I have a GE water softner - draining to a sump or ground drain in not ideal nor practical based on the location of the water softner. I have it draining overhead - its about a 5' rise to the main line.
Initially when I installed it I simply ran a plastic drain hose up the wall and into the main drain pipe. I eventually decided it looked cheesy and if a plumber where to ever visit my basement bar they would laugh at me so I decided to put hard line in. I used CPVC ( I just wanted PVC but the hardware store was out of 1/2" - I know CPVC is not necessary) to go up the wall. The guy at the hardware store suggested I should have a check valve on the setup to protect from sewer backups.
SO TO THE PROBLEM
The softner worked fine and did its job when I had a simple hose going up to the drain, but when I put the hard-line in (with the checkvalve) I started getting rusty water. It also appears I am not using salt at nearly the rate I would expect (I turned of the energy saver "smart" mode so it should recycle every night)
I suspect the combination of the check valve and the weight of the water on it is too much weight for the drain cycle to effectively work. The brine well has water in it, during recharge water is being pumped from the brine well and I can hear water draining at the main pipe during recharge. Just wandering if maybe its restricting it enough to cause my problems.
Do I need the check-valve? Is there another type that works better in this application? Any suggestions things to look at?
I have somewhat close to the same setup, but first off do the instructions tell you to install a check valve on the drain? I feel it really shouldn't matter either way... As far as the rusty water try adding some iron out per instructions to your salt bin.
Also, I would check that your drain is sized to the instructions that came with the unit...