Took apart a hot plate, nichrome is touching directly to the iron??
How is it not shorting out?
I can only suggest that it is the 'earthy end' of the element that's touching and the corrosion on the iron and the outside of the element are limiting the current passed at this low voltage.
Have you measured the actual continuity across this apparent contact?
Or perhaps the "iron" is actually ceramic, or something else non-conductive.
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