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Heating element screw taken out now cannot get it back on the heating element


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Hello. I attempted to repair my hotpoont WMD 962 washing machine as there appeared to be something stuck under  the drum so attempted to remove the heating element. 

I took the retaining bolt completely out (wothout tapping the screw thread with a hammer) and the rubber seal is loose and goes into the machine but not out. I am unable to put the clip (where the screw came through) back to reattach the bolt. 

I have read on the forums that you can use screwdrivers to prise the element out or try to hold it but that has not worked. 

Is there any way I can either reconnect the screw so I can tap with a hammer. Or take the element out without damaging the rubber seal or plastic housing

Thanks 

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