No neutral on a 220 VAC circuit?

Can someone please explain how this circuit works? The breaker was labeled for the electric cooktop (30 amps). Note the neutral hanging in the air. The ground was connected to the ground bus.

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Just like my 50 amp welder outlets - Two hots and a ground (3 prong plug), no neutral.

Always used individual conductors (through conduit) though, so it doesn’t look hokey like the deal in your pic does…

Al in TN

If the appliance is purely a resistive load, like the cooktop, there’s no need for the neutral. If there was a clock/timer on the cooktop, then a neutral would be needed.


Oh man…I was having a brain fart. It’s like a water heater. I got confused because another 220 circuit in the panel did have a neutral on the bus. That circuit was for a range (with timers, clocks, etc.). The cooktop, however, had none of that.

Thanks Jeff.