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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? – skully 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
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
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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

I found this looking for how to disable spawners, since I did the torch all around and on top trick and spiders were still spawning like 5 blocks away from spawner. Then I discovered that in the cave I was in, there were 2 hallways next to each other. There was a disabled spider spawner in hallway A spawning spiders in hallway B, and a disabled spider spawner in hallway B spawning spiders in hallway A. Hope this helps somenone. enter image description here

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You may want to include what you did to prevent this from happening, and why it happened. Just to help with why it happened, they can still spawn if there is a spawnable area (low light level) in the spawner's spawn zone (8x8x3 mentioned in another post). – dakre18 Jan 18 at 16:13

Put a torch on top of it. Simple!

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While technically correct, this answer adds nothing which hasn't been covered in much, much more detail by the other answers. – Studoku Jan 2 '15 at 14:31

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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