The answer is YES, as clogs or blockages occur in drain pipes water backs up inside behind the blockage and can cause a pipe to burst, or slowly leak through seals and joints. Drainage systems are NOT designed to hold water they are designed for water to flow through them. A correctly sized waste pipe allows a ratio of water and air in the pipe to drain freely. When a clogged drain occurs it effectively alters the size of the pipe, reducing its diameter and therefore affecting the flow of water through it.
Water leaks are not always associated with a burst or broken mains pressure water pipes. Split or burst water pipes are more likely to show signs you have a leak faster and be more obvious than a leak caused by a clogged drain due to the pressure and volume of water in the pipe and the flooding it will cause, but a leaking pipe left undetected caused by a clogged drain in Melbourne, over time can cause more damage and be more costly to repair.
When water is retained in the pipe it is possible for it to eventually leak through rubber seals, threaded pipe joints, gullies, shower or bath outlets. Clogging means the drainpipe is obstructed preventing water from flowing past the obstruction, over time water accumulates behind the blockage until such a point that it finds an exit location.
A slow leak that goes unrecognised or is left to leak will over time can cause structural damage to your home. Typical areas where a clogged drain can cause a water leak include waste pipes connected to sinks, bathtubs & showers.
Water damage from a clogged drain
Here are some examples of how a clogged drain can cause water damage to a house:
- Waste pipes are not designed to hold water under pressure, all joints are engineered to accommodate water flow over the joint and out of the system.
- Waste pipes from sinks, basins, baths and showers often run through timber structures contained within the walls, floors and ceilings of your home. When leaks go unnoticed over extended periods of time considerable and costly structural damage can occur.
- As clogs occur, water backs up inside the drainpipe placing the pipe under pressure. The continuous presence of standing water in the pipe can eventually cause leakages through glued pipe joints, caulking, seals and threaded pipe joints.
- A Clogged drain means water is being contained within the pipe for an extended period of time. This will promote the opportunity for corrosion to start in metal pipework causing leaks to occur. Often a homeowner will try to unclog the drain with a chemical drain cleaner which will only accelerate the corrosive process causing the pipe to leak at a greater rate.
What to do if you suspect you have a water leak caused by a clogged pipe
Simple blocked pipes can often be unclogged with a plunger (see our blog on unblocking a drain or sink using a plunger).
More stubborn blockages will require the use of a high-pressure water jet or a mechanical sewer machine (sewer snake), for more stubborn blockages we recommend engaging the skills of an expert licensed Melbourne plumber. A licensed plumber will be able to access the situation and provide plumbing solutions to resolve your plumbing issue for the long term.
If you suspect you have a water leak, leak detection may be needed to fix the problem fast. Burst pipes don’t always show visible signs of a water leak. It may be something as simple as mould starting to grow on walls or floors that are the first sign you have a water leak. Essendon plumbing services are experts in providing plumbing solutions to fix water leaks and clogged drains before expensive damage can occur.
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