Exploding Toilet Device Being Recalled by CPSC

On behalf of Brown & Crouppen, P.C. posted in Defective Products on Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is recalling more than 2.3 million toilets after receiving reports that more than 300 devices contained in the toilets have exploded. Though the idea of an exploding toilet may seem amusing, the explosion can cause the toilet to break apart and launch shards of porcelain toward whomever is nearby, potentially causing an injury.

The defective device inside the toilets is called the Flushmate III system and was manufactured by Flushmate, a company owned by Sloan Valve Co. According to the company’s website, it makes “component[s] inside of a specially designed toilet that harnesses the pressure from the water supply line to provide the energy needed to complete the flush.” They are also marketed as a way to reduce water use.

However, the CPSC announced in June that the Flushmate III is a “laceration risk” due to its apparent tendency to cause an explosion. The agency presented an example of a person whose back was badly cut by chunks of porcelain, requiring 20 surgical staples. The victim said that a smaller or older person could be injured even worse in a similar incident.

The Flushmate III systems were manufactured from 1997 until early 2008 and installed in toilets made by national companies like Kohler and American Standard. That means that many Missouri residents could be affected by the recall. Those who suspect their commode might have a Flushmate device installed should check for a serial number between 101497 and 022908 — that is, Oct. 14, 1997 through Feb. 29, 2008.

Source: Wilkes Barre Times-Leader, “Ejection seat? Exploding toilets lead to product recall,” Sam Wood, Aug. 21, 2012

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