Mysterious Hum

Just under 2 weeks ago I switched out my ARC D90B for an SS ARC 150.2. While I always turned the D90B off after use, I'm leaving the 150.2 on 24/7. My preamp is an ARC SP-8 rev 2. Normally I put the preamp's mute "on" before shutting down, a habit from the tubed amp. Today, without thinking, I turned off the preamp while leaving the mute "off" and discovered a fairly loud low frequency hum coming from my Magneplanars. It stopped when I switched the mute switch to "on". So somehow, when I leave the preamp outputs open (even though the preamp power switch is off and the led is out) some signal is making it from the preamp to the amp (which is on) and then to the speakers. But the hum dissappears when the preamp is powered up (I checked this by turning the preamp on, mute off, selector on unused inputs, and there was no hum from the speakers; similarly when I play LPs, on the "interband" tracks, dead silence). Can anyone suggest what is going on, and if there is something I should do?
That seems understandable.

When the preamp's mute function is activated, it forces a zero-voltage condition on its outputs, apparently by direct mechanical action of the switch since you indicated that the switch has that effect even if pressed while the preamp is off.

When the mute function is off, and the preamp's power is off, the un-powered output stage of the preamp is connected to the power amp instead. That would basically be a high impedance, that would exert very little control over what goes into the power amp, the result being increased susceptibility to hum pickup.

The hum may result from ground offsets between the preamp and power amp, or from emi being picked up by the interconnect, or other means.

Are the preamp and power amp both plugged into the same ac source (power strip, line conditioner, outlet, etc). If not, doing so might reduce the hum, by reducing possible ground offsets between the two components. But I think that basically it's a non-problem, since you can eliminate it by simply muting the preamp, and its cause is not anything that might be harmful in any way.

-- Al
I've heard thst only one component in a system should be grounded. Also, a two prong adapter might help (plugged into a two prong outlet.
Palewin, When the preamp is off it has a high impedance- so its nearly the same thing as having the interconnect cables connected to the amp with nothing on the other end.

When the preamp is on, its output impedance is low and you don't get hum pickup.

IOW, the hum is absolutely, completely normal- don't worry about it.