A North Texas dad has a warning after his family returned from vacation to a home drenched with water. He says the toilet’s to blame, the same one installed in many of his neighbors’ homes.
"My 8-year-old ran out here with wet shoes. We continued to walk, saw water on the carpet in my son's bedroom, continued to walk, and my daughter's room was full of water,” said Austin Ewing.
Ewing said he and his family sloshed through about an inch or water as they walked into their home after spending Thanksgiving with grandparents.
They weren't sure how long the water ran, but it only took a couple of minutes to find the source.
"There was about an inch to inch and a half of water, and water was just pouring from [the toilet] tank here. I found this big crack going all the way from the top of the tank to the base,” said Ewing.
After some research, Ewing said he wasn’t he only one who's had a problem with a toilet made by a company called Vortens.
"I've seen news stories from a year ago, and from two years ago. I've seen a post of a toilet that failed in 2001. Mine is a 2014. Vortens is only saying this was an issue in 2011. Obviously, that's not right. There are faulty products beyond what they're admitting,” said Ewing.
Vortens does admit in the past there have been some "technical issues" with a couple of models of toilet tanks that have “allegedly caused fractures.” The company said it has stopped making one of those models and “improved the manufacturing process" on another.
They also said the model in the Ewing’s house has generated very few claims, well below the acceptable industry rate. Still, they're footing the bill to replace all four of the family's toilets.
Ewing said he's pleased with how Vortens and his builder, Paul Taylor Homes, have handled his situation. But after close to $100,000 of initial clean up, demolition and repairs, he wants both companies to warn others of the potential risk
"This is a ticking time bomb,” said Ewing. “I think everyone should go check their toilets right now."
Paul Taylor Homes released a statement Tuesday saying, “We are very sorry that this happened to the Ewings. We back the craftsmanship and products in each home we build. We worked closely with this homeowner to resolve the issue in a timely manner. We also are working with Vortens, the toilet manufacturer, to ensure that they respond to other homeowners who may have similar concerns.”
Vortens customers with questions about their tanks are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org.