Exploding toilet recall puts Sun City woman at risk

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SUN CITY, Ariz. -- When you have to go, you have to go. But when Marcia Jenkins has to go, she has to head straight over to her neighbor’s house.

“Embarrassing,” she said. “Of course it is.”

It may sound weird, but Jenkins has to use her neighbor’s restroom because the only commode in her Sun City home might explode when it's flushed.

“So I asked my neighbors if I could use their toilet until I got this problem solved," she said.

The problem is a powerful high-pressurized water conservation device found inside her toilet tank.
It's called the Flushmate III Pressure-Assist Flushing System.

In June, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall on 2.3 million Flushmate III's after learning 304 of them had blown up, resulting in property damage and 14 injuries.

A photo on the CPSC's website, SaferProducts.gov, shows just what kind of damage the exploding toilets can cause. Another photo shows how one alleged victim had to be stapled up after one of the toilets exploded.

Jenkins said it's like having a ticking time bomb in her bathroom.

“The lid is coming off, going to the ceiling, crashing down, breaking, and it’s horrifying,” she said. “It's all written on the recall card and scared the bejeebers out of me!”

After receiving a letter from Flushmate notifying her about the recall and the risks of flushing the toilet, Jenkins contacted Flushmate. The company said to fix the problem she'd have to install a repair kit.

But Jenkins said not only is she unable to work on a toilet, she doesn't feel she should have to pay a plumber to put the repair kit put in, so she called 3 On Your Side.

“Normally, I don't do this. I usually try to go out and solve my own problems. But this, I was being passed from one to the other and I'm in dire need of a toilet," she proclaimed.

In a statement, a Flushmate representative told 3 On Your Side:

“We are striving to exceed our customers' already high expectations of us and have voluntarily announced, in cooperation with the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), an at-home recall repair kit.  Our aim is to ensure anyone with an affected unit installs it. Should you like more information about the recall, we encourage you to visit the FLUSHMATE website, www.FLUSHMATE.com, or call our customer service hotline: 1-800-303-5123.”

However, after 3 On Your Side's involvement, Flushmate went one step further by sending out a plumber to fix Marcia Jenkins's toilet. She said she's relieved.

“I'm very happy that I now have my toilet back, and I'm happy for my resolution and I want to thank 3 On Your Side for assisting me with this,” Jenkins said.