Maintenance and Operations, Plumbing, Safety

Flushmate Issues Massive Recall Over Exploding Toilets

Flushmate, a developer and manufacturer of “Pressure-Assisted” flushing devices for toilets has issued a massive, voluntary recall for approximately 1.4 million of its Flushmate II 501-B systems. According to the recall notice, the affected 501-B units are at risk of bursting near the weld seam, which would release the internal pressure of the device. In some instances, the force of the pressure can be enough to lift the lid off of the toilet tank or shatter the tank altogether. Such an explosion presents impact and cut hazards to anyone using the toilet, or if the restroom empty, could cause property damage.

Flushing a potentially exploding toilet

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The units subject to recall were manufactured from September 3, 1996 through December 7, 2013. You can check the date of manufacture of any Flushmate II 501-B devices by looking at the serial number, which is located on a label placed on the top of the unit. The serial number is 15 characters long, of which the first six numerals are the date code. Units impacted by the recall will have date codes ranging from 090396 to 120713. Be sure to double check the model code, located adjacent to the serial number. The model code for the 501-B would start with M and end with F.

If you do have any of these Flushmate devices installed at your facility, the company is offering impacted customers free replacement units with professional installation. In order to get your Flushmate replaced, you need to visit the recall website, http://www.flushmate.com/501B-recall, to register your device. If you’d rather call, Flushmate has a toll-free hotline at (844) 621-7538. The line is open from 8:00 AM through 10:00 PM Monday through Friday, and from 8:00 AM through 6:30 PM on Saturdays. They do request that you have your serial and model numbers available.

If your device qualifies for replacement, it should arrive within 5 business days once you’ve registered. As for the included installation, a Flushmate representative will contact you to schedule the installation. The installation should be complete within two weeks of successfully registering and requesting a replacement.

Due to the potential for severe injury, Flushmate suggests that anyone with a 501-B unit installed immediately stop using them, regardless of how they currently appear to be functioning. If all of your toilets are affected by recalled devices, Flushmate suggests pouring 2-3 gallons of water into the bowl to gravity flush the waste.

For more information, Flushmate has provided an FAQ for the recall, which can be found here: http://www.flushmate.com/501B-recall/reference/recall-faq.pdf.