More than 2.3 million toilet flushing systems are being recalled after hundreds of consumers reported incidents in which the units had burst. The pressure from the defective systems can lift and shatter the toilet tank lid, something that led to 14 reported injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The CPSC said 304 incidents were reported. Given how few people report such problems and the difficulty in knowing where to report the problems, it is likely many times that many consumers have experienced this problem.
So, check your toilets to see if you have a Series 503 Flushmate III Pressure-Assist Flushing System. The rectangular black molded plastic units were sold at Lowe's, The Home Depot and other stores and also came installed inside toilet tanks. Toilet companies that used the mechanism include American Standard, Crane, Eljer, Gerber, Kohler, Mansfield and St. Thomas. The recalled units were made between October 1997 and February 2008.
You can find the date code and serial number on the top of the unit to see if you have one of those being recalled. The first six numbers are the date of manufacture. "The date code range for this recall begins with 101497 (October 14, 1997) and continues through 022908 (February 29, 2008)," the CPSC said.
If you have one of the recalled Flushmate III units, turn off the water supply to your toilet and request a free repair kit. You can get more information and a kit, by contacting Flushmate at (800) 303-5123 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Eastern TIme or by visiting their recall site.
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Mitch Lipka is one of America's leading consumer journalists and advocates. He is an expert in product safety, recalls, scams, and helping consumers get out of jams. He is a nationally known consumer columnist and runs TheConsumerChronicle.com. He lives in Worcester. You can find him on Facebook or reach him at ConsumerNews@Aol.com