Toward the end of 1999 a large group of prominent people were asked to give their opinion on mankind's best invention or advancement of the previous 999 years, as we were about to head into a new century and millennium. While many answered advances in medicine, machinery and labor saving devices, electronics, science and landing on the moon, radio and tv also got a lot of votes and the internet was still very fresh, but one subject rose above the rest and that was centralized plumbing that increased the health and well being of human kind.

For eons human waste was handled pretty loosely, a hole dug in the ground with a little 'outhouse' built over it... when that hole filled in, you moved the structure over and filled in the first hole, dug another hole and moved on. Literally. Maybe you've been camping in the years prior to RVs and remember digging a little hole out in the bushes for the weekend.

The Romans started the plumbing advances with their aqueducts, not only did they bring fresh water to drink down to Rome from the Italian Alps, other waste ducts carried the city's waste products on down to the Mediterranean.

That was really the beginning of human sanitation attempts, lost in the dark ages and revived in the 13th century to advance to what we have today; the water flush toilet which operates on changing bowl water pressures and gravity, as invented by Thomas Crapper, connected by piping to a central municipal plumbing system or cesspool.

One thing to remember from your 8th science classes is, water is in-compressible. Sure, water can be moved around under pressure, but it can't be compressed and when water in a certain confined space comes under too much stress - somethings going to blow. Or even blow back.

Now Flushmate is recalling 1.4 million toilets after thousands of them have literally exploded injuring 23 people in the US and Canada. Flushmate company officials say the Flushmate II 501-B pressure-assisted flushing systems had burst, releasing pressure building up from the inside. But the pressure is so great that it would blow off the tank lid on toilets, causing them to shatter.

And these systems are all over the place (no pun intended), sold through Home Depot, Lowes, and other stores from September 1996 through December 2015 and have been installed on countless remodels, new construction and general repairs for years.

If you discover you have one of Flushmates II 501-B toilets in your domain and it is still intact, the company encourages you to contact them for a free replacement which can be installed by a plumbing technician.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a warning about this recall with further details read it here.