Flushmate recall: Exploding toilet tanks cause injuries

Flushmate is recalling more than 1.4 million toilet-flushing systems due to complaints that the units can explode, with reports of people being injured and property damage, according to federal safety officials.

Flushmate, a unit of Illinois bathroom equipment maker Sloan Valve Company, has received more than 1,400 reports in the U.S. and seven in Canada of the toilet systems bursting, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said Thursday. The incidents have resulted in about $710,000 in property damage and 23 injuries, one of which required foot surgery.

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Flushmate II 501-B pressure-assisted flushing system

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

The recall involves 1.4 million Flushmate II 501-B pressure-assisted flushing systems sold across the U.S. at retailers including Home Depot and Lowe's. The units were sold in the U.S. between September 1996 and December 2015. Another 17,300 units were sold in Canada.

A buildup of pressure in the toilet system can cause them to explode, lifting the tank, shattering the tank, and spraying shards that can lacerate people and damage property, the CPSC said.

Consumers were advised to immediately stop using the products, turn off the water supply and then flush the toilet to release internal pressure. 

Owners of the units can contact Flushmate online to have a technician install a free replacement unit. Consumers may also call Flushmate toll-free at (800) 303-5123 to check if their toilet's flushing unit is included in the recall.