The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, along with officials in Canada and the Flushmate company, announced a recall of over 2.3 million devices found in households across the U.S. The devices, sold under the name Flushmate® III Pressure-Assist Flushing System, can cause toilet lids to lift off tanks and may even cause tanks and lids to shatter. Because of this problem, the recalled Flushmate products may cause severe injury to users and are a serious danger for affected households.
The Flushmate company, based out of New Hudson, Mich., is a division of Sloan Valve Company. The company says that it has heard 304 reports of the devices bursting and reports of 14 injuries to consumers.
According to the recall statement, material from the exploding devices and/or shattering toilet tanks has been the cause of the injuries so far. People have reported serious cuts and injuries. The recall affects the Series 503 Flushmate systems, made between October 1997 and February 2008. The devices are made of two pieces of special black plastic and are installed in toilet tanks to help increase flush strength. All Flushmate devices have a 16-character serial number on the top of the unit. The first six numbers of the serial number are a date code, which represent when the unit was made. Date codes affected by the recall range from 101497 (or October 14, 1997) to 022908 (February 29, 2008).
The recalled units were available to consumers and plumbers at stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot for about $108 apiece. They were also sold to many popular toilet makers, such as American Standard, Kohler, Crane, Mansfield, Gerber, Eljer and St. Thomas. If you have a Series 503 Flushmate III Pressure-Assist Flushing System with one of the affected date codes, you should stop using the system immediately. You should also turn off the water supply to the affected unit, and immediately contact Flushmate. Consumers can call a hotline (which is open only during certain hours) or they can go to the company’s website for more information.
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