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I have a broken nichrome wire on my Holmes Accutemp portable heater people say regular solder won't work to reconnect it because the nichrome wire (heating element) may just melt the solder when the heater is in operation.

Does anyone have any other suggestions to connect it back together? I've included an image with an arrow showing the break.

nichrome wire break

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  • This type of metal is not really considered user-repairable. Also, since the element presumably burned due to high resistance, any repair will just result in another burn elsewhere. – isherwood Feb 4 at 19:54
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    Does this answer your question? My dryer heating element broke in two: Can I just wrap the ends together? – isherwood Feb 4 at 19:55
  • You cannot solder as it gets way too hot. The usual method of attaching nichrome to itself or other things is to crimp or weld it. – jwh20 Feb 4 at 20:02
  • Thanks, It's just a shame that the heater won't work because of a simple break in the connection. – Rick T Feb 4 at 20:02
  • Those cheap heaters fail all the time. if you want one with better longevity, try an oil "radiator" type, but really a Cadet built-in heater is the winner, they last 40 years. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Feb 4 at 21:54
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I would drill another hole to rivet to the end of that heater wire then make a connection between the new rivet and the old one or the new rivet and where it was connected to.

Did that several times but the devices usually failed as all the other bits are also old...

Edit based on comment: I used to work on 1% ie If the broken bit is less than 1% of the total length then it makes little difference, but if the broken bit was 20% then it causes the remainder to get too hot.

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  • If trying to repair nichrome make sure to use 900 degree crimp connections they might last a short while but remember any wire removed increases the heat on the remaining wire. I have done it but it usually doesn’t last long. – Ed Beal Feb 4 at 20:35
  • @EdBeal I used to work on 1% ie If the broken bit is less than 1% of the total length then it makes little difference, but if the broken bit was 20% then it causes the remainder to get too hot. I did not put that in my original answer as the distance to the rivet was short... – Solar Mike Feb 4 at 20:41
  • I agree it was short but hotter on an old coil can cause the other bits to fail like you said. – Ed Beal Feb 4 at 20:44
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The only thing that works (properly) is replacement. You would replace the whole element.

Heater element wire is brittle once it's been through a heating cycle (i.e. you turn it on once.) As such, "repairing" it tends to just lead to more breakage.

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With that brittle fracture it is highly unlikely that it is any of the Nichrome types . It is highly likely to be Kanthal an iron chrome alloy . Kanthal gets very brittle with use ,nichrome does not. You can try to reattach it but it may be too brittle . Nichrome can be welded ,Kanthol can not be reasonably welded. Likely you will need to replace it.

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