those l&l element holders were a hard to work with especially if your element melts in the holder. it seems that is what mine did very often and so i had to dig out the holder and thus break into the brick.
This is an interesting phenomenon with the L&L element holders. If the elements are fired to death, sometimes they can stick to the holders. I've seen this happen in only 2 kilns, and those elements were fired to death. The elements come out in small pieces (couple inches long) and it's a real pain. I'm not sure why it happens, though, because I've seen many elements fired to death that did not stick. Still trying to figure out what causes some to stick and not others. But if you keep up on your element changes, replacing them before they are toast, it doesn't happen. Pretty much all kiln manufacturers recommend replacing elements once the resistance is off by 10%.
If an element becomes completely fused into a holder, like from a glob of glaze or something like that, the holder can be removed and replaced without harm to the brick. You just have to crack the holder with a hammer and pull it out. Then nip off the bottom lip of the new holder and put it in, with the top lip holding it in place. I've done this a couple of times on my kilns and it works very well. Detailed instructions here.
Kiln Repair Tech
L&L Kilns Distributor
Owner, Neil Estrick Gallery, LLC