NORWICH, CT (WFSB) – Have you tried buying a major appliance recently?

Due to the pandemic, there’s a shortage and backlog on getting parts for repairs of major appliances such as freezer, refrigerators, and washing machines.

Locally owned stories like Keith’s in Norwich says it’s been frustrating because of the shortage they, like big box stores, can’t guarantee a delivery date, but they can provide service.

Rick Moran is in desperate need to replace a refrigerator at a local food pantry. Because of the pandemic, factories and parts suppliers around the world shut down while demand for refrigerators and other appliances increased as people stayed home.

“It’s the reality we’re dealing with right now because there are things that are shut down and it is what it is,” Moran said.

Keith’s is having a tough time maintaining inventory.

“We probably get abour 20 calls a day from all over the country, people looking for freezers. This has been happening since the beginning of March,” said Jessica Burzcyki, owner of Keith’s Appliance.

Burzcyki says sales were up 62 percent this June compared to last year and repairs have doubled since the pandemic, which is keeping technicians overworked, busy in the shop and on the road.

“We’re able to send out loner units when needed. A loner washer, loner refrigerator,” said Tara Vece, Shore TV & Appliance.

The story is the same at Shore Television and Appliance in Groton where Jill Johnson was looking to replace a broken refrigerator, which a big box retailer promised she could have in days, which turned out to be months.

“I was very limited as to what I could buy because they don’t have it in stock. They told me GE and Whirlpool factories are still closed. They have a very limited supply,” Johnson said.

Channel 3 asked when stores think the appliance industry will return to somewhat normal and Burzcyki said maybe the first quarter of 2021.

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