Home & Garden

This flushing system can make your toilet explode. So, 1.4 million have been recalled

The Flushmate II 501-B pressure-assisted flushing system can blow your toilet tank.
The Flushmate II 501-B pressure-assisted flushing system can blow your toilet tank. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

The Flushmate II 501-B is supposed to function as a pressure-assisted flushing system. But the pressure can turn the flushing system into a low-level explosive device, which is why Flushmate recalled 1.4 million last week in the United States and Canada.

The exact problem, as stated in the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recall notice: “The system can burst at or near the vessel weld seam releasing stored pressure. This pressure can lift the tank lid and shatter the tank, posing impact and laceration hazards to consumers and property damage.”

And concerns about blowing the tank aren’t just theoretical. The notice says Flushmate has heard of 1,453 bursts in the U.S. and Canada, causing about $710,000 in property damage and “23 injury reports with one requiring foot surgery.”

Those with flushing systems in this recall are advised by Flushmate to stop using the flushing system right now, cut the water supply to the toilet, then flush the toilet to release the pressure. Then, contact Flushmate to arrange a free replacement and installation. You can either call 844-621-7538 Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m, Eastern time, or go to the recall page on Flushmate’s site.

The Flushmate II 501-B pressure-assisted flushing system was sold at big box stores, such as Home Depot and Lowe’s as well as smaller plumbing industry retailers from 1996 through December 2015. They were installed in toilets made by American Standard, Corona, Crane, Kohler and Mansfield.

To see if your unit is included in the recall, check the date code/serial number on the label. The first six numbers are the date code, the month/day/year of manufacture, i.e., 072498 would be July 24, 1998. The date code will signify a date between Sept. 3, 1996 and Dec. 7, 2013.

The remaining characters are the model code, which starts with M and ends with F.

Flushmate 3.jpeg
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

This is not to be confused with Flushmate III, of which the 503 series got recalled in 2012, 2014 and 2016.

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