I recall taking my laundry dryer apart because the heater element had opened up. I did notice that the connections were all welded. Unfortunately the break was in the middle of the element and the heater box was a sealed unit. It cost around $40 to replace the entire heating assembly but as long as the lint filter is kept clean it will not overheat again. Scary that the thermal cut-outs did not open up when the element became so hot as to break the nichrome element.
You need a new butler if he is not keeping your lint traps clear..