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Hints, Tips and Solutions (Do NOT post requests for help here) If you have any useful general hints and tips for vintage technology repair and restoration, please share them here. PLEASE DO NOT POST REQUESTS FOR HELP HERE!

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Old 2nd Mar 2018, 8:25 pm   #1
laceholes
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Default Repairing a mains voltage heating element

I have repaired the heater wire of a hair drier by twisting the broken ends together. Similarly the element of an electric fire. They worked for a long time after and nobody was hurt.
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Old 2nd Mar 2018, 9:13 pm   #2
evingar
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Default Re: Repairing a mains voltage heating element

Yep, OK.

The concern I would have about the technique is what happens if the repair unravels ? Would a loose end be accessible to the user ?

WRT vintage equipment, would it be possible for a loose element to come into contact with an unearthed casing ?

It maybe that the equipment dosen't comply to modern safety standards to start with, but if an accident happens as a result of a repair you have done, liability would likley fall to you.
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Old 2nd Mar 2018, 11:43 pm   #3
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Default Re: Repairing a mains voltage heating element

I knew one person who was so mean that when a household light bulb blew he would carefully tilt the bulb until the ends of the broken filament touched and put it back into use. He'd do this several times until the filament broke somewhere else. He would then take the blown bulb to his place of work and swap the duff one for the one in the workshop toilet.
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 9:36 am   #4
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Default Re: Repairing a mains voltage heating element

At my late parents house they had in the bathroom one of the 'classic' electric heaters - the type with a coiled heating element inside a silica tube about three feet long. When the element failed I couldn't easily get a replacement [the local electrical repairs shop said it was obsolete, had to take their word for it because this was a time pre-Google and pre-Ebay] so I took the ceramic end-caps off, extracted the broken element from inside and straightened-out an inch or so of the coiled element ech side of the break and used the innards from a 5-amp 'choc-block' connector to join them. I had to grind off the protruding screw-heads to get it to fit back inside the silica tube but it worked just fine for another ten years or so.

I figured that though a total 'bodge' it was a relatively safe bodge since if it did come apart the tension in the coiled element would pull the ends away from each other reducing the risk of a sustained arc, and anyway it was all contained in the silica tube.
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 10:05 am   #5
barrymagrec
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Default Re: Repairing a mains voltage heating element

My office / workshop Belling two bar heater from circa 1958 has been working with a couple of twisted element repairs for years, since about 1962, in fact when my dad showed me how to do it. (It was the living room heater at the time).
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 10:55 am   #6
ex 2 Base
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Default Re: Repairing a mains voltage heating element

To Boom, when I was in the army in Egypt we had a 40 watt bulb per tent and when they failed you had to wait for quite a while before you could obtain a replacement from the store, so we became skilled at wobbling the element around until it welded up and then we had light once again. The tent lines were wired using a twin core cable and wedge type lamp holders, back to a Lister diesel generator. Two strapping lads one on the winding handle the other on a piece of rope, I think they were 5 cylinder Lister. We also used 4 or 6 BA nuts and bolts plus two washers to fix broken fire elements, didn't twist them together and don't recall any failures.^5 years ago. Ted
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 1:38 pm   #7
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Default Re: Repairing a mains voltage heating element

Quote:
Originally Posted by evingar View Post
Yep, OK.

The concern I would have about the technique is what happens if the repair unravels ? Would a loose end be accessible to the user ?

WRT vintage equipment, would it be possible for a loose element to come into contact with an unearthed casing ?

It maybe that the equipment dosen't comply to modern safety standards to start with, but if an accident happens as a result of a repair you have done, liability would likley fall to you.

How is the repair coming apart any different from the initial fault- a break in the element?
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 1:55 pm   #8
evingar
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Default Re: Repairing a mains voltage heating element

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herald1360 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by evingar View Post
Yep, OK.

The concern I would have about the technique is what happens if the repair unravels ? Would a loose end be accessible to the user ?

WRT vintage equipment, would it be possible for a loose element to come into contact with an unearthed casing ?

It maybe that the equipment dosen't comply to modern safety standards to start with, but if an accident happens as a result of a repair you have done, liability would likley fall to you.

How is the repair coming apart any different from the initial fault- a break in the element?

It's not, unless you have stretched element and left slack.

The point really was about liability of a repair - but fine if its your own equipment and nobody else uses it.
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 3:15 pm   #9
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Default Re: Repairing a mains voltage heating element

I repaired a Morphy Richards 2kw convector heater in a similar way. It must be 25 years ago and it's still in daily winter use in Dad's office.

(this sort of thing)
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 6:24 pm   #10
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Default Re: Repairing a mains voltage heating element

My Dualit toaster has a couple of similar 'repairs' in different places.
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 9:56 pm   #11
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Default Re: Repairing a mains voltage heating element

Ditto my Pifco 400W 'bowl fire'. Hard to avoid hot spot where you do it - I might add 4BA clamp as suggested.
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