A water softener must not drain directly into a waste system because of the possibility of waste water flowing backward up the line. If this occurs, contaminated water could enter the water supply lines.
An air gap, which is essential to prevent backflow, is created by having the water softener empty into a floor drain, laundry sink or an outlet with a trap. The air gap should be two or more times the diameter of the drain line and at least 1.5 inches above the top of the receptacle.
The drain pipe can consists of either flexible or rigid material, as long as the end is secured in such a way to prevent it from becoming moved, dislodged or immersed in waste fluids.
Long garden hose is not recommended for a drain pipe because it may develop kinks or restrictions. If the drain empties into a sink, the sink should not be stoppered while the softener is regenerating.
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