40d Talk:Floodgate

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Floodgates vs magma[edit]

... but only stone and metal will hold back magma.

Is this true? In the last version only steel was strong enough to contain magma. --Mizipzor 15:29, 1 November 2007 (EDT)

Well, my dolomite floodgates were enough to hold magma. So stone floodgates are capable of holding magma. Dunnoe about wooden ones though. Noctis 15:59, 1 November 2007 (EDT)
Not true. I used stone floodgates all the time with magma in the last version. --RedKing 00:52, 2 November 2007 (EDT)
Perhaps the confusion comes from the fact that you needed steel to bridge over magma --Moller 02:11, 2 November 2007 (EDT)
Alright, the dolomite floodgates that I've mentioned earlier seem to have disappeared, presumably melted away. Thus I'm led to belive that only steel(or better) floodgates are capable of holding magma now. Noctis 09:29, 3 November 2007 (EDT)
From what I've seen stone floodgates are, at the moment, one use like the steel ones listed in the article...but for different reasons. A closed stone floodgate will hold back magma indefinitely (probably for the same reason that the normal stone walls hold magma as they do), but once you link and open it the magma enters the same tile and turns any stone into it's molten counterpart. This means both your stone floodgate and stone mechanism are turned to slag and eventually lost to the magma forever. I would bet that the steel floodgates are still there, but forever locked in their open state since your mechanism just got turned to goo and you can no longer select the flood gate from the lever's link menu. Perhaps Bauxite might be able to survive the magma, but I need to find some first in order to test that theory. ( --TheUbie 04:28, 19 November 2007 (EST)
Interestingly enough, I do believe dolomite has a high melting point and is somewhat heat resistant...
To clear things up: build both floodate and mechanism from a material listed at Magma-safe materials.GarrieIrons 03:13, 6 July 2008 (EDT)
In the current version (40d) I've successfully used bauxite floodgates/mechanisms to control magma flow. Bauxite is your best bet (and less costly than steel in terms of material). Sdu - 01/11/2008

Activation time[edit]

Interesting note, floodgates seem to take approximately 100 steps to open after activation, from my experimentation. Maybe this could be used in the article somehow? NullAshton 23:51, 1 January 2008 (EST)

Ooh, interesting. Exactly the same amount as a bridge. --Savok 20:36, 11 June 2008 (EDT)

opening and closing[edit]

do I have to use a lever to open and close a floodgate? Early on - I have a room next to a river - I want to put a floodgate in the corridor and "bucket fill" a "pond" from the outside.

will this plan work or do I need a lever?GarrieIrons 01:55, 5 January 2008 (EST)

You need some kind of machine to trigger it, yes. Pressure plates work as well. --Edward 06:20, 5 January 2008 (EST)


All right... I have a 1-wide channel, with a floodgate "placed" not "built" somewhere along it. Access is from a stair to the right. No matter if I put the build command closer to the stair, or further away from the stair, the dwarves seem to build the floodgate so that it cuts off their exit! WTF is one to do here? I keep ordering the dwarf that just built the floodgate to remove it so they can get out again.GarrieIrons 23:34, 2 February 2008 (EST)

Hook it to a mechanism and open it. --Ikkonoishi 00:59, 3 February 2008 (EST)
Yeah well when I get a mechanic that is the general plan ;) but right now it's sitting in the middle of a channel while I prey for more immigrants before all of my dwarves die of thirst!GarrieIrons 01:48, 3 February 2008 (EST)
All right, I have opening and closing floodgates now.GarrieIrons 07:45, 5 February 2008 (EST)
Would you mind posting a pic of your setup? I'm a mite confused on this also....Holyfool 22:38, 3 February 2008 (EST)
Sorry that fortress is lost to it being a very early experiment.GarrieIrons 03:13, 6 July 2008 (EDT)

River crossings[edit]

I can dam/divert a river with floodgates I hope. If I dig a channel 1 z-level down, then build a wall, the top is a floor I can walk across. Why isn't the top of a floodgate a floor? it is silly that I have to build a floodgate then a bridge as well, and connect them to the same lever, if I want a floodgate I can walk over. (in real life even a simple drop-board weir - which is pretty mcuh a timber floodgate - can be walked over so that you can put the boards in and out).GarrieIrons 07:45, 5 February 2008 (EST)

PS. I am diverting my brook by digging a channel through it while it is frozen then building a series of floodgates in the resulting channel. I guess this will work (here's for trying) but how would one divert a river?GarrieIrons 07:47, 5 February 2008 (EST)
Non-freezing? Very difficult to get to work properly, dependent on the terrain of course. Basically, you'd have to dig quite a large pond/lake for the river to fill while scrambling like mad to get those dwarves to install all the floodgates or build the walls before the flow into the lake slows enough for construction-blocking waterlevels to start flowing again. Definitely suggest a stockpile immediately adjacent to the closest entry point to the downstream side of the dam to hopefully avoid a waste of time if only one or two dwarves get their lazy butts over to the work that needs to be done! As for freezing; well, that's always been child's play, and I always wonder why people bother asking someone "if the map they're on freezes," anytime someone says they need help trying to dam a flow. ;) --Edward 09:30, 5 February 2008 (EST)
Well, I have dug a channel in the ice. There are some boulders left behind as well as it seems some ice blocks. I think these will be off to make a pond as ice hauling seems much more efficient to me than bucket hauling?
But anyway, the channel is all marked as "blocked" when I try to build floodgates. Will see what it's like when the ice blocks are all gone.GarrieIrons 06:40, 6 February 2008 (EST)
To make your dwarf build on the right side you can "suspend" ('s' key is the shortcut) the building as soon as the dwarf starts on the wrong side. As soon as they move away you then un-"suspend" the construction and they should attempt to build it again. It can take a few tries but it works.
Another way is just to let them build it on the wrong side and have a miner dig out a square adjacent to the floodgate. You may need to dig out one more square but then you you can wall them up with the (C)onstruction building task. - Sdu 01/11/2008
Some people use doors instead of floodgates to do the same job which means that whatever side your dwarf builds it, he can still walk back through it. - Sdu 01/11/2008

Floodgate swept away[edit]

With version 38a I noticed that floodgates can be swept away by molten rock which is pushed by the flowing lava. I don't know if this also happend with earlier versions since this was the first time, because of lack of fule and wood, that I actually used magma. Somebody should probably mention in the article that it is advisable to remove rocks from the magma channel to prevent this. Buckermann 11:53, 9 February 2008 (EST)

The floodgate was verified beforehand to have been built, and not simply dropped and forgotten? --Edward 07:39, 13 February 2008 (EST)
I'm quite sure that it was build, and not just dropped. It was even connected to a lever and was working. For a short time at least... And I'm also quite sure that I used Bauxit mechanism for it. Buckermann 09:53, 13 February 2008 (EST)
A non-bauxite mech. would be my next point of inquiry, and just to make sure we're not missing the obvious, the floodgate itself was magma-proof? --Edward 04:14, 14 February 2008 (EST)
Yes, the floodgate too was made of Bauxit, and it is still visible in my magma silo. (Link to image) Buckermann 11:11, 14 February 2008 (EST)
Can you reproduce this? VengefulDonut 12:21, 14 February 2008 (EST)
No. I tried a few times to reproduce this, but never succeeded. Probably I just forgot to use bauxit mechanism the first time. Though, I would have sworn that I did. Buckermann 20:14, 8 March 2008 (EST)

No Access[edit]

I dug a diagonal tunnel towards a water source and I wanted to put a floodgate inside it - and one on the end where my farm will be - to create a reservoir. But I get the message, "no access" when I try to build the floodgate inside the tunnel. Apparently floodgates can only be placed when there is horizontal or vertical access to the square? (I planned to connect a lever to it so I don't need to stand next to it.)
That does indeed seem to be the case. I was able to place one in the middle of a horizontal tunnel but not in a diagonal one. I dug an extra square (ruining my perfect symmetry with an ugly dogleg :)) and was able to put the floodgate inside my diagonal tunnel. --Danny Rathjens 01:15, 6 April 2008 (EDT)


i wanted to water some rock below my fortress with the water from my moat, so i built a setup like this: ..~.
.> . surface level -1

.< x surface level -2

basically, the idea was that the area between the floodgates on the top level would fill with water, BUT while the top two were open, the bottom one would be closed. so i hooked up the top two to a lever, pulled it, built the third floodgate, linked that to the lever. so now my top two gates are open, and the bottom one closed. this would make sure that only the amount of water i wanted would go onto my plot. however, when i next pulled the lever, the top two closed, but the bottom one didnt open. i pulled it again and all 3 opened. so dont go doing this yourself, use two levers instead of 1. Twiggie 12:09, 16 May 2008 (EDT)

This is intended. Levers have an "on" and an "off" state. Pulling them switches the lever state and updates all connected constructions to the new state. --Doniazade 12:47, 16 May 2008 (EDT)
use a pressure plate to cut off the area you don't want flooded beyond a certain depth.GarrieIrons 03:23, 6 July 2008 (EDT)

A Question on Flow and Floodgates[edit]

So I had my two-floodgate system for letting magma into the trench below my smelting and forging rooms, each floodgate hooked up to a separate lever. The 'downstream' gate was right next to the ramp down which the magma was meant to flow. The upstream floodgate worked fine, and the magma went into the trench fine, but when I attempted to close the downstream gate, it re-appeared at the bottom of the channel. Was it swept away by the flow as it was trying to close? What happened there? --Zombiejustice 19:21, 11 June 2008 (EDT)

What material was the floodgate made out of? What material were the mechanisms made out of? It seems that the magma melted something and deconstructed the floodgate. --Savok 20:36, 11 June 2008 (EDT)
It looks like this was answered higher on this page: The floodgate was made of bauxite, but the mechanism was not and must have melted once the gate was opened. Should really have seen that coming, I guess. Well, only a few rooms are full of magma, I'm sure it'll cool in a month or two. Lesson learned. --Zombiejustice 22:19, 11 June 2008 (EDT)

Placement and seeing it work[edit]

I'm not sure if my flood gate is working. Once you place it, is it able to block water already or only after you connect a lever and pull it? It doesn't move in the z-axis? I'm not sure if it goes up or down from placement like if I had to dig and extra level down below them in order to get it move. I'm sure it just blocks one z-level of water right?--Seaneat 10:18, 4 July 2008 (EDT)

They start working as soon as they're built. They block water and dwarves, which can lead to a dwarf being trapped behind the floodgate until you very quickly get another dwarf to built a lever, connect it to the floodgate, and pull it, to open the floodgate. When they're opened, like bridges, they don't occupy a different z-level position - they just disappear. It only blocks one z-level of water, yes. --AlexChurchill 12:39, 4 July 2008 (EDT)
Well - they are "1 square wide". Nobody ever said the open part of a floodgate is the full 1-square wide, but they don't show up when opened.
Maybe there should be a tile for an open floodgate which shows posts on both sides and an opening in the middle. But then you would need to "orient" the floodgate.
My guess for a rock one: a ten foot (square) by two foot slab of rock that pivots centrally when opened. So when open it's still there in the middle of the tile, just oriented to let the fluid move through.
Look here for some pictures of low-tech real-world ones - I'm sure the dwarves build ones which are pretty similar, just they use rock instead of concrete.GarrieIrons 03:20, 6 July 2008 (EDT)
And for "tidal floodgates" that link contains the following disadvantage:
Disadvantages: There is a minor risk of being jammed open (as with normal gates). May require a new gate to be made in some cases.
So don't be too hard on your dwarves building floodgates that can't handle high temperatures, us humans can't even get it right (low-tech) with just water!GarrieIrons 03:31, 6 July 2008 (EDT)
A pivoting slab (basically a giant butterfly valve) sounds like a good idea, but it wouldn't match the behavior of floodgates in the game. I routinely use a row of three floodgates as my fortress' main entrance, left open by default. Since caravan wagons can pass through when open there can't be any obstructions in those three squares, so I assume the floodgates must operate like vertical sliding sluice gates instead. Bryan Derksen 04:34, 6 July 2008 (EDT)

Advantage over doors?[edit]

Aside from being able to make them wider than two tiles, is there any reason to use a floodgate rather than a (stone) door? The floodgates take longer to open and close, and block dwarves from whatever they desperately want that's always behind them... --Azaram 01:39, 1 December 2008 (EST)

Desire for authenticity and/or accuracy generally. Basically, a fair amount of people feel that doors shouldn't be as good as floodgates for holding back the waters. And Toady has said that this will be fixed in a later release. -Fuzzy 08:49, 1 December 2008 (EST)
Can floodgates be smashed by megabeasts as doors can? That might be another reason. --Aristoi 20:00, 4 January 2009 (EST)
Yeah. They can. --GreyMaria 20:59, 4 January 2009 (EST)

Materials to build a Floodgate[edit]

Hello everybody, shouldn't be there a list of the needed components to build a floodgate? Chris unsigned comment by Sherelian

No Atomsmasher Floodgates?[edit]

Can I kill goblins if i trap them on an open floodgate and then close it? Gnarker 16:30, 3 June 2009 (EST)

I believe that it will just block the floodgate from closing. So, anything can block a floodgate, even a butterfly corpse.--Smjjames 15:35, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Confirmed. And edited into article.--Albedo 17:32, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Small Floodgate[edit]

Considering that farming will require a more or less permanent water source, small floodgates would be nice. This way you don't have to "slightly flood" the farm all the time, although this wouldn't be difficult with a gently overflowing pool next or near to the farm... What else could you use? Screw pumps seem a bit too aggressive for irrigation... -Karp 21:49, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

require a more or less permanent water source
Don't understand what you mean - this is not true at all. Only stone needs irrigation, and only if it's underground (AG won't work), and only once. Then, the water can be filled with magma for all you care.
One screwpump w/ walls and/or tunnels to channel the flow are a classic solution. The pump and walls can be deconstructed once the job is done if you want.--Albedo 22:16, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
In the future... Farming will change to require regular irrigation and thus be more realistic and challenging than current single-irrigation. Or so I read... -Karp 00:51, 6 September 2009 (UTC)