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I was taking apart my dryer, and in getting the drum out, I bent some of the coils in the heating element. I don't see anything broken, it's just not as spaced evenly in a couple of places. I'm going to get it as even as I can.

Is there a danger in using this element, provided I make sure the coils don't touch the metal base and the drum?

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I've replaced my heater coil twice in the past year. I suspect the first install failed because one curl eventually made contact with the frame. At no point during both installations were the coils spaced evenly, including taking the element from the box.

You're correct to avoid contact and the rest should not be a problem. The air passing over the coils won't care if there's uneven spacing. There may be sag as the element heats, something I overlooked the first time. If you allow a few millimeters clearance for sag, contact can be avoided.

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The issue with any heating coil is they're very fragile in that they become brittle over time. If the heating element hasn't snapped it can carefully be bent back to its shape. The wire must not touch anything, but the insulators (stand-offs).

If it does break apart it can be re-joined by a mechanical fastener, but it's simpler to get a replacement part (and safer).

Making a heating coil is a simple matter of winding the correct wire into whatever shape is needed like a coil. The wire used is called Ni-chrome wire.

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  • And by "correct wire" you mean type, diameter, and length. Variations can result in an unintended change in current flow and heat output. – isherwood Dec 28 '20 at 14:13

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