Welcome To North West Free Repairs




2017 Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall Sessions:    1st & 2nd Tuesdays of each month
Hours:   5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Location:   Bellingham Public Library – downtown branch
Address:   210 Central Avenue, Bellingham, WA

Note:    All public street and metered parking around the Bellingham Public Library is free after 5:00 pm when our sessions begin.  During inclement weather and for most legal holidays first call the reference librarian [ Phone (360) 778-7323 ] to see if the library will be open before traveling to one of our sessions.

Remaining Summer and Fall 2017 Sessions

  •  Tues, Nov. 7
  •  Tues. Nov. 14
  •  Tues. Dec. 5
  •  Tues. Dec. 12

Winter and Spring 2018 Sessions

*  Tues. Jan. 2                           * Tues. Jan. 9

* Tues. Feb. 6                           * Tues. Feb. 13

* Tues. Mar. 6                           * Tues. Mar. 13

* Tues. April 3                          * Tues. April 10

* Tues. May 1                           * Tues. May 8

* Tues. June 5                           * Tues. June 12

Summer and Fall 2018 Sessions

   * Tues. July 3                            * Tues. July 10

* Tues. Aug. 7                            * Tues. Aug. 14

* Tues. Sept. 4                           * Tues. Sept. 11

* Tues. Oct. 2                             * Tues. Oct. 9

* Tues. Nov. 6                            * Tues. Nov. 13

* Tues Dec. 4                             * Tues. Dec. 11

Who we are

We are a group of volunteers who are dedicated to conserving the earth’s resources and decreasing the burden on our overtaxed landfill areas by repairing and rehabilitating broken household items that would otherwise be discarded.

What we do

For any broken or non-functioning item that you can comfortably carry in, we will evaluate it and determine if it can be repaired. Owners must be present and participate during the repair of their items.  We will teach you how !!  Minors must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

What does it cost

We provide the evaluation and repair services for free. We also supply some basic parts and materials, but if unique repair parts are required (e.g. new motors, circuit boards, wiring harnesses, etc.) then you must purchase them – that is your only cost.  Most of our successful repairs require no new parts.  You determine if any cost to you is reasonable before we begin the actual repair. Once the needed parts are obtained the repair process is completed.

What we repair

We fix small appliances, kitchen items, tools, electrical items, kids’ toys, bicycles – basically anything you can bring to our sessions other than the restricted items below. While we can’t fix everything, we do have an excellent record of successful repairs.  And, what we absolutely cannot fix, we will help you recycle.

Some Examples of Successful Repairs

Electric kitchen mixers, food processors, toasters, coffee grinders, coffee percolators, crock pots, paper shredders, upright vacuums, hand held vacuums, irons, skill saws, electric drills, various non-power tools, replacement electric cords and plugs, electronic musical instruments, record turntables, cell phone battery replacement (solder type), lamp and light fixture rewiring, resew backpack straps, broken pottery (not shattered), picture frame repair, wine cooler, water well pump, strollers, shopping carts, hair dryers, heat guns, space heaters, etc.

PLEASE NOTE:    While we will assess anything that you can carry in to our repair sessions, advances in micro-technology now allow manufacturers to incorporate printed circuits, “mother boards”, integrated circuits, and other features  into their products that are not amenable to either diagnosis or repair — the only solution is to replace the entire defective unit which is often not cost effective for you.  For this reason we have very little success with “technology loaded” modern household items e.g. computers, cell phones, television sets, etc.  In fact, the vast majority of our “failed repair efforts” are on such high tech items.  We have only one volunteer who has an interest in attempting such repairs so be prepared for a long wait until that volunteer has the time to evaluate your item, should you want us to do so.

Restricted Items That We Don’t accept for repair

  • Anything containing gasoline or petroleum products
  • Items that are leaking fluids
  • Grimy, dirty, or hazardous items
  • Items having noxious or excessive odors
  • Anything that cannot be easily carried
  • Any items from a commercial business

Help Us Help You

One of the dilemmas that we sometimes encounter is being handed a large box of parts with a request that we help reassemble the item. Household items are often easier to take apart than they are to put back together so if you have limited experience in performing repairs, please wait and let us first disassemble the item with you.  The sequence of parts during reassembly is usually critical and without first seeing how it came apart, it is  difficult or impossible to correctly put it back together.  If your curiosity has already led you to dismantle the item, at least be doubly sure that you bring all of the parts that you removed and transport any very small parts in a closed container to insure that they do not become lost.  Lastly bring any owner’s manuals with you especially those with “exploded” views of internal parts.

Bring Your Family

While you are helping and learning to fix your broken items with our repair volunteers, your spouse or significant other can browse the Bellingham Library’s extensive book, periodical, music, “books-on-tape”, movie DVDs, and educational DVD sections.  Did you know that the reference librarians can obtain on loan for you almost any book that you could ever wish to read ??  The library has resources for genealogy research and volunteers to help you find your family’s roots or identify the more obscure branches of your family tree. The Bellingham Public Library features free Internet access for library patrons, and if you don’t have a portable device they have several dozen computers for you to use.  And, the downstairs children’s section is open for kids on Tuesday evenings. A free library card could be one of the best gifts that you could ever give to your children. Acquiring early and avid reading skills is the most common and best predicting factor for their future success as adults.  Kids can also participate with repairs if accompanied by an adult. Learning to fix broken toys is a good way for kids to learn responsible behavior while enjoying their playthings. The whole family can benefit from a very inexpensive and educational evening.

Are you good at fixing things ??   Volunteer with us !

We are always looking for volunteers who can contribute to our efforts to minimize the environmental effects of our “throwaway” society.  If you have special knowledge about electronics, computers, making repairs in general, or if you can assist with the general administration and maintenance of the repair sessions, and especially if you are good at teaching and explaining things to others, then you can contribute to our efforts. We also need volunteers who will help publicize our services to the general public.  In return for volunteering you will experience an immense sense of personal satisfaction by identifying, solving and correcting problems for grateful patrons.  You will make new friends and acquaintances as well as  learn new repair skills with the repair knowledge that is shared with the other volunteers.  Let us know about your volunteer interest and any special repair skills that you can share by filling out the form on our Contact page link at the top right hand corner of this page.

Have any other questions?

Be sure to click on the Blog link for the very latest information about the repair sessions.  If you have further questions fill out the form on our Contact page and we will get back to you.