Common Law - The FindLaw Consumer Protection Law Blog

Exploding Toilets; Millions of Exploding Toilets

We've all heard the phrase "worst case scenario," and we've probably often conjured up such scenarios. Power going out during the big game. Breaking down on a desert highway in the middle of nowhere. The toilet exploding when you flush it.

Wait, what?

According to Flushmate, its II 501-B pressure-assisted flushing systems have a flaw. And that flaw involves bursting at the weld seam and releasing high pressure, enough to lift the tank lid and shatter the tank. So, yeah -- worst case scenario for anyone flushing the toilet.

Explosive Recall

According to reports, 23 people have already been injured by the malfunctioning toilet, including one who required foot surgery. The incidents have also caused an estimated $710,000 in property damage.

Therefore, Flushmate (a subsidiary of Sloan Valve Company) is recalling over 1.4 million Flushmate II 501-B pressure-assisted flushing systems sold in the United States and Canada between September 1996 and December 2015 at retailers including Home Depot and Lowe's.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission advises that the flushing systems "can burst at or near the vessel weld seam releasing stored pressure," according to its website. "This pressure can lift the tank lid and shatter the tank, posing impact and laceration hazards to consumers and property damage." Check with the CPSC or Flushmate's own recall page to find out if your toilet is prone to shatter upon flush.

Return of the Recall

This is not the first time Flushmate systems have been the subject of a massive recall. In 2012, the company recalled more than 2.3 million Sloan Flushmate III Pressure-Assist Flushing Systems, because -- you're never going to believe this -- the system could burst inside toilet tanks, "releasing stored pressure."

"This pressure can lift the tank lid and shatter the tank, posing impact or laceration hazards to consumers and property damage," the CPSC said at the time Sound familiar?

Maybe Sloan and Flushmate need to rethink this whole pressure-assisted flushing system. Lest it be faced with more worst case scenarios.

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