Sun Joe® SPX1501 Pressure Washer: Product Review
A powerful unit that is ideal for general purpose cleaning.
Available on Amazon
The Sun Joe® SPX1501 Pressure Washer is one of the latest in the company’s line of electric pressure washers. Founded in 2004, Snow Joe® launched one tool, “an easy-to-use electric shovel for under $100 dubbed the Snow Joe®.” Since then, the company has grown both its lawn and landscaping products (Sun Joe®) and its line of winter offerings (Snow Joe®).
We’ve reviewed other competitive pressure washers. How did the Sun Joe® SPX1501 (1800 PSI) electric power washer stand up to the rigors of our testing? Find out below.
- Model: SPX1501
- Motor: 13 Amp
- Maximum Pressure: 1800 PSI (Pounds per Square Inch)
- Rated Pressure: 1400 PSI
- Max Flow: 1.8 GPM (Gallons Per Minute)
- Max Water Inlet Temp.: 104 F
- High-Pressure Hose Length: 20 feed
- Power Cord Length: 35 feed
- GFCI: Yes
- Nozzle: Adjustable
- Nozzle Spray Angles: From 0 to 45 degrees
- Nozzle Clean-Out Tool: Yes
- Rated Voltage: 120VAC/60Hz
- Weight: 15.5 lbs. (including wand, high-pressure hose, electrical cord)
- Dimensions: 13″ wide (includes wand and electrical cord hangers) x 26″ tall x 10″ deep
- Optional Accessories: Detergent spray bottle, 25′ high-pressure hose, garden hose connector, deck and patio cleaning attachment, power scrubbing broom, and two types of car wash soap & cleaner.
The unit is expertly packed in a sturdy cardboard box with graphics on all four sides, making it easy to tell what’s inside. Plastic bags hold screws, manuals and any small parts needed for assembly. The nozzle clean out tool is taped to the back of the Operator’s Manual.
As a precaution, I laid all the parts out to make sure everything was in order before I started assembly.
Some Assembly Required
The assembly was straight forward. Just follow the well-written and illustrated instructions in the Operator’s Manual (which also includes a plethora of safety warnings and advice – don’t skip those parts!).
The only beef I have with the instructions is that they don’t show or explain how to put on the “spray wands/gun rear compartment”. There are two extra screws and a plastic piece that need to be mounted to the back of the unit before use. Fortunately, I’m mechanically inclined and figured it out by looking at the diagram in the manual. But, because of this omission, I marked off one point for quality.
All parts either snap or screw together. The tolerance, as well as the fit and finish, are excellent. Screw holes are exactly where they’re supposed to be and the parts fit like a glove.
Putting it All Together
Once assembled, I unpacked the high-pressure hose, spray wand, spray wand assembly and adjustable spray wand nozzle. I hung the coiled high-pressure hose on the hose holder at the back of the unit. I then recoiled the electrical power cord with GFCI and hung it on the side of the machine’s cord holder hook.
Then came the assembly of the spray wand, which arrives in three pieces; the handle/trigger and two separate wand pieces (one including the nozzle). Assembly was as easy as inserting the spray wand into the gun assembly and then inserting the nozzle/wand into the spray wand assembly.
Now I had a full-fledged spray gun (wand) and was excited to get testing. All I had to do was wheel it to my work location, hook up the garden hose and start my project.
HIGH-PRESSURE Hose Hookups
Unlike other pressure washers, no screw-on couplings are required to attach the high-pressure hose to the Sun Joe® unit; simply insert the ends of the hose into the wand handle and the pump.
To remove the hose, depress the release lever located on the pump and the push button on the wand. Once the hose is removed, it can be coiled up and placed on the hose holder at the back of the machine.
WATER HOSE HOOKUP
The unit has a “water inlet” to attach a regular garden hose to provide water to the unit. You’ll have to attach the adaptor (which includes a metal debris filter and plastic washer) to the pressure washer to convert it to a female hose connector.
Both screw couplings could be screwed together with hand pressure without leaking, so I didn’t have to use pliers.
When everything is connected, turn on the water to the garden hose/pressure washer before turning the unit on using the ON/OFF dial at the front of the machine.
The Operator’s Manual says never to run the pump without water in it, and to ensure that the pressure washer hose and wand don’t have any air bubbles in them. To do this, I held the trigger on the wand handle to run water through the pump and out the end of the nozzle before turning the dial to ON.
MAX. PRESSURE vs. RATED PRESSURE (What’s the Difference?)
In the case of the Sun Joe® SPX1501 Pressure Washer, the max PSI (also known as the max pump pressure) is the maximum pressure that the pump is rated for. Anything beyond that will damage the pump. The rated pressure is the pressure that the pump actually operates at.
In the case of the SPX1501, the maximum pressure rating is 1800 PSI, but the motor is tuned to a lower pressure so as not to max out the pump’s capacity. So, essentially, the maximum pressure at the nozzle (that is, the rated pressure) is 1400 PSI.
It’s nice that Sun Joe provided the two numbers, as many pressure washer companies don’t. Oftentimes you’ll just see the max pressure, which may or may not be the actual pressure used to clean with. Knowing this, I could expect 1400 PSI output at the nozzle even though the pump was rated for a higher PSI.
A Different Type of Nozzle
Most comparable pressure washers have individual nozzle spray tips that give you different spray patterns.
The shallower (smaller the angle of) the spray pattern, the more concentrated the blast of water and visa versa. For example, if you want to remove paint, you’re more likely to do it with a tighter spray pattern. Also, the closer you hold the nozzle to the surface, the more aggressive the spray will be.
Instead of individual tips, the Sun Joe Pressure Washer has an adjustable nozzle.
By rotating the head of the nozzle I could get anywhere from a zero degree pencil-thin spray all the way up to a 45-degree spray angle.
I could also micro-adjust the spray angle by turning the nozzle adjustment head ever so slightly. It gave me almost infinite spray patterns, up to a maximum pattern width of 450.
I love the ability to change spray angle on the fly. When the 450 angle wasn’t quite enough to blast through baked-on mold on a concrete walkway, I could simply turn the adjustable nozzle head to a slightly smaller angle and the mold was gone.
Although this is not the most powerful pressure washer in the Sun Joe® lineup, it offers great cleaning performance for its size and weight.
With the adjustable spray nozzle, I was able to micro-adjust to a fine pointed spray to get into tight crevices, while a wider pattern worked well for cleaning walkways, furniture, decks, bicycles, and a whole host of other power cleaning jobs.
What I discovered is that sometimes I just don’t need a monster of a machine to get basic cleaning jobs done. Is this going to be the perfect solution for stripping paint when I want to repaint my house? No. But for everyday use, and for what it’s designed for, it works perfectly.
A PLACE FOR ALL THE ACCESSORIES
At first, I didn’t think the hooks for hanging the electrical cord/GFCI and the high-pressure hose would be large enough to hold some pretty cumbersome coils, but to my amazement, they fit without a hitch.
The electrical cord had to be pressed into place and was right at the top of the hook, but the entire length of cord still fit. The high-pressure hose, when coiled in a loop (with a diameter of about 12-inches), fit fine on the hook just below the drag handle. Neither the power cord nor the high-pressure hose got in the way while rolling the unit from one location to another.
The trigger section of the wand fit perfectly into its plastic cup on the side of the machine. It was a nice friction fit and did not wiggle around when moving around the SPX1501. The spray wand and adjustable nozzle fit perfectly behind the rear compartment on the back of the pressure washer.
Easy to Move
With solid wheels, upright design, and easy-to-grasp handle, this Sun Joe pressure washer is easy to wheel to wherever you need it, even with all of the accessories onboard. And at only 15.5 lbs, you can always carry it if you need to move it to an area that’s not paved.
The Operator’s Manual covers a lot of the no-nonsense safety features of pressures washers. It suggests wearing hearing and eye protection. We recommend safety glasses from Wiley-X. Other recommendations include wearing gloves, not pointing the spray wand at people, pets, and electrical outlets, turning off the unit before working on it… And the list goes on. Do yourself a favor and read the safety features – it’s worth it. The bottom line is to be safe and to remember that pressure washers are not toys.
Sun Joe® offers a 2-year limited lifetime warranty. Here’s the deal – “Snow Joe® + Sun Joe® warrants to the owner that if this machine fails within 2 years from the date of purchase due to defects in materials or workmanship, or as the result of normal wear and tear from ordinary household use, Snow Joe® + Sun Joe® will send a replacement part or product as needed, free of charge with free shipping to the original purchaser”. If you ask me, this is a great warranty!
I like this little beast. To me, it’s like a wolf in sheep’s clothing – despite its petite size and toy-like appearance, it’s a powerful cleaner. I’d put it in the “beginner” pressure washer class because of its useful pressure rating of only 1400 PSI. But if you’re looking for a basic unit without a lot of bells and whistles, a unique adjustable spray nozzle, easy-to-attach high-pressure hose, and an electrical cord with a built-in safety GFCI, then look no further. Is it going to be the unit you use to strip paint from your house? Probably not. But for general cleaning jobs, it works great.
The only thing I’d like to see is an update to the Operator’s Manual that explains in both words and diagrams what the Spray Wands/Gun Rear Compartment looks like and how it’s attached to the back of the pressure washer. I marked off a point for this oversight. But other than that, this little baby is a real winner in my book.
WHERE TO BUY
The Sun Joe® SPX1501 is available online from Amazon.
You can also buy it directly from Sun Joe® where, at the time of this review, it sells for $119.00 (with free shipping).
Last update on 2020-08-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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