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I got a new heating element and my son decided to pull the spring and stretched it out of the top holders, but didn't break anything. Can I just coil them back up and use it or they need to be apart so far not touching? Thanks.

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The wire is nichrome. If it has not been heated, or kinked when stretched it can be reformed and attached to the high-temp insulators (hopefully the insulators did not get broken). Keep the coil spacing and space from the case so one area does not get two hot or short out.

I have made heaters for industrial equipment with new wire, but once heated the coils get brittle and they tend to break much more easily. With a new unit and carefully repairing the coils you should be ok.

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