GE PSCS5RGXSS 24.6 cu. ft. Side-by-Side Refrigerator Reviews

GE PSCS5RGXSS 24.6 cu. ft. Side-by-Side Refrigerator

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GE Profile Side by Side Refrigerator Review: Not cool

Nov 8, 2012 (Updated Dec 23, 2012)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: OK

  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:
  • Ease of Cleaning:
  • Style:

Pros:Looks great
Saves Space
Well organized refrigerator

Ice maker unreliable
Expensive water filters

The Bottom Line: For $3000 you can expect more. Thumbs down.

I bought this refrigerator about 5 years ago. 'Profile' means the appliance is a couple of inches less deep than the standard size. This allows it to fit into a smaller space without sticking out, thus saving room in your kitchen. But it also means you have less space inside, and you pay more!

At around $3000, this is no cheap fridge, so it is justified to set the bar high.

From the outside, the GE Profile 24.6 cu. ft. Side by Side Refrigerator looks great. The stainless-steel clad doors have a solid, medium-heavy feel, and  slam shut snuggly.

The inside of the refrigerator has a very clean layout, with transparent shelves and drawers. However, you immediately notice that there is less space than in a regular-size appliance. The missing depth is obvious.

Similar picture behind the left hand door, which houses the freezer, but with more options for configurations. The shelves in the door and in the main compartment can be freely arranged. It does take a bit of wiggling and waggling, but overall it is pretty easy to re-arrange the shelves.

On top of the freezer is, as usual, the ice maker, which will dispense cubes or crushed ice through the dispenser in the door which also dispenses filtered water.

Speaking of which, let's go back to the outside, left hand side door, which houses the water- and ice-dispenser as well as a small user interface with buttons to select between water, ice cubes, crushed ice, filter indicator and filter reset, and door alarm. You can also select 'quick ice' to speed up the ice-making process, in case you host a Cocktail party where the Margharitas go fast.

The other part of the user interface, or let's just call it display and push-buttons, is inside the refrigerator on the right hand side. Here, two separate digital thermometers show the actual temperature in freezer and refrigerator, and the desired/target temperature can be adjusted per push button. There is also a 'turbo-cool' button that can be used to temporarily speed up the cooling. In this mode, the refrigerator will hum a little louder than usual.

Operation and Daily use
Let's start with a couple of positive points.
On the plus side, the GE Profile PSCS5RGXSS is relatively quiet. Although you can hear it running when it is entirely quiet, it is usually barely noticable.

Operation is very straightforward, other than setting the initial temperature (or just leaving the defaults of 0F and 32F for freezer and refrigerator, respectively), you just have to open and close the doors to reach for the munchies.

The water dispenser works great, just push in your glass and fill it with nice, cool, filtered water. The temperature of the dispensed water is just right - 'cool, not cold' as John Steinbeck once said. Believe it or not, the water dispenser is actually our favorite part of this machine. On the downside however, it needs to be mentioned that the water filter needs to be replaced about once a year- and runs you $30 upwards. That is pretty steep and somehow feels a bit like GE is taking advantage of the fact that you are stuck with their filter and price, as there seem to be no alternatives available. 

On to the more problematic areas-
The ice maker is very nice when it works. You can get cubes or crushed ice in your glass by push of a button. The machine will make some pretty loud sounds that can be scary when you're not used to it. Especially the ice crusher is not discreet at all about doing its job and you could easily use it to add some spooky noise to your Halloween party.

But what is worse, is that the ice maker and grinder tend to get 'stuck' by moisture freezing over the mechanics. We needed to thaw and dry it completely every couple of months; then it would work again for a couple of weeks until it ices over again. The problem seems to be the opening for the water dispenser that is pretty much wide open (about 1.5 inches) from inside the freezer to the outside. Moisture will creep into the freezer, and the motor and gears of the ice machine will freeze over and get stuck. Not a good design. We ended up taking the whole ice tray out and shut off the ice maker, it is just too much hassle to keep it happy, and we can use the extra space.

Speaking of which, inside space is very limited. In our household, with two adults and two kids, it would be hard to imagine to have this as our only refrigerator. We cherish our 'old white fridge' which peacefully does its thing in the garage. It would be possible, I guess to live with just the GE profile, but would take much more discipline and more frequent shopping trips (although it seems someone is going to the groceries store every day at least once, but that's a different story!).

Sometimes I wonder if the cooling power is sufficient. I say this because the refrigerator seems to be running most of the time. It is quiet and doesn't bother us much, but compared to my old-style 10 year old white GE fridge in the garage I ask myself how efficient the heat pump is. My old refrigerator runs about once an hour for 5-10 minutes in summer temperatures; the new GE seems to be running all the time in the kitchen. 

Service history and ongoing issues
About 3 years into ownership, the water dispenser sarted acting up intermittently. While the freezer and refrigerator were stil working, the entire control panel above the water dispenser lost power, and the water- and ice  dispenser stopped working completely.

Scheduling a service appointment via the GE web site was pretty easy, the repairman gave me a heads-up call the day before and showed up as scheduled.

After about an hour of diagnosis, he explained to me that moisture had crept up inside the wiring harness, making its way into the electronics panel, which then had corroded and needed to be replaced. He showed me all the parts and explained the problem very well, it made perfect sense. He also showed me how he would prevent this from happening again by sealing the wiring with heat shrink. Consider this a design improvement, GE!

The overall service with parts and laber cost me over $250, since then the water dispenser works again. 

According to other comments and reviews, it seems to be a very common (and costly) problem that this circuit board needs to be replaced after a couple of years. 

More recently, the water dispenser has started to run really slow. It takes about 20 seconds to fill up a regular tumbler glass with water, which is quite annoying. I have already replaced the water filter, and it's still slow. Also thawed the machine completely, but that didn't help either. I am hesitant about calling service again as I am almost certain it will cost me anywhere from $150 upwards. So we're just living with the slow-mo-water dispenser now. Sigh.

Recommend this product? No

Amount Paid (US$): 3000

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