Check your toilet: More than 1.4 million could explode

By Amy Davis - Reporter/Consumer Expert

HOUSTON - Exploding toilets that have hurt 23 people have prompted the recall of 1.4 million pressure-assisted flushing systems. The Flushmate II 501-B pressure-assisted flushing systems were sold at Home Depot, Lowe's, through plumbers and online from 1996 through 2015. They were also installed in toilets made by American Standard, Corona, Crane, Kohler and Mansfield. 

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says Flushmate has received nearly 1,500 reports of the units bursting, some with enough force that the lids on the toilet tanks flew off, injuring people nearby. The explosions have caused about $710,000 in damages. 

Officials released the following description of the Flushmate II 501-B pressure-assisted flushing systems under recall:

"The units are rounded oval, black, two-piece vessels made of injection molded plastic. Recalled units have a date code/serial number that is 15 characters long and is located on the label on top of the Flushmate II 501-B unit. The first six numerals of the serial number are the date code. The date code range for units included in this recall in MMDDYY format is 090396 (September 3, 1996) through 120713 (December 7, 2013). The model code is 10 characters long and is located on the same product label. The model code starts with M and ends with F."

The CPSC says if you have a Flushmate II 501-B system, stop using it. Turn off the water supply to the units and flush the toilets to release internal pressure. Consumers should contact Flushmate to request a free replacement and installation by a technician. You can call Flushmate toll-free at 844-621-7538 between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and between 8 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. ET Saturday, or online at www.flushmate.com and click on “501-B Recall” in the blue box on the top of the page for more information.

The recall issued Thursday included about 17,300 flushing systems sold in Canada. Officials said Flushmate received seven reports of the systems exploding in the country.

Officials noted that millions of Flushmate III pressure-assisted flushing systems were previously recalled for the same reason in 2012, 2014 and 2016.

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