Exploding Toilet Risk Prompts Nationwide Recall

The possibility of an exploding toilet has prompted a recall of a high-pressure flushing system that can burst near a seam.

This toilet-related recall perhaps also gives a new definition to bathroom “break.”

The Flushmate company is recalling about 350,000 units in the US and about 9,000 in Canada which are often sold in Home Depot and Lowe’s and also available through plumbing contractors and plumbing supply stores. The specific model is the Series 503 Flushmate 111 Pressure Assist flushing system made from March 2008 to June 2009 which is incorporated into toilets made by numerous toilet manufacturers.

The potential risk is that “The system can burst at or near the vessel weld seam releasing stored pressure. This pressure can lift the tank lid and shatter the tank, posing impact and laceration hazards to consumers and property damage.”

Installed inside toilet tanks, the two-piece units are rectangular and made of injection molded plastic. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), “Flushmate has received three reports of the units included in this recall bursting, resulting in property damage and no reports of injury.” For a consumer who might own one of these units, the CPSC’s recommended approach is to “stop using the recalled Flushmate III system, turn off the water supply to the unit, flush the toilet to release the internal pressure. and contact the firm to request a free repair kit.”

If you own one of these units, you can tell if yours is subject to the recall by checking the date code on the top of the unit.

Flushmate has also created a special recall website for those consumers who might be affected.

This is the second recall of the Flushmate toilet-flushing product. “The move expands upon a June 2012 recall of the same systems made from October 1997 through February 2008. At that time, 2.3 million units in the U.S. and 9,400 in Canada were recalled.”