A toilet-flusher manufacturer based in New Hudson, Mich., has recalled 1.4 million of its pressure-assisted models following more than 1,450 reports of the flushers exploding and bursting toilet tanks.
The Flushmate II 501-B, manufactured by Flushmate, “can burst at or near the vessel weld seam releasing stored pressure,” according to a recall notice posted by the company.
“This pressure can lift the tank lid and shatter the tank, posing impact and laceration hazard to consumers and property damage.”
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has also confirmed that 1,446 reports of malfunctioning Flushmate units have been reported in the U.S., along with seven in Canada, resulting in $710,000 in property damage and 23 injuries — one of which required surgery to a customer’s foot.
The affected model, which was designed to use compressed air to force water into the toilet bowl (as opposed to the traditional gravity-assisted models), has not been produced by Flushmate since Dec. 2013, but was available for purchase through Home Depot or Lowes as late as 2015. Online retailers, including Grainger and HD Supply, have also sold the units.
Flushmate is urging customers to check the model and serial numbers of their units to determine if theirs is one of the products being recalled.
“To uphold our commitment for safety and quality to our customers, Flushmate has announced, in conjunction with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, a voluntary recall of all Flushmate II 501-B pressure-assisted flushing systems," a spokesperson for Flushmate confirmed to Fox News. "Although Flushmate discontinued shipping the product within toilet fixtures in 2006, when the Flushmate II 501-B became a replacement part, and discontinued the product altogether in 2013, we are communicating with customers who may still own the product to offer a free Flushmate replacement unit and installation by a technician.
"We are encouraging all customers to visit our website … or call 1-844-621-7538 to determine if their product is included in the Flushmate II 501-B recall, register their serial number, and request a free Flushmate replacement unit and installation.”
The company has also instructed consumers to turn off the water supply to their Flushmate II 501-B units and to release internal pressure by then flushing the toilets, per the CPSC.