Exploding toilets lead to major recall

Posted: June 22, 2012

Following the explosions of at least 304 toilets, the manufacturer of a toilet flushing system has ordered the recall of more than 2.3 million units.

Flushmate, a division of Sloan Valve Company, manufactured about 2,330,600 Flushmate III devices between October 1997 and February 2008.

In recent years, hundreds of people have called the company to report the devices burst, releasing enough stored pressure to lift the lids and shatter the tanks of toilet.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 14 people have reported impact or lacerations injuries resulting from the commodes' ceramic shrapnel.

The units, sold at Home Depot and Lowe's stores throughout the U.S. and Canada for about $108, were installed by a host of toilet manufactures that include American Standard, Crane, Eljer, Gerber, Kohler, Mansfield and St. Thomas.

The recall is for the Series 503 Flushmate III Pressure Assist flushing systems with serial numbers beginning 101497 (signifying the date of manufacture, Oct. 14, 1997) through 022908. The units are rectangular, black, two-piece vessels made of injection molded plastic. Anyone with a Flushmate III in their tank should immediately turn off the water supply and contact the firm at 800-303-5123, or visit their website at www.flushmate.com.

Anyone who has suffered injuries related to an exploding toilet is asked to contact the Safety Commission at www.SaferProducts.gov.

Contact Sam Wood at 215-854-2796 or samwood@phillynews.com, or @inqwriter on Twitter.

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