Just in time for Halloween, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has a scary story about exploding toilets! Nothing good happens when the words “toilet” and “explosion” find themselves in the same sentence. This is no exception.
Certain (mostly) commercial toilets that use a pressure-assisted flush unit are at risk of explosion. The Sloan Series 501-B Flushmate II pressure assisted flushing system could rupture, causing damage to the toilet and user injury. Sloan, the manufacturer, recalled a similar device – The Series 503 Flushmate III – in 2012, 2014 and 2016.
Flushmate II products manufactured from Sept. 3, 1996 to Dec. 7, 2013 are on the CPSC’s no-flush list. The manufacturer says it has received notice of nearly 1,500 incidents of the device bursting while in use. 23 people have sustained largely non-serious injuries, although one person required surgery on their foot. In addition to the recall of US units, the company is also recalling Canadian units for the same issue.
The failure occurs at the time of flushing. A weld seam can burst while the unit is at full pressure. This can cause the tank lid to lift, dislodge and shatter. Consumers have reported both impact and shatter injuries related to the failure.
Consumers may have purchased the affected units between 1996 and 2015 at Home Depot, Lowe’s, online or through national retailers. The units were also pre-installed in toilets made by American Standard, Corona, Crane, Kohler and Mansfield.
In the meantime, don’t use a toilet equipped with an affected system. Read the complete Flushmate II recall notice, and contact the manufacturer for a replacement.
Seriously, there’s (probably) no reason to be afraid of your toilet. If it bothers you though, call us at Boston Standard Plumbing at (617) 288-2911. We service all commercial and residential toilets.
Even ones that explode.
Photo Credit: Phil Kalina, via Flickr