Yes, it was designed that way. The grid does not touch the heating element, it's spaced away by the ceramic insulators. The ground wire is barely visible at the right top corner of the grid. If the element breaks, it will short to ground and pop the breaker.
Updating an old GQF 1402 cabinet incubator - Page 5
You can make your temporary element fix permanent by unplugging, and simply stretching the heating spring to the clamp. Use a couple of loops at the end to connect to the clamp. You'll only lose a couple watts of heating power.
Actually you will increase the wattage. By shortening the coil, the resistance will be lower and wattage higher. Seems backwards I know. I cut my coils from a bulk roll and calculate the needed wattage by resistance. Longer the coil, lower the wattage. The gauge of the coil wire will limit how short you can make it. At some point the coil will get hot enough to burn out.
Thanks, Hatch. I was talking without thinking again. Shouldn't be a critical distance, though, correct? Either way a new coil is cheap.
I don't hatch in my incubator since I do staggered hatches. But so far I've hatched 8 turkeys from 8 fertile eggs, and have 135 eggs in various stages now.