Can a Clogged Drain Cause a Leak?

Causes of Clogged Drains

Do you have a plumbing clog, leak, or other issue? Call 
(602) 560-7235 and let Dunlap Foundation Repair, Peoria’s trusted plumbing company, take care of it for you.

Every homeowner has to deal with a clogged drain at some point. Perhaps the kids flushed something they shouldn’t down the toilet, or the shower drain fills with hair, but regardless of the reason, a clog is a nuisance that needs attention. Many customers ask, “Can a clogged drain cause a leak?” and the answer is, “Yes.”

In fact, clogged drains are one of the most common reasons for plumbing leaks. Although many homeowners think that the worst a clog can do is cause a backup, the truth is that failing to clear the blockage completely can do significant damage to the pipes and plumbing fixtures throughout your home. Read on to learn how clogged drains cause leaks and why calling a plumber to deal with a clog as soon as it forms is important to preventing water damage.

Increased Water Pressure

When water flows through the pipes, it maintains a fairly steady pressure. However, if the water can’t freely flow into a certain pipe, it has to go elsewhere. This redirection increases the amount of water in other sections of the plumbing system, subsequently putting more pressure on those pipes.

All this extra pressure may exceed the tolerance of the pipes, resulting in damage that leads to a lead. Plumbing joints are most at risk for damage from excess pressure, and a clog in one drain can even cause a leak in a joint in a different section of the plumbing — or even multiple areas.


If your home has old pipes that already have some corrosion, the chance of a clog causing a leak increases exponentially. But when considering the question, “Can a clogged drain cause a leak?” you also have to consider the possibility of the clog actually contributing to the corrosion.

When water cannot fully drain, it remains in the pipe indefinitely. Standing water in the pipe can speed up corrosion, which leads to deterioration, especially when wastewater contains harsh chemicals, like cleaning products. Anything in the water that reacts with the pipes, joints, or seals can weaken them and cause cracks, breaks, and leaks.

Backups and Overflow

Even when there is a blockage in a pipe, water has to go somewhere. If it can’t get through the clog, it will back up the pipe to where it came from. When this happens, water will find other ways to escape and seep out of cracks in caulking, the pipe threads, and anywhere else there is an opening. Because the water can travel along the outside of the pipe when it leaks, it can cause water damage far away from the actual location of the leak.

The seepage that occurs when a clogged drain blocks water from flowing can also cause widespread structural damage to your home. Even a small amount of water can ruin walls, rot wood, and support harmful mold, so taking care of a clog promptly is critical to preventing costly damage.

Hidden Clogs

Clogs don’t always have to be in plumbing fixtures to cause leaks. One common type of blockage that causes plumbing leaks is a hidden clog created by tree roots infiltrating the main lines in the yard. Roots often grow toward the water and minerals in the waste pipe, and they can break into older pipes and create a clog, which eventually leads to a leak.

If there’s a leak in the main lines, you may not notice obvious issues with the plumbing inside your home, but it could cause problems like higher-than-expected energy bills and wet areas or standing water in the yard.

Call Dunlap Foundation Repair for Help Managing Clogs

If you have a clog and using a plunger or plumbing snake from the hardware store doesn’t solve the problem, call the licensed plumbers of Dunlap Foundation Repair. Avoid harsh chemical drain cleaners, which may partially clear the clog but do more damage to the pipes in the process.

Dunlap Foundation Repair is here for Peoria and Northern Phoenix-area homeowners to answer questions like, “Can a clogged drain cause a leak?” and offer additional plumbing tips to keep the pipes in top condition and avoid annoying and potentially damaging problems. To schedule service, call us at (602) 560-7235. We’ll be there as soon as possible to clear the clog and get the water flowing again.


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