Can a Clogged Pipe Cause a Leak?

clogged pipe leak

You might think that the worst thing that can happen to a clogged pipe is that it just sits there, not working, maybe causing a pool of water in the sink or tub. Did you know that when you leave a pipe clogged, you increase the internal water pressure in the plumbing system within the pipes and this can lead to cracking or even bursting? Just like when a road is closed for construction, the traffic pressure on the adjacent roads is higher, bringing more wear and tear to those roads. Where the clog is located, and the condition of your plumbing system play a role in whether a leak will develop.

Plumbing Leaks and Seepage

  • Clogged drains can often cause pipes to back up and overflow. Water will always seek to escape through cracks in caulking, pipe threads, and eventually enter your home. Your tub clog may cause water damage in the room below the bathroom.
  • Water seepage can ruin walls and rot wood as well as create an environment where mold can develop. Water seepage can also attract termites and other home-destructive insects and larva.
  • Some of the overflow channels of less expensive sinks and tubs are actually made from plastic and not durable or well-secured. They can crack as they age and create internal chronic water damage that may not be visible until the damage is extensive.
  • Water leaks often travel along the outside of pipes and can cause water damage at a distance from the actual source of the clog.

Hidden Clogs

When a clog in the waste line occurs under the floor or in the line that runs to the sewer, it can have several sources:

  • Roots that are attracted to the water and minerals from the waste pipe water have forced their way into older pipes and created a back up. This is beyond a do-it-yourself fix. You should immediately call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing as it requires specialized equipment to clear the roots. We are famous for our punctuality and for our professional experience into virtually all plumbing situations. What will likely be required is for a long, electrically operated auger to be snaked through the waste pipeline. This auger literally chews weeds and roots and other growth that has accumulated in the pipes.


If the gap or hole where the roots entered the pipe is small and outside the house and in the ground, the pipe may not need to be repaired. Often, dirt and sediment and particles from the waste pipe serve to plug the hole. Our Benjamin Franklin Plumber will carefully assess where the waste pipe was compromised and determine if any pipe repair is necessary. Once abated, root damage can be fully addressed, with no need for further repairs for years or longer.


  • There may have been a shift in your building or foundation that flexed pipe joints too far and resulted in a cracked joint that now leaks. Although this is not caused by a clog, it can become a clog over time. Two facts of life about leaks: 1) They don’t get better by themselves over time and 2) It is always better, simpler and less expensive to fix a leak as soon as it is identified. Our team of professional plumbing experts can solve the problem, fast. We not only know several ways to address issues like this, we are fans of simple, fast and inexpensive fixes that last.
  • You may have a stopped-up main sewer line that has caused a backup of your waste system. If this is the case, your Benjamin Franklin Plumber can quickly identify this dangerous health issue, and the underlying cause, whether in your own plumbing system or a city sewer system.

Clogged Pipes and Corrosion

  • Corrosion often precedes pipe leaks but corrosion can come about from clogs that result in water standing in pipes for a long time.
  • Waste water in itself can carry corrosive chemicals from cleaning compounds as well as many other chemicals that can weaken the seals in pipe joints and create leaks.
  • Your water may contain chemicals that react with pipes.
  • Your pipes may be getting old and less resistant to the pressure and corrosion water backups can create.

Water Pressure

Clogged pipes can create increases in water pressure. Pipes and plumbing fixtures all operate off of or move water pressure from one place to another. They are built and designed to work within a certain range. Clogs can often cause the pressure in the pipes to fluctuate and sometimes exceed the range of pressure tolerance. This creates a flex in the line that can damage joints and cause leaks – sometimes several in different areas.

If water pressure is a concern, please call us. We can trace the line and discover where the stuck flow is and correct the underlying issues.

When to Call a Plumber Because of a Clogged Pipe

Simple clogs are often remedied with a plunger or commercial remedies you pour down the drain. However, chronic clogs or clogged pipes that resist clearing require the assistance of an experienced plumber. If you’ve recently moved into a house in the Bay Area and are experiencing plumbing problems, call us. We’ll assess the health of your plumbing system. We’ll fix your issue. We’ll advise you as to how to best care for the plumbing fixtures and pipes in your house and detail which, if any, fixtures should be upgraded.

Leaks can have many sources. Benjamin Franklin Plumbing is highly experienced at selecting and installing fixtures and pipes, maintaining your plumbing and making any and all repairs necessary.

We are professionals at all the areas where clogs may occur:

  • Sinks
  • Toilets
  • Tubs and shower
  • Faucets
  • Garbage Disposals
  • Pipes and sewers
  • Pumps

Our guaranteed services include:

  • All plumbing fixture purchases and installations
  • Bathroom plumbing
  • Emergencies!
  • Leak detections
  • All plumbing repair
  • Repiping
  • Sewer and drain cleaning
  • Slab leaks
  • Water heaters: Installation, maintenance and repair
  • Water filtration and softeners

We are everywhere you need us in the San Francisco area. Our trucks are always stocked. Our plumbers are truly professional, knowledgeable and friendly.