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Ridgid 3300 pressure washer throttle problem

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  • Ridgid 3300 pressure washer throttle problem

    I bought a Ridgid 3300 yesterday. I used it for 4 hours yesterday and 6 today. It worked great for these first 10 hours, but then the engine went into an oscillatory state where the throttle backed off, then went full bore, then backed off, and continued doing this for about 10 seconds, backfired a couple of times, and died. (Normally, I think the throttle is at idle until you squeeze wand trigger, at which point it goes full bore). I could not get the engine to start again until allowing it to rest for about 3 minutes. After restarting, it ran fine for about 3 minutes and started doing the same thing again. The next time I tried, I released the wand trigger when the engine started doing its idle/full/idle thing but this caused the engine to quit almost immediately. This same thing happened about 4 times at which point I let it sit for 30 minutes, came back, and tried again - to no avail (same problem). Anyone else have this problem? Anyone know what might be causing this problem?
    Last edited by kenalker; 05-25-2008, 11:31 PM. Reason: add email alert

  • #2
    Re: Ridgid 3300 pressure washer throttle problem

    Well that sucks. I just bought one not too long ago. I've probably used mine for about 6+ hours (I'm on my third or fourth tank of fuel) and it ran fine. I find it incredibly hard to pull start unless you pull the trigger on the gun to release some of the pump's pressure. Hopefully that's the sign of a solid pump with good seals????? : )

    From what I've read (this in my first PW) you can't leave them running very long without using the sprayer because the pump will over heat (common among all pumps). Now I know our CAT pumps have a relief valve that is supposed to release pressure if that happens. Based on what I've experienced with my unit, I think yours either needs some sort of tuning or simply taken back, but this is way beyond my level of knowledge. Hopefully one of the pros will read this and offer some advice.

    Good luck to you, and keep us posted on how it turns out.


    • #3
      Re: Ridgid 3300 pressure washer throttle problem

      Please try it where you have the wand disconnected. Turn on water and it should squirt out the connector on the high pressure hose. Then start the engine and more water should squirt out. Let it run about 5 minutes and report if the engine speed is steady or it it rises, falls, rises and such.


      • #4
        Re: Ridgid 3300 pressure washer throttle problem

        I tried first with the wand connected and verified the problem is still happening (no backfire this time, but engine quit within a couple of minutes). I then tried with wand disconnected and it worked much better. Over a 5 minute period it "hunted" a little bit for the first 4 minutes (but not nearly as bad as when the wand was on it) and finally settled down. With the wand disconnected, over the 5 minute period, the engine did not quit. How does this information help? Please explain - now I'm VERY curious.

        One other thing I'll mention is that just before this problem started, the wand trigger began sticking. When I release the trigger, it stays in the "on" position for several seconds before finally releasing. I'm not sure this has anything to do with the bigger problem.

        Also, after downloading and sifting through the Subaru engine manual, I found that it is the governor that is attached to the throttle (via a rod and spring combination) that is rotating and causing the "hunting" to occur. I presume this has something to do with the load (pump) on the engine.


        • #5
          Re: Ridgid 3300 pressure washer throttle problem

          Are you low on oil? If you get too low the engine will shut off.


          • #6
            Re: Ridgid 3300 pressure washer throttle problem

            Good guess. I thought of that, but oil is topped off.


            • #7
              Re: Ridgid 3300 pressure washer throttle problem

              Sounds like the governor spring is disconnected/damaged/in wrong hole/or otherwise misadjusted. Unless it is obviously disconnected and you can figure out where to reconnect the spring, just take it back since it is new - I wouldn't spend more than a few minutes trying to fix it.


              • #8
                Re: Ridgid 3300 pressure washer throttle problem

                As for the hunting (changes speed) try running it with the hose disconnected but with water flowing through the pump. Then when it starts speeding up, slowing down and speeding up, set the choke to 1/2 way closed. If that smooths out the engine, I can tell you right off what to do. If not, as suggested, just return it to Home Depot as defective and get another one.

                I have had some throbbing issues with several Honda and Kawasaki engines. To fix them I found that running them on Plus rather than regular gasoline helps along with adding a little Gum-Out to the gasoline. Anymore they run very them very leaned out. The engines are fuel starved over much of the throttle and speed range. If they have a foam type air filter, wash it with dish washing detergent and warm water, rinse well. let dry and even if they say not, put a good bit of #40 engine oil on the dry foam, gently work it in and then squeeze out the excess. That will just add enough air flow restriction to correct the fuel-air mixture. I have not had this with a Subaru Robin engine yet, but I've heard about cases of it. All the Robin engines I have had or worked on are older ones not meeting the latest EPA requirements. People that sell and service Honda generators say they don't hold steady now and that it is a real pain. In many cases they can fix it with the air filter trick or by carefully removing the carb bowl and changing the float level. That's not for anyone other than a good engine tech to do.

                I really wouldn't spend much time on it. If it's new just swap it and you may get a good one.

                Question: About how much total running time is on it and what oil did you put in the engine? gasoline?

                Note: If you can change the spring on the arm to another hole, move it closer to the pivot. Then you'll need to check tension.

                Oh heck, just take it back and see if they won't just let you have another. Why should you have to fix something that's brand new?


                • #9
                  Re: Ridgid 3300 pressure washer throttle problem

                  about 3 weeks ago, i bought a 3300 efi unit and it would run ok for a few minutes then shut off and otherwise run poorly, so i returned it for a replacement unit. The new one did the same thing. Problem i found is that the instructions say (the paper on the supplied oil bottle) "This unit comes with only a residual amount of oil put ENTIRE CONTENTS of this can into engine. It also says in the instructions to fill the oil to the high mark on the stick. Both of these instructions are wrong. You're only supposed to put the oil halfway up the stick between the marks. Also, many units sold probably come with more than a "residual amount of oil" in them , as did BOTH units i purchased. I drained the oil out to the halfway mark, and started the engine,
                  It still ran a little crappy for a few minutes because of the over-filling of oil. After a little while it ran pretty much perfect. I know this was most likely the problem with the first unit i bought then UNECESSARILY returned.


                  • #10
                    Re: Ridgid 3300 pressure washer throttle problem


                    Thanks for the post... this forum just crapped me out so I'll retype... just wanted to share- I'm sitting here on my 3rd 3300 unit from HD in under a month.

                    1st one ended up being a rusted out "return" from someone else... back to HD 45 min drive.
                    2nd one had same issues as you - no more than 2 hrs on it- ran great at first, shut it off, 2nd time wouldn't start after numerous pulls and the "pull 4 times in off position, then retry" method. As you, I added the "required amount" of 12oz oil it comes with, to the "supposed" 4oz factory, for (in my mind) 16oz out of 20oz total reservoir, which, I read somewhere, you're supposed to run for the first 50 hrs before changing....

                    SO back to HD, my 3rd unit, getting real embarrassing now, and irate, 3rd unit had bad feeling on from start- must have been made on a Monday- none of the holes lined up when I was assembling Ridgid sign/hose hanger, had to drill out those holes to align with bolts, as well as the pressure release button for the cart handle/quick release fold down... anyhow, fired right up as usual... used for 30 min, sat for 2 weeks, then had it out on my first job today-

                    removing old paint from two Dutch style barns in prep to paint... all excited about my shiny new Ridgid... had a few odd hard starts- started, ran fine 5 seconds, then died... Tried again- ran fine for half hour... shut it off to move to another location, got sidetracked, then had lunch, 1 hr passed, went to start again- and nothing but 1.5hrs of cussing and fuc*ing with the thing for zero results.... tried everything mentioned herein, running with water going through it and no wand attached, pulling several times in the off position, pulling with gas cap off to relieve any pressure, pull starting with wand squeezed- btw, it does get almost impossible to pull if you don't squeeze trigger, pressure buildup i assume... one odd thing I noticed today, and maybe this is standard, but during my "bad time" today, every time I pulled the cord, about 2 seconds after there was a hissing/dissipating sound coming from somewhere low on the unit, and it feels in my mind anyway like it's not getting fuel, so I dunno, thought maybe there's a leak in the fuel system breathing... Anyhow, gave up and tried calling my buddy Jim again at Ridgid, extension 6011... and nothing of course because they're on Eastern time... that infuriated me more... so I quit.... was just about to swing by my local small engine repair shop in the morning before I made the drive back to HD for a final return- was looking at a Dewalt unit that uses the same Cat pump and a HONDA engine... or anything HONDA because they NEVER have issues (my experience)..... then I read your post... I'm gonna try rechecking and leveling out the oil in the am first.. BTW, I always use no less than 1 week old 91 octane fuel, FYI

                    thanks for any comments


                    • #11
                      Re: Ridgid 3300 pressure washer throttle problem

                      I think Ive figured out the surging, backfiring, and eventual shutting off issues with the 3300 EFI unit.
                      Ridgid techs, repair shops offered no advice other than use "ethanol free gas". Mine ran like crap for a year and a half until yesterday when I decided to adjust the two screws behind the EFI unit. There are only two a big one and a little one that requires a very small phillips driver. Backing out the large adjuster a few turns and screwing in the small adjuster a few turns got mine running perfect. After i got is running pretty good with this method, I fiddled with it until it was really fine tuned. After I did this the damn thing ran perfect all day with ZERO incidents. that was the first time that has ever happened with this unit.

                      Good luck.