Omaha homeowners: Is your bathtub just not draining like it used to? Before you call a drain cleaning service or reach for the harsh clog-busting chemicals (that often cause more harm than good) try this quick homeowner hack! As much as we love sending our expert plumbers to open drains all across Omaha, with just a few tools and a little elbow grease, you can get your bathtub draining again in under ten minutes— no chemicals or prior plumbing experience needed.


Read on to learn Burton’s latest Homeowner Hack: Opening your bathtub drain with just four simple steps

Before you begin your drain opening project, you’ll need a few things:

  • A screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Gloves
  • A drain snake (heavy wire or a coat hanger can do in a pinch)
  • A trash can
  • Optional: Long scissors or a utility knife

Got your supplies ready? Time to dive in!

1. Remove the drain stopper

This might just be the most challenging step of the whole drain opening process. There are several different kinds of drain stoppers, like push-pull stoppers, toe-touch stoppers, and lift-and-turn stoppers, which are all manually opened and closed. Then there are the lever-controlled stoppers that open and close when you activate the lever near your tub’s faucet. Each type of drain has its own trick. Plan to spend a few minutes getting to know how your drain operates before you pull out the tools.

Most drain stoppers require you to unscrew the visible part of the stopper by hand, then use a screwdriver or pliers to loosen the rest of the pieces. If you’re having trouble figuring out how to remove your drain stopper, a quick Google search should pull up an explanatory video.

2. Don your gloves and get clearing!

Once your drain stopper is out and you can see down the drain, you’ll probably notice a metal X just a few inches below the opening. This is the crossbar that prevents debris from dropping down further into your plumbing. And while the clog this crossbar holds isn’t so pretty, it makes drain clearing a breeze. Most bathtub clogs are caused by accumulated hair right around this crossbar. If you can get this high-level clog cleared, your tub should be draining like new again.

Grab your gloves, drain snake, and trash can. Use the drain snake (or bend a small hook in your heavy-gauge wire) to pull out the hair and debris collected around the crossbar. If you find that the excess hair is wrapped around the crossbar, use a pair of long scissors or a utility knife to cut it loose, then pull it out with your pliers.

This is a messy job, but now you’re over halfway there!

3. Flush the area with hot water

With the majority of the hair and gunky buildup now removed from your drain, run the hot water for a few minutes to flush the rest of the loose debris down the pipes. You should notice the water draining much quicker with that hairy clog out of the way.

Rinse any remaining debris from the bottom of your tub, toss the extracted material, and give yourself a pat on the back.

4. Put the drain back together

What’s better than cleaning your own drain? Stopping that hair, junk, debris, and gunk from going down the drain to begin with. Before you replace your drain stopper, consider installing a drain strainer or a drain stopper style that’s less susceptible to clogs. Some drain stopper styles come with a mesh basket that fits just below the stopper, catching hair and debris before it’s trapped by the crossbar. Otherwise, once you’ve reassembled your drain stopper, your Homeowner Hacks project is complete.

If you tried today’s Homeowner Hack and still can’t get your tub flowing again, call Omaha’s #1 drain cleaning service

For stubborn clogs that won’t budge, Just Call Burton. Our team of expert Omaha plumbers will get you back to your bubble bath in no time. Call today to ask about our specials and to book your own drain opening appointment: (402) 343-0011