Culligan HE softener advice

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Upstate NY
Hello folks, first time post but I have gathered advice from this site in the past.

We closed on a new home in September 2023. It has a Culligan high efficiency down flow water softener installed by the previous owners in 2018. It's been nothing but problems since weve moved in.

We have had the Culligan tech out 3 times and each time he is more interested in trying to sell us additional filters or systems than getting the existing softener working properly.

I have worked out most of the kinks on my own without any help from culligan

1) figuring out to adjust the float in the brine tank to give us the optimum amount of water in the tank to dissolve salt to the point where the water smells and feels acceptable. Before doing that the brine tank was constantly overflowing and making a mess on the basement floor. The tech "adjusted" the controller so it would pump less water in to the brine tank on a Regen cycle, which did nothing, still kept overflowing. I realized the float was adjusted so high that water would spill out if it reached the float, so I moved it pretty far down. Then our water got nasty so I moved it up a few inches at a time until the water became good again. It's maybe 1/3 up from the bottom now.

2) replaced the regen waste line across the basement to a sink. The tech has set it up so it just dumped in the gap between the floor slab and footer - which was full of water when we moved in. Now it's bone dry

What we are still having problems/issues with:
1) during a regular softening operation, there is a steady flow of water coming out the Regen drain into the sink. If I spin the handle on the back of the softener to take it offline, it will gradually stop. It started as a constant drip a few weeks ago but now it's a steady stream. I'm turning it off every night when we go to bed to avoid wasting water, but this is annoying and of course doesn't seem normal.

2) if I disconnect the brine tank line, it has pressure in it during a softening cycle. The only thing stopping it is the float valve. I wouldn't think that should have pressure except during a Regen cycle.

My guy tells me the pistons are going bad and allowing water to leak through when it shouldn't be.

Was planning to order a set of pistons and replace them.

Is it possible that the piston chambers are just gunked up with hard water deposits and it needs a cleaning, or is that a lost cause and I should just order the pistons and replace?

My wife doesn't want me to contact culligan again for a useless service call where they will just quote us $7000 for an air injector system, and fail to fix the stated problems.

Thanks for reading, appreciate any advice y'all can give.
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