Log flood stage disk watermark [95%] exceeded on – How To Solve Related Issues

Log flood stage disk watermark [95%] exceeded on – How To Solve Related Issues

Opster Team

Jan-20, Version: 1.7-8.0

Before you begin reading this guide, we recommend you try running the Elasticsearch Error Check-Up  which can resolve issues causing many log errors (free and no installation required)


This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log “flood stage disk watermark [95%] exceeded on ; all indices on this node will be marked read-only” to appear. It’s important to understand the issues related to the log, so to get started, read the general overview on common issues and tips related to the Elasticsearch concepts: allocation, cluster, indices, monitor, node, routing, threshold.

Advanced users might want to skip right to the common problems section in each concept or try running the Check-Up which analyses ES to discover the cause of many errors and provides suitable actionable recommendations. 

Quick Summary

The cause of this error is low disk space on a data node, and as a preventive measure, Elasticsearch throws this log message and takes some preventive measures explained further.


Elasticsearch considers the available disk space before deciding whether to allocate new shards, relocate shards away or put all indices on read mode based on a different threshold of this error. The reason is Elasticsearch indices consists of different shards which are persisted on data nodes and low disk space can cause issues.
Relevant settings related to log:
cluster.routing.allocation.disk.watermark – have three thresholds of low, high, and flood_stage and can be changed dynamically, accepting absolute values as well as percentage values.

Permanent fixes

a) Delete unused indices.
b) Merge segments to reduce the size of the shard on the affected node, more info on opster’s Elasticsearch expert’s STOF answer
c) Attach external disk or increase the disk used by the data node.

Temp hack/fixes

a) Changed settings values to a higher threshold by dynamically update settings using update cluster API: PUT _cluster/settings

""transient"": {

""cluster.routing.allocation.disk.watermark.low"": ""100gb"", -->adjust according to your situations

""cluster.routing.allocation.disk.watermark.high"": ""50gb"",

""cluster.routing.allocation.disk.watermark.flood_stage"": ""10gb"",

""cluster.info.update.interval"": ""1m""


b) Disable disk check by hitting below cluster update API

""transient"": {

""cluster.routing.allocation.disk.threshold_enabled"" : false


c) Even After all these fixes, Elasticsearch won’t bring indices in write mode for that this API needs to be hit. PUT _all/_settings

""index.blocks.read_only_allow_delete"": null


Log Context

Log”Flood stage disk watermark [{}] exceeded on {}; all indices on this node will be marked read-only” classname is DiskThresholdMonitor.java
We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

      * Warn about the given disk usage if the low or high watermark has been passed
    private void warnAboutDiskIfNeeded(DiskUsage usage) {
        // Check absolute disk values
        if (usage.getFreeBytes() 


Related issues to this log

We have gathered selected Q&A from the community and issues from Github, that can help fix related issues please review the following for further information :

1 Elasticsearch error: cluster_block_exception [FORBIDDEN -views 24.53 K ,score 59

elasticsearch 6 index change to read only after few second -views   7.81 K,score 15


About Opster

Opster line of products and support services detects, prevents, optimizes and automates everything needed to manage mission-critical Elasticsearch.

Find Configuration Errors

Analyze Now