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I hear rumors that lava, water, and enough light can all disable spawners if done correctly. However, I can't seem to verify any of this.

In what ways is it possible to disable a mob spawner without destroying it?

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Cave Spider Spawners cannot be disabled by lighting the area. –  Broam Mar 8 '12 at 14:42
    
@Broam yes they can. Ive accomplished it. It just tends to be a bit harder. –  Ender Mar 8 '12 at 15:45
    
Hasn't this been covered before? –  meme scientist Mar 8 '12 at 19:45
    
@Jimmy I really thought it had, but long hard searching turned up nothing. –  John the Green Mar 8 '12 at 20:39

4 Answers 4

up vote 15 down vote accepted

Mob spawners work on the basis of covering a small area (the wiki says it's an area 8 wide, 3 high, and 8 deep) with spawnable locations. If all possible spawnable locations are invalid, it won't spawn anything.

The following things will mark a location as invalid for the purposes of spawning a monster:

  • Light level 9 or higher
  • A solid block occupying the location (including half slabs and stairs)
  • A lava or water block occupying the location

The following are considered valid:

  • Air blocks at light level 8 or lower
  • Blocks occupied with things that you can walk through (redstone torches, ladders, signs, etc.) at light level 8 or lower
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Do all water levels prevent spawning? –  user7220 Mar 8 '12 at 11:01
1  
No; only the room being totally flooded would prevent spawning. Mobs would simply spawn in the air above the water and drop down. Your best bet is to light up the area. –  Unionhawk Mar 8 '12 at 15:17

you simply put a torch on top of the spawner and on all four sides.

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You can surround the spawner with torches and the spawner will deactivate.

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All you need to do to disable a spawner is light the blocks that are affected by the spawner with enough light so that they can't spawn hostile mobs. The area that a spawner affects is a 3-high 8x8 area (the 8x8 area explained in this answer) – 3-high including the height the spawner is at itself, so two blocks above it. If you light this 8x8x3 area at light level 8 or above, mobs won't be able to spawn. (Alternatively you could fill it with a solid block or fluids, but light is easier.)

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Voted for this. Just have loads of redstone lamps (Like glowstone) and a circuit controlled by a lever which turns it on/off –  RawryLions May 2 '12 at 15:54

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