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How can I tunnel through water?

I accidentally flooded my mine. I am yet to find sand (early part of the game).

How can I easily clear out water which is about 15 deep?

  • 2
    Am I missing something? Why not just sink to the bottom, dig a hole and drain it into a mine below? This is what I've always done, and doesn't require you to fill the entire area (!?!) with dirt... Commented Jul 3, 2011 at 10:19
  • Why not use that water as part of your hell-i-vator, to prevent you from dying on the impact of reaching the bottom?
    – rlb.usa
    Commented Dec 5, 2011 at 22:25

3 Answers 3


Edit 2: This does still work, but you will have to log out after placing the solid blocks. When you log back in the game will not have remembered there was water there. This has only been tested in single player.

The following no longer works as of 1.1.

If you place a block on an area covered with water, the water in that spot will be destroyed. You can eliminate the water by simply filling the pool with dirt or stone squares (you don't need sand) and then mining them back out again.

  • 2
    Same goes for lava, I think. If not with any block, I know for sure that it works with Ash.
    – Ragnar
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 17:08
  • 2
    Works with lava too. You can actually build a tunnel vertically down INTO lava without ever getting burned, just by placing two layers of blocks, mining the top layer, and repeating.
    – lilserf
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 17:10
  • 1
    Great video on handling lava (water works the same) and actually shows the mechanic of digging through lava: youtube.com/watch?v=WMAUe89u_RQ
    – Robb
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 17:12
  • 3 Players working together can dig straight down without pausing - 2 laying stone/dirt below, 1 digging out the vertical channel. :)
    – lilserf
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 18:35
  • but sand both removes water when being placed and when falling, so when you place a comumn of sand and mine it again, a significantly larger amount of water is drained than when using e.g. dirt. Commented Jun 12, 2011 at 17:44

To drain huge amounts of water fast, drop down a Hellforge in a 3 wide, 2 high box under all the water. The Hellforge will prevent the lava from turning into obsidian when it comes in contact with water, but it will still evaporate the water. When building this evaporator unit, start with a 5 wide, 4 high box full of dirt. Then, hollow it out, and fill it with 6 buckets of lava. Then, drop in the Hellforge and open up the top. The result should look something like the graphic below.


W = your huge water volume
D = dirt, or whatever solid block you want  
H = Hellforge, flooded in lava  

If you don't have a grappling hook or other way to pull yourself out of the water for breath periodically, the easiest thing to do is probably to dig a parallel tunnel somewhere, until you can get UNDER your mine at the lowest point. Then dig someplace for the water to drain, then connect it to the mine and you should be clear.

Annoying, but easier than running out of breath trying to mine slowly underwater.

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