Kenmore (Sears) Water Softener Cleaner -- How often?

I have a Kenmore "Super Capacity Genius +" water softener that is almost 7 years old and (knock on wood!) still seems to be working fine. Its raw water input has a hardness of 10 grains per gallon and a clear water iron content of about 2 ppm. Our water usage rate probably averages about 150-200 gal/day.
The owner's manual states that, in order to keep the iron from shortening the life of the resin bed, Kenmore Water Softener Cleaner should be used. This chemical is a white powder that comes in the 20-oz plastic jar and is used as a solution of 10 oz in a gallon of water. Sears sells the stuff in its store, of course, but its price seems to increase every year.
My question concerns the frequency with which this cleaner should be used. Sears provides three different answers, depending on where you look: (1) The water softener owner's manual states that the cleaner should be used "at least every 6 months." (2) Sears' Web site states that it should be used "several times a year." (3) The label on the bottle containing the cleaner says it should be used "monthly."
To be on the safe side, I have been using the cleaner almost every month over the lifetime of the softener, and I have therefore spent almost as much on cleaner as I did on the water softener itself. Given its increasing price of the cleaner and the fact that Sears only stands to gain from over-prescribing it, I wonder if it is really necessary to use it as often as I have. Does anyone have any experience and/or advice in this matter?
Dwynn
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L. Dwynn Lafleur
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I have a 15 year old super 70 Sears water softener. The well water here is 50 grains hardness with a serious amount of iron. I've never used the cleaner and never had a problem related to iron.
Steve
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"L. Dwynn Lafleur" < snipped-for-privacy@louisiana.edu> wrote in message
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here is

Your unit and the newer ones are like two different animals.
Gary Quality Water Associates
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Gary,
Please elaborate. I have one that is about 10 years old and so far have had no problems. Does it fall on the good or bad side of the divide (Old vs. new)?
RB
Gary Slusser wrote:

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almost 7

raw
iron
shortening
used.
and is

stuff in

used.
(1)
used "at

used
cleaner
month
as much

increasing
often
matter?
There is no right or wrong answer, so cut it back to every 2nd or 3rd month.
Gary Quality Water Associates
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