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RIDGID 3000 Power Washer

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  • RIDGID 3000 Power Washer

    I purchased a RIDGID 3000 from Home Depot about two weeks ago. I made my choice after reading many favorable comments on this and other sites.

    This thing was incredible. I was able to clean yards of sidewalk and moss covered landscaping stone in about 30 minutes. Although I did notice that from time to time the pressure would drop off for about 10 - 15 seconds, it otherwise worked perfectly. That was the first time I used it.

    The second time I attempted to use it it nearly removed my pinky from my right hand. I hooked up the water and bled the air from the unit and pulled the starter. The motor started right up, but the pull cord did not recoil immediately. In the one or two seconds between this happening and me realizing what happened the motor jerked the pull handle out of my hand with such force that it broke the pull cord, sent the pull handle flying about 50 yards, and left me with a cut and swollen pinky.

    After a call to Home Depot I learned that they have had 'quite a few problems' with the Ridgid units. (according to Beth in the Hamilton NJ store)

    For the amount of money I want to spend this still seems like the best unit, but I just do not want to lose a finger in the process. I own several pieces of Professional grade equipment (Zero Turn Mower, chipper, commercial back pack blower, snow blower, pole saw). Not one of the pull start mechanisms have ever done this. In fact they all seem to have some sort of clutch that disconnects them from the motor once it is running just so sometihng like this could not happen.

    I don't know if this is a design issue or my unit suffered a catastrophic failure. I would really like to hear from RIDGID and find out if this is a common problem. They will be hearing from me.

  • #2
    Re: RIDGID 3000 Power Washer

    My bet is the engine fired in reverse coming up on the compression stroke. Normally they should fire very close to "Top Dead Center" at cranking speed and somewhat advanced when running. I've had more than one small engine give the starting rope a heck of a jerk out of my hand before. It sure isn't any fun. I would return this one and see if HD won't give you another. At the very least the recoil starter will need to be properly repaired.

    Question: When the rope jerked with force did the engine pop once, or did it actually startup and then it happened?

    My gut tells me the ignition timing is not set correctly and being electronic that would = defective engine. Messed up valve timing can do the same but the engine wouldn't have run at all.

    UPDATE: After reading your post again, it would seem more likely that the recoil starter didn't disengage as it should when the engine fired. That can result in one hell of a rope jerk.

    Take it back to Home Depot for a replacement.

    The other choice would be to replace the recoil starter assembly and also check the condition of the special pulley on the end of the crankshaft. But being new, you shouldn't have to bother with such.

    Ridgid customer service: 1-800-474-3443
    Last edited by Woussko; 10-14-2008, 09:23 PM.


    • #3
      Re: RIDGID 3000 Power Washer

      The long and the short of it is .... you have an engine problem.After 30 days,typically Home Depot will not take them back and will direct you to a Ridgid repair depot.Ridgid does not warrant the engines on these pressure washers as they are covered under a separate warranty provided by the engine manufacturer.If you are under 30 days,I would take it back to Home Depot and exchange it for another.Don't make life any harder for yourself than it has to be.Let them deal with it.

      My guess here is that there is either a timing issue as mentioned or a fault in the decompression system.I had this happen to me last winter with a snow blower engine.The engine will fire when you are still on the pull stroke.Youch!!!The first time it happened,I shrugged it off and thought it was just me imagining things.The second time,it yanked the handle right out of my hand and it shot straight back into the pull start housing and KAPOW!!The handle went one way and pieces of metal from inside the starter housing went every which way all across the garage floor.Scared the hell right out of me.It completely destroyed the starter cup on the flywheel and I had a pull starter to rebuild after all was said and done.Took it in to a small engine shop and he told me the decompression device which works off the cam shaft wasn't working properly.The purpose of the decompression device is to allow you to be able to pull start and fire the magneto engine easily.Most magneto systems typically have to be turning at least a minimum of 200 rpm before they can generate enough electrical current to fire the magneto ignition system.After changing out the defective part,it starts and runs like a charm.

      My advice to you is swap it out for another unit if they will allow you to.This would be the easiest solution to your problem and one with the least amount of dicking around and hassle.Just my 2 cents worth.


      • #4
        Re: RIDGID 3000 Power Washer

        Keep us posted on the outcome. Sorry to hear about your troubles. I guess I'm lucky, I haven't had any problems with my 3000psi ridgid machine.


        • #5
          Re: RIDGID 3000 Power Washer

          I took it back to Home Depot. Luckily I was within the 30 days. They took it back with no problem. They didn't have any more in the box so I didn't buy another.

          After more looking around at models in Lowes and Sears, reading reviews, etc. I still felt like the Ridgid was the best value for the buck. So I found another Home Depot that had some boxed units and brought a second unit home today. (10/17/2008) I hope Ridgid is reading this. This is their second and last chance. If this unit craps out, I am done!

          I used it this afternoon and it worked just great. I do have to admit being a bit nervous about starting it.

          This unit was dancing around while I was using it, so I will have to figure that out. It kept moving while I was using it to clean a used wooden swing set I just picked up.

          I am wondering if this is a different/better manufacturing run because some of the hardware changed slightly. I also noticed that this box was in better condition than the 1st unit's box. My local Home Depot had several in stock when I purchased and every box looked like it had been beat up.

          In response to some of the questions people asked about my original post, the engine did start when the pull start failed.