I rent a house in LA that has been given the landlord special--after looking a the wiring to see if I would be able to install a pendant light, I was shocked to find a live wire wrapped with old, crusted duct tape barely attached to a new wire attachment (not the copper grounding wire) as well as another wire with exposed paper. Is this a fire hazard? What do you guys think?

here is the wire without the cap (just came off with barely any effort

the cap that the live wire was in. Is the duct tape up to code? What about the paper?

  • All the wires except for the white tape/thin black coating wire look fine to me. The paper is included inside multi-wire cable to keep the wires separate/not sticking to each other. Can you post clearer pictures of where that problematic wire starts and ends and zoom in on its coating?
    – Armand
    Jun 14, 2023 at 22:35
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    Interesting! Since you are renting in many areas you are not allowed to open or work on any of the electrical systems. Best check with the landlord and your city.
    – Gil
    Jun 14, 2023 at 23:50
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    "I rent ... I would be able to install a pendant light" No, you can't, as a renter. Nor can your landlord. A licensed electrician is required.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jun 15, 2023 at 0:32
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    you could use a plug in pendant and a socket to plug adapter; all external modifications consumers can make.
    – dandavis
    Jun 15, 2023 at 7:55
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    Better make sure your renters insurance is up to date, especially the liability aspect. Jun 15, 2023 at 15:49


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