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Can A Clogged Toilet Cause A Pipe To Burst

By May 18, 2022Plumbing
Busted water pipe.

Troubleshooting a major issue in your home is not a top priority. For many homeowners, time is not available to be spent on solving major issues with their various home systems. One major area that homeowners dread dealing with is plumbing. Always remember that no one really wants to unclog a toilet. However, out of necessity we get the plunger out and solve the problem. This is often done for health and safety, but also to prevent any long-term issues with the plumbing. Can a clogged toilet cause a pipe to burst? It depends on the type of plumbing and the type of clog that has occurred.

There are so many factors involved with this question. Let’s take a look below at some danger zone items regarding plumbing.

What Clogs A Toilet

There are a variety of items that are never meant to be flushed down a toilet. As a homeowner, it is your job to attempt to educate everyone in your household on the list of what should never be flushed. Additionally, keep in mind, smaller children often drop or experiment with items that they like to flush. In some cases, they are mesmerized by the flushing of the water. Here is a list of items that should “NEVER” be flushed as this can help you avoid a clogged toilet that can cause a pipe to burst.

  • Diapers
  • Grease or Motor Oil
  • Paints
  • Beauty Products
  • Many various house cleaners
  • Over-The-Counter (OTC) or prescription medicines
  • Hygiene products (female)
  • Any items that are made from plastic or rubber

How Can I Fix This

Your first approach to unclogging the toilet would be the use of a plunger. After a few minutes of pushing the plunger into the toilet, you should notice the water level go down. Also, if this does not happen, you might want to keep trying. Keep in mind, if you weren’t initially present to see what is clogging the toilet, then you cannot assume it is just human waste. At this point, you might need to access a plumbing drain snake. Lastly, the drain snake can be fed through the main drain pipe and hope that it clears your clog.

Using a plunger to unclog the toilet.
Using a plunger to unclog the toilet.

What Are Other Types Of Damage

Believe it or not, if you do not take care of a clogged pipe in a timely manner, you could be looking at some major health issues down the road. This is in addition to a clogged toilet that can cause a pipe to burst. Always remember that if there is a clog, the water flow will not happen. Also, this leaves the water stagnant and capable of producing some pretty unhealthy scenarios. Let’s examine what types of other damage can occur from clogged pipes.

  • Flooding – flooding occurs due to water backed up in the pipes. A clog will prevent your water source from draining properly and must go somewhere. The most immediate exit points are your toilet bowl and sinks.
  • Bacteria or Microbes – clogged pipes create a back-flow of water and this becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and microbes. The most common are, E.coli, salmonella, staph, campylobacter, typhoid, and legionella.
  • Pest Infestation – allowing a clogged toilet to sit creates a breeding ground for insects. Insects love standing water to lay eggs and use the bacteria as food. Also, cockroaches, fruit flies, drain flies, silverfish, centipedes and ants all enjoy the bacteria and microbes created.
  • Mold – mold likes damp and dark places with lots of oxygen. A clogged toilet that hasn’t been fixed offers this option to mold. Mold growth can cause major health issues such as, coughing, wheezing, dizziness, headaches, skin irritations, and lung issues.
  • Structural Damage – if your clog is not immediately addressed, the pipes can burst and cause other structural damage to your home. In addition, your toilet might back up and flood your bathroom floor. This can create rotted wood from your baseboards and wood framing to your home.
  • Toxic Gas – using a chemical drain cleaner mixed in with the already waste buildup in your toilet or clogged pipes can create toxic gases. Combining multiple drain cleaners can also produce toxic gases such as chloramine, chloroform, peracetic acid, and chlorine gas. These gases can be deadly.

How Much Does It Cost

Fixing a burst pipe can be rather involved. If the pipe did burst, you will likely need a clean-up crew to extract all of the water and damaged materials from your home. Additionally, this could cost you quite a bit over the long haul. The national average to repair a busted pipe in your home ranges from $600 to $1,500. All of this depends on the extent of the damage to the pipe.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Understanding how your plumbing system works is important to the longevity of your home. You wouldn’t want any clogs to damage your pipes and cause flooding as it all starts at the toilet. Also, understanding what can clog a toilet or cause it to overflow is a step in the right direction. Remember, not all toilet overflows are caused by a waste clog. It could be a clog to your outside air vent. Read up on everything that is associated with what causes a toilet to overflow.

Next, while you are looking into how to prevent water leaks or busted pipes from happening in your home. Go ahead and learn about how to remove a bathroom sink drain. Also, anything that accepts waste into it, can eventually get clogged. You will want to keep this from happening. Knowing how to remove a bathroom sink drain allows you to keep the P-trap free and clear of waste build up.

Busted water pipe in a wall.
Busted water pipe in a wall.

When Do I Call A Professional

Whenever you are dealing with plumbing issues, it is best to call a master plumber. There are so many possibilities of what could be wrong, that once you are done troubleshooting a clogged toilet, you might find a bigger problem. Master plumbers are able to send drain snakes, augers, or even cameras down your pipes to discover what is clogging your pipes.

Calling on a master plumber will ensure that the job gets done correctly. They can also ensure that no damage to your pipes has been caused by the clogging. Feel free to call on your local home inspection team as well. Additionally, they can conduct a full plumbing inspection of your home and provide the master plumber with some potential repair recommendations.


Knowing how your pipes work in your home is important. As a homeowner, you want to educate yourself on all of the ins and outs of your home. Also, knowing how all systems in your home function is vital to maintaining the longevity of those systems. Keep in mind that if you purchased an older home, the pipe choices might vary.

You will want to know the type of pipes that are used in your home so reach out to your local home inspection team to get a full breakdown of your plumbing system. Call on Boggs Inspection Services to get a home inspection of your plumbing set up, completed in the Lacey, WA, and surrounding areas.

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