If water leaks from above the disposal (that is, at the point where the disposer attaches to the sink), tighten the mounting ring screws. If that doesn't solve the problem, remove the disposal, disconnect the flange, clean the hole around the sink, and install a new rope of putty.
If water leaks from the connection where the drain connects to the disposal, tighten the two screws on the drain adapter. You may need to replace the rubber gasket inside. If water seeps from the disposer housing, replace the disposer.
A clogged sink with a disposer presents a couple of problems. To use a plunger you just compress a large volume - the amount in the disposer - and you have to keep the pressure from simply escaping out the dishwasher drain hose. Clamping the dishwasher hose creates an imperfect seal and can crack the hose.
Then you're left with a plugged drain plus the need to replace the hose. According to you local Redding plumber, Mr. Rooter, the easiest and least time-consuming method is to remove the P-trap, the most probable location of the clog.
Mr. Rooter Tip of the Week
Tip #1 Make the working area under the sink comfortable to work; position a bucket to catch water.
Tip #2 Turn off the power to the unit, insert an impeller wrench into the square hole at the bottom, and work the wrench back and forth to try to dislodge the jammed article.
Tip #3 Turn the power on and release the machine. If the motor still hums, shut the power off and push a piece of old broomstick (about 2-feet long) into the drain until it contacts the bottom of the disposer. Holding the stick against the side of the drain, push it in a circle to turn the impeller.
Tip #4 If the broomstick spins the impeller, remove the object with tongs, a magnetic wand, or a piece of duct tape stuck in reverse on the end of the stick. Don't try to get the object with your hands. Reset the disposer. If this method doesn't un-jam the unit, it's time to call a professional Redding plumber.
PLUMBER PRO TIP: A clogged disposer can be made worse by something jammed in the blades. If the disposer hums but won't run, it's jammed.