There is a clear plastic sleeve around the flush mechanism in this toilet. I just replaced the flapper and the sleeve seems to interfere with the flapper, making it close too soon.

Why is the sleeve there? (new to me) Thanks.

toilet tank plastic sleeve

  • Actually not a physical interference, the problem is that the water in the sleeve drains out in a second causing the flapper to close way too early. This model of replacement flapper has dials on the bottom to control how long it stays up, but they can't do anything once the water is gone.
    – VE3LNY
    Apr 11, 2021 at 0:55

5 Answers 5


All the answers thus far are correct, in that it's an (early) attempt to save water on flushing.

The important part I don't see in any other answer is that it's an early attempt, and they did not work very well. It's like watersaving toilet version 1.0 or 1.1, and watersaving toilet version 12.3 is on the market now.

If you'd like to save water while actually flushing waste effectively, upgrade the toilet to a current version. They work very well. That's a slapdash retrofit to a toilet that's designed to use a lot of water to flush well. The current ones are designed from the ground up to flush on less than half the water that probably uses, which is probably half what it uses without the plastic tube.

  • 2
    No kidding on watersaving toilet v12.3 being out now -- some clever folks have gotten down to under 1gpf Apr 11, 2021 at 5:33

It's probably a water-saving measure. It would slow the flow of water out of the tank and allow the flapper to close sooner.

I'd remove it. If you want to maintain the same water use, put a full bottle or jug of water in the tank opposite the filler stack.


I agree it is a water saving attempt. However, no one has described its operation.

If you go number one, press the flush lever once.

If you go number two, press and hold the flush lever for a few seconds and the flapper will stay up for a complete full flush.


As mentioned, the sleeve is a water saver. It allows the flapper to close without draining the entire tank.

If the interference with the flapper is physical (the flapper is touching the sleeve), then you'll either need a different flapper or to remove the sleeve.

I had one of these where the device was fastened via the tank bolts, so complete removal would have taken a bit of time. If the interference is just that the new flapper is closing too early for an effective flush and removal is difficult, then you can increase the flow rate into the sleeve. Either trim the top of the sleeve so that the level is lower, or cut some holes into the sides. That will allow the flapper to remain open for longer.


The plastic bowl is a water saver as others have stated. If you just put less water in the tank you can have issues getting the solids to go down. The plastic sleeve only allows the water above sleeve to enter the bowl. The extra height gives the water a little more push to clear the bowl. The water below the top of the sleeve never gets used.

If the flap hits, check at the local big box store for a brand with a slightly different shape. If you decide to remove the sleeve you will have to adjust the float or you will be using 3 gallons a flush.

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