Need advice: Our Glowforge exposed to water in months-long storage unit leak

Hi everyone, my wife and I recently returned from traveling abroad to find that our storage unit had a water leak that damaged many of our belongings, including my Glowforge and an industrial exhaust tower unit that I have for the laser.

We had the maximum insurance coverage for the unit (meant to cover up to $10K) but I’m concerned that the damage to the equipment may not be immediately visible and therefore they may attempt to deny our claim. The unit looks superficially fine, and no damage can be seen in photos. However, we know that the laser was exposed to water, as it was directly in the area that had the largest amount of water damager to surrounding items — exposure which was likely ongoing for the 9 months we were away.

I’m particularly worried about the safety of the equipment. I’m unsure whether it’s dangerous to run the forge and check for damage on my own at this point, so any advice on this would be appreciated.

I’m also looking for recommendations for an expert third-party in the Philadelphia area who could inspect the equipment and provide a written statement about whether it should be replaced or not. I’d also appreciate any advice on how to handle the insurance claim process to ensure that we receive the payout we’re entitled to.

Has anyone else had any experience dealing with an insurance claim for damaged equipment? What did you say to ensure the best possible outcome? And what should I avoid saying to protect my claim?

Thanks in advance for any advice or recommendations you can offer. This has been a heartbreaking situation for us, and we’re grateful for any help we can get.


My very first GF who was killed by lightning. I had no idea until I tried to use it. I immediately contacted support and they did what they did to find out what was wrong.

Support sent me a letter stating something like in the machine is dead and it can not be repaired —it will have to be sent back and replaced.

Before I contacted the insurance company, I had no idea my GF was covered under my home policy. It was covered because it falls under electronics.

My house got some type of electrical surge from the lightning bolt that hit my yard. Nearly everything that was plugged in got damaged.

The GF was plugged into the outlet, but it was not on.

When I contacted my insurance company I told them how the lightning from the storm killed my laser machine. The insurance company needed proof I owned the Glowforge and they also needed the letter from support.

I also sent the insurance company a video of the machine smoking from the front.

Only 2 days later——-the insurance company sent me a text stating the check was on its way.

You will have to start up your Glowforge find out if there is a problem. If your Glowforge is not running properly contact support.

I would also make a video of the problem.


Thank you! Great advice


The lower section of the case is fairly watertight, except for the intake fan on the base. If the machine was boxed appropriately, there would have had to be several inches of standing water for it to get into the machine - and that would be evident on the box as well.

If the inside is dry, I would just try it out.


It was unfortunately not boxed. We ordered a box from the Glowforge website, but it was stolen from our apartment lobby. Unfortunately was not able to order another prior to our flight. It was stored wrapped in packing blankets (which we did find were wet on return).

Sorry about your Glowforge getting wet and having that overpriced box stolen but I can imagine a thief hauling around that giant box only to find it empty box except for a few orange bits.


Yeah, our building had them on camera hauling it onto the street and making off with it. I would have loved to have seen their faces when they realized they’d stolen an empty box.


Maybe contact Glowforge (if you haven’t already). It sounds like you’ve avoided turning it on so far, and that’s probably a good plan. In the best case scenario, maybe they will be able to look at pictures of it to assess the situation. I’d check for corrosion on any visible circuit boards, for example. It probably depends on whether you get ahold of the right person, we know they can be pretty averse to deviating from the script.

I’m just assuming “manufacturer states machine was damaged by water and requires replacement” is more credible to the insurance than some rando’s opinion. Especially if they’re not familiar with the Glowforge and its limited repair options, they might incorrectly assume you can get it going again for $XXX.


I’ve sent a message to GF support. No response yet, but it would definitely be better to provide the insurance people with a statement from the manufacturer. Hoping to hear from them soon.

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You will not be receiving a letter from the company that manufactures the GF. You will receive a letter from GF support.

Glowforge is manufactured by Flex.

Sure, fair enough. A semantic error.


Many people are not aware that Glowforge staff have never manufactured or serviced machines, nor do they stock and ships parts and supplies. Everything has always been outsourced, thru more than one provider over the years.

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