While working in my attic I lightly bumped a stud that had an outlet box as well as a switch that controls my attic light attached to it and when I did sparks shot out of the outlet and the circuit tripped.
When I looked at the breaker it says its a 15Amp circuit, so I shut it off and opened the outlet box that was sparking. Apparently that light bump was enough to knock a loose ground wire into one of the hot screws which caused the circuit to trip.
My problem is this, the outlet has 1 yellow Romex (12AWG) wrapped around the top screws (hot and neutral in their respective places) and 2 white Romex (14AWG) backstabbed into the outlet (also hot and neutral in their respective places). The problem is that all of the ground wires are simply twisted together and all 3 wires wrapped around the single ground screw.
So I figured I would try and do a proper job (or as much of one as I can) and connect everything to the screws using pigtails.
My questions are:
Should I pigtail all the hot wires to one hot screw, all the neutral wires to one neutral screw and all the grounds to the one ground screw?
Since I have a mix of 12AWG and 14AWG in this box (and my circuit is 15Amps) can I just use the wires from a strand of 14AWG Romex to make the pigtails?
Assuming the Yellow/12AWG wire is providing the power, would it be better to wire the yellow/12AWG wire to the top screws and then just pigtail the white romex together to the bottom screws? And all grounds pigtailed to the one ground?
Sorry, I'm not an electrician but have replaced a couple receptacles before. I was always told to never backstab and rather to use pigtails, to never wrap more than one wire around a screw and to always wrap in a clockwise direction.
Thanks for all the help in advance.