Man "seriously injured" by exploding toilet

Michel Pierre of New York received serious shrapnel wounds to his face, arms and legs when the toilet exploded in his Brooklyn apartment. From AFP:

'The 58-year-old information technology specialist is now so fearful that he uses a rope to flush the toilet from behind the bathroom door at a safe distance.

"Those fears are part of his damages," said his lawyer Sanford Rubenstein. "Clearly toilets are supposed to flush, not explode." Three other tenants were also injured by what the Daily News website dubbed "the porcelain bomb."'

Air pressure in the pipes, or something.

Notable Replies

  1. IMB says:

    Explosive diarrhea?

  2. bzishi says:

    It sounds like water hammer. You can experience the same thing if you have a sink you haven't used for a couple of months and then open the valve rapidly. This is a serious problem with maintenance work in pressurized systems. You need to fill, vent, and re-pressurize properly otherwise the water hammer can rip apart the system, especially if it is high temperature and pressure, such as what you might see in a power plant.

  3. Coyote says:

    Air, as a gas, is compressible. Water, a liquid, is not. If the pipes were drained during maintenance, when the water is turned back on it will compress the air in the pipes into whatever space it can. Air pressures of hundreds of PSI are possible, possibly with a head of water in front of it... not good when suddenly released into something brittle like porcelain.

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