water softener


water softener
any of a group of substances that when added to water containing calcium and magnesium ions cause the ions to precipitate or change their usual properties: used in the purification of water for the laboratory, and for giving water more efficient sudsing ability with soap.
Also called softener.

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      device for removing calcium and magnesium from water; water so treated will not form insoluble scale in pipes and tanks and will not form a precipitate with soaps or interfere with other cleaners. Water softeners usually consist of zeolite or an ion-exchange resin (q.v.) in a tank connected directly into the water system. The zeolite or resin contains sodium ions that change places with the calcium and magnesium ions dissolved in the water. When the zeolite or resin becomes exhausted (when most of its exchangeable sodium is replaced with calcium and magnesium), it can be regenerated by washing with a strong solution of common salt, which removes the calcium and magnesium and replaces them once again by sodium. Indispensable in many industries, water-softening units are also used in homes in a number of countries.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • water softener — water .softener n 1.) [U] a chemical used for removing unwanted minerals from water 2.) a piece of equipment used for removing unwanted minerals from water …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • water softener — n. 1. a chemical compound added to hard water to soften it, as by precipitating out the minerals 2. a tank or other container in which water is filtered through any of various chemicals or ion exchange media for softening …   English World dictionary

  • water softener — water ,softener noun count a substance or piece of equipment used for removing unwanted (=not wanted) MINERALS from water …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • water softener — noun a substance (such as sodium chloride) that lessens the hardness of water by replacing calcium and magnesium ions with sodium ions and so gives the water more efficient sudsing power • Hypernyms: ↑softener • Hyponyms: ↑zeolite * * * ˈwater… …   Useful english dictionary

  • water softener — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms water softener : singular water softener plural water softeners a substance or piece of equipment used for removing unwanted (= not wanted) minerals from water …   English dictionary

  • water softener — n. device attached to a water system for removing hardness from water; substance that reduces hardness of water …   English contemporary dictionary

  • water softener — noun a device which reduces the calcium and magnesium concentration of hard water by passing it through an ion exchange resin See Also: water softening …   Wiktionary

  • water softener — wa′ter sof tener n. chem. any of a group of substances that when added to water containing calcium and magnesium ions cause the ions to precipitate or change their usual properties: used to purify water and increase its sudsing ability …   From formal English to slang

  • water softener — noun 1 (U) a chemical used for removing unwanted minerals from water 2 (C) a piece of equipment used to do this …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • water softener — /ˈwɔtə sɒfənə/ (say wawtuh sofuhnuh) noun any substance or device for destroying the hardness of water, usually by causing the precipitation, or removal from solution, of the metals whose salts cause the hardness …   Australian English dictionary