Vacless Systems Inc. has recalled about 1,600 of its safety vacuum release systems.
The Sylmar, Calif., manufacturer is working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to conduct a recall of some units of the Vacless Breather 1, model number SVRS10ADJ, sold between July and September of 2010.
Approximately 300 units have been replaced so far.
“The company is doing the right thing,” said CPSC spokeswoman Kathleen Reilly. “They need to be commended for making sure that they take care of this problem where it exists.”
The manufacturer estimates that the affected SVRS’s constitute about 2 percent of the total products it has sold.
The CPSC noted that none of Vacless’ other 11 models are affected, and that the recall is restricted to the specific serial numbers of the SVRS10ADJ.
“We were just concerned with this particular product,” Reilly said. “[Vacless] said they didn’t have problems with any of their other products and there hadn’t been any reports, so there’s no reason for us to doubt that.”
The agency recommends that no one swim in pools in which these units are installed until a replacement has been made. “If the pool’s open and they have one of these products in their pool, they should close it and get the repair done before opening,” Reilly said. “The good news is that a lot of pools aren’t open right now, and people have an opportunity to take care of this before the season begins.”
The manufacturer discovered that one batch of SVRS’s were inadvertently made with the wrong plastic, causing the pistons to stick under more extreme temperature conditions and the product to fail.
“The material we wanted is nylon [that is] 20 percent glass filled; however, our supplier provided us with a nylon with no glass fillings in it, [which] made it soft,” said Vacless President Hassan Hamza. “Variations of temperature affected the piston material and caved in some of the pistons, and people called us and said they had problems with the units, that the piston sticks.”
Immediately upon discovering the problem, Hamza said, Vacless contacted the CPSC.
The company is replacing the affected units and the CPSC has issued a press release to alert the public of the recall. Vacless also urged dealers and distributors who have sold the devices with the listed serial numbers to contact their clients and the manufacturer to arrange for replacement. Hamza said that Vacless will reimburse installers for their services in replacing clients’ units.
As for the manufacture of future SVRS’s, Hamza said the problem has been rectified and checks put in place during production. “They’re going to be testing for the stiffness to make sure that the part’s not soft,” he said.
In addition, Hamza said the company has introduced incentives for installers and pool owners to register their products. “We wanted to make sure we know where our units are, just in case there is an issue or an update that we need to notify the customer of,” Hamza said. “It’s a great thing to have this dialogue between us and the end user.” The current incentive expires March 31.