Flushmate settled a lawsuit for $18 million dollars after months of negotiations. Flushmate is a pressurized toilet flushing system that was available at most home improvement stores. They flushed fine; however, the pressure would build up in the water tank of the toilet causing many of them to explode. Consumers have been injured when the ceramic water tanks explode, sending shards flying. They have also caused property damage.
The Flushmate lll Pressure-Assisted flushing system, by Sloan Valve, was initially recalled in June 2012. The recall affected 2,330,600 units sold in the US and almost 10,000 sold in Canada. An additional 351,000 US units were added to the recall January 2014.
Flushmate agreed to the $18 million dollar settlement last week with the stipulation that the amount could increase as explosions with injuries and property damage continue to happen. Victims have two years to file claims with Flushmate for compensation.
Flushmate toilet flushing system worked very well in low water toilets too, but the system was improperly designed which caused too much pressure to build in the water tanks causing leaks, ruptures and explosions.
Initially, Flushmate offered a free repair kit to fix the pressure problems. The second recall was issued in part because the repair kit failed to solve the problem, allowing pressure to continue to build. Also, the repair kit did not fit on many toilet models.
According to the Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC), there have been more than 300 reports of exploding water tanks that have caused property damage and severe lacerations, requiring emergency room visits and stitches. Sloan Valve knew there were reports of Flushmate failures as early as 2000, but did nothing to remedy the problem. The Flushmate is made of a two-piece plastic mold.
The Flushmate was sold alone and it was sold by other toilet manufacturers such as:
- American Standard
- St. Thomas
- Universal Rundle
- Western Pottery
The following lists the Flushmates that are covered under the recall:
“This recall is for Series 503 Flushmate® III Pressure Assist flushing systems installed inside toilet tanks. The recalled systems were manufactured from October 1997 to February 2008. The units are rectangular, black, two-piece vessels made of injection-molded plastic. The date code/serial number is 16 characters long and is located on the label on the top of the Flushmate III. The first six numerals of the serial number are the date code. The date code range for this recall begins with 101497 (October 14, 1997) and continues through 022908 (February 29, 2008).”
If you have a Flushmate III Pressure-Assisted flushing system, the CPSC is requesting you stop using the toilet. Turn off the water supply to the toilet and contact a professional plumber who can remove the flushing system from the toilet.