Exploding toilets have injured more than a dozen people, leading to the recall of a product found in more than 2.3 million toilet tanks nationwide.
The Sloan Flushmate III Pressure-Assist Flushing System, which uses air and water pressure to ensure a powerful flush, can burst inside toilet tanks, "releasing stored pressure," according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
"This pressure can lift the tank lid and shatter the tank, posing impact or laceration hazards to consumers and property damage," the CPSC announced in its recall alert, issued Thursday.
More than 300 Sloan Flushmate III units have burst in toilet tanks, according to the CPSC. To date, the ruptures have caused 14 "impact and laceration" injuries. It's not clear how severe the exploding toilet injuries were.
To prevent further injuries, the CPSC announced a voluntary recall of the Flushmate III, which is made of black plastic and installed inside toilet tanks.
The recalled Flushmate units display a "series number" of 503, along with a 16-character "serial number" that includes the date of manufacture in the first six digits. Units with manufacturing dates of between 101497 (Oct. 14, 1997) and 022908 (Feb. 29, 2008) are included in the recall.
People injured by exploding toilets linked to the Sloan Flushmate III may be able to pursue product liability lawsuits alleging a defect in the product's design. But such lawsuits can be costly and time consuming. An experienced products liability lawyer can help determine if a lawsuit is worth your while.
Meantime, anyone with a recalled Sloan Flushmate III unit should shut off the water supply and stop using the unit to prevent exploding toilet injuries, the CPSC advises. Consumers can get a free repair kit from Flushmate by visiting the company's website, http://recall.flushmate.com, or by calling a toll-free hotline, (800) 303-5123.