In the Technic Pack, especially with BuildCraft, a common problem I have when setting stuff up is that I end up filling up a machine, and then it starts overflowing if the machine fills up, or is processing another material.

Is there any way to prevent this automatically? Or do I just have to manually regulate my redstone engines?

  • I think this can be accomplished using Logistics Pipes. I'll have to test it though...
    – Unionhawk
    Mar 15, 2012 at 18:04

7 Answers 7


You can use obsidian pipes to redirect the outputs of chests. Take the following test rig:

I have filled the chest with buckets, as a sample:

If you pipe another item into the chest, it will simply pop out of the pipe, like so:

Fortunately, obsidian pipes do not connect to themselves, so you can use this to create a somewhat compact device to channel additional items elsewhere. Here's a possible system:

The iron pipes will keep the items from flowing directly into the new chests, and the obsidian pipes will pull in items that overflow.

You can also use more powerful engines of course, if you want to. This is all just an example.

  • I'm accepting this answer, because it covers BuildCraft more generally, but I'm also going to post an answer that uses Logistics Pipes, as sub-mod of BuildCraft.
    – Unionhawk
    Mar 17, 2012 at 0:55
  • An aside - I googled a similar problem and landed on this page and absolutely did not expect you to be the one answering this Alexis
    – Jack
    May 5, 2015 at 4:36

A green insertion pipe will do the trick, and, you can easily chain them to fill 20 chests or machines.


I have found what I was looking for using the Logistics Pipes sub-mod: Using a supplier Logistics Pipe connected to the furnace, and a provider pipe connected to an ores chest, I can tell the supplier pipe to keep, for example, 64 iron ore in the top part of a furnace at all times, or the bottom part filled with coal at all times.

Granted, this solution requires that I have segregated furnaces, but, I think it's worth it.

  • Of course, this will not work with Tekkit SMP, because Logistics Pipes are SSP only.
    – Unionhawk
    Mar 17, 2012 at 11:59
  • There are Logistics Pipes versions that are SMP compatible. Nov 25, 2012 at 16:23

A simpler and less costly way to make sure items don't pop out of the pipes (I've had similar experiences) is to replace the pipe after the wooden extraction pipe to an iron pipe, make sure it is blocking the items from entering the furnace or chest you are extracting from. then simply add two pipes next to the pipes leading to you chest or furnace.



(this is a basic diagram of how it should look if all of the blocks were in a grid, the four pipes touching create a loop trapping items and the iron pipe stops them from reentering your chest.)


Instead of iron pipes and engines, use gold pipes to make the item fly out at max speed. However, if your blocks are too close to each other, it will not work. For example I have a wall of furnaces and I was trying to have it insert an item it mines, directly into the furnace. I have also found that diamond pipes will work if you know exactly what you want going to a certain place.

  • 2
    It's not clear how making items fly out of pipes at high speed can prevent items from coming out of pipes. Can you explain more how this is supposed to work? Aug 31, 2013 at 19:33

Using only BuildCraft, clay pipes check if there is a valid slot in an attached inventory (chest/machine). If there is it will put it in, if not it will direct it to another attached pipe. You can use clay pipes at the center of T junctions where one is input, one is output and one is the alternate route. Additionally you can use hoppers to buffer the input for really slow machines.

Eventually every system can overflow (unless you have some way to eject into a pit of lava or other means of destroying resources you cannot handle), regardless of measures taken. The question is how much does it take to overflow a system ;-)

Another solution may be a loop, but you computer / server will hate you for it in the long run...


I may have a viable good solution. I have a multifarm producing iron essence, which gets piped into an auto workbench to turn it into ore, which then gets piped into a chest/hopper setup which feeds it into a smeltery for processing. Ran into the problem of overflow quite often so I stuck an obsidian pipe under the hopper and connected it to a void chest...worked brilliantly and took up very little space.

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