’ll need to first remove the filter we cleaned in the previous step to gain access to the drain pump.
- Remove the drain pump housing by pushing the handle up and away from the bottom of the washer and then pulling it out.
- Visually check the impeller at this stage to make sure bits aren’t snapped off and look in good order. If it’s clearly damaged, you should contact Samsung customer support, who will help replace it.
- Wipe everything down so it’s clean, and all foreign objects and debris are removed.
- Then simply re-install the drain pump cover by pushing it down into place until you hear an audible click.
4. Replace the Water Level Sensor
Depending on your particular Samsung washer model, the water level sensor may be located in a different spot. You should refer to your user manual to ascertain its exact location.
You’ll first need to test the switch for continuity using a multimeter.
If it’s found to be non-functional, then it should be replaced. In this scenario, I recommend contacting Samsung customer support, who will help you with both sourcing a new water level sensor and arranging for a trained technician to install it for you.
5. Power Cycle the Washer
Sometimes washers just run into strange code errors and glitches that a simple power cycle can fix. To perform a power cycle or hard reset, you need to turn off the machine and then unplug it from the power source or turn off the associated circuit breaker.
Wait for 2-3 minutes for the residual capacitor energy to discharge. Then start the machine back up.
Preventing the Samsung Dishwasher OC code
Once you have removed the error, it’s pretty easy to prevent it from coming back in the future. All you need to do is keep up with general cleaning and maintenance, which includes cleaning out the drain filters and checking the drain every month or two.
You can do this every few weeks if you use the dishwasher often.