220VAC Baseboard heaters no returning neutrals?

I understand that in some 220 VAC applications, the neutral can be sized smaller than the conductors supplying power to the device. But I must admit I’ve never seen this type of installation before.

100 Amp primary distribution panel with a 60 amp remote distribution panel below. The panels are bonded and the bonding screw on the remote neutral bar was removed. No equipment grounds or neutral conductors present in the remote panel. The label on the remote panel state the 220 VAC circuits supply power to the electric baseboard heaters on the second floor. The conduit was EMT. If neutrals are required, do they need to terminate in the same panel as the source?

The neutral is not needed for a 220 volt circuit.

Phase to Neutral gives 120 volt.

L-1 to L-2 gives 220 volts.


That’s what I thought, but what about the two 110 volt circuits on the right side of the panel? Still no neutrals… and the ground is the EMT?

I see your problem.

Need more info.

Does the EMT that goes out to feed the 120 circuits have any white wires in it?

If not they are likely using the EMT for the neutral return. That’s a no go.

I’d call it as “requires repair by qualified persons”.

It would be interesting to open the outlets on the 120 circuits to see what’s being done. They would have had to tie the neutral on the receptacle to the metal box for it to work.

Maybe a handle tie is missing for the two single pole breakers which feed a 240V heating element.

I thought about that. The branch circuits are two different colors and are routed through the main panel and different conduit. I did not pull apart the heater to verify the wiring (going above the SOP) or verify if the baseboard heaters are 220 VAC or 110 VAC. There are no neutrals in either case but it might be possible that the neutral(s) for these two circuits were terminated in the primary panel. That was the reason for the second half of my first question. Do the neutrals have to be terminated in the same panel as the source?

Greg they are all marked Electric Heat.

I think you may be missing a handle tie as in 4 220 circuits.

If its a 240V circuit it needs a handle tie and both hot wires need to be in the same conduit. If its two 120V circuits the neutral wires for those circuits must extend to the sub-panel, and those neutral wires also have to be in the same conduit as the corresponding hot wires for the entire run. Let a sparky figure out which case applies and repair accordingly … :wink: