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HOME arrow ABOUT STAR TRON arrow FREQUENT QUESTIONS arrow "Milky white liquid in my fuel water separator?"
"Milky white liquid in my fuel water separator?"

QUESTION from customer:

I have a 1988 sea-pro with a 1998 evinrude 115hp.
The water separating fuel filter keeps filling up with white liquid, the engine stalls, you dump out the filter, or replace it and the boat will run again. I have put at least 100-200 gallons of fuel through my 40gal tank since this started, and i still have problems. I have replaced the filter seven times, not to mention dumping it out repeatedly. How do I make my Boat reliable again?

Please help!

Answer from Star Tron's chief fuel consultants:

There are two likely scenarios.
 
First, ethanol in now in your fuel, and ethanol is a powerful solvent. It can dissolve plastics, rubber, even fiberglass, and has been identified as the source of many catastrophic marine engine failures by dissolving components of the resins into the fuel, which plug filters, but also coat engine parts.  The older resins, pre-1995, are the susceptible ones.  Do you have a fiberglass fuel tank?
 
Second, barring the possibility that you have a fiberglass tank, the only additives we know that turn white are emulsifiers. (absorb water back into the fuel using surfactants or alcohol.)
 
Please note that water-in-oil "emulsions" turn a milky color.  If you have water mixed with gas, well mixed...it will form a heavy white goo.  And that is only in the presence of an emulsifier.  Several companies sell emulsifiers believing that absorbing water into the gas will dry out the tank.  They are hard to mix into the fuel, as they sink and if there is water, they can form thick emulsions.  While mixing them in jar demonstrates how you can dissolve water into gas, it defies logic that you can shake your boat.  There are other brands to, and they don't always say they emulsify water.  Fuel additives can come not just from what you put in, but sometimes, fuel docks use them to rid their tanks of water, and sometimes, they don't know what they are doing. 
 
Respectfully,
Star Tron