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Reports of hundreds of exploding toilets have triggered a Sloan Flushmate recall affecting more than 2 million commodes from coast to coast.
More than a dozen "impact and laceration" injuries have been linked to the Sloan Flushmate III Pressure-Assist Flushing System, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Thursday. The unit sells for about $108 at Home Depot and Lowe's, and is used in more than 2.3 million toilet tanks nationwide.
So far, more than 300 Sloan Flushmate III units have exploded in toilet tanks, "releasing stored pressure," according to the CPSC's recall alert. "This pressure can lift the tank lid and shatter the tank, posing impact or laceration hazards to consumers and property damage."
Flushmate III units are black, made of plastic, and installed inside toilet tanks. They use air and water pressure instead of gravity to ensure a powerful flush, according to the company's website.
The recalled units are marked with a "series number" of 503, along with a 16-character "serial number" -- the first six digits of which show the manufacturing date. Units with manufacturing dates of between 101497 (Oct. 14, 1997) and 022908 (Feb. 29, 2008) are included in the voluntary recall.
Anyone with a recalled Sloan Flushmate III unit in their toilet should turn off the water supply and stop using the unit, the CPSC advises. Consumers can get a free repair kit from Flushmate by visiting the company's website, http://recall.flushmate.com, or by calling a toll-free hotline, (800) 303-5123.
Anyone injured by an exploding toilet may be able to pursue a product liability lawsuit, which would likely allege that a design defect made the product unsafe. But such lawsuits can be costly and time consuming. An experienced products liability lawyer can help determine if a lawsuit is worth your while.