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Element bent and metal sides touching each other


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I ordered a 4500 ulwd element from Ontario beer kegs and when it arrived the metal sides seemed bent and the element was touching itself.


Is this normal? Will it cause any issues with overheating mash in a particular area and burning the mash? 


Should I wedge a piece of copper pipe in between the element so that it's spaced out and the element pieces are not touching each other? 





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I do not have an electric heating element in the still, but I do have them in my home water heater.  When the calcium/iron builds up on those elements and the two sides finally touch, my heating element burns itself out.  I would contact the manufacturer and check with them, but if it is anything like my water heater heating element I would not let the sides touch.  Again, contact the manufacturer for certain.  Wedging a piece of copper in between the elements will not help if they are not supposed to be touching (copper is an excellent conductor of electricity).



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