Hence the call to the plumber. That, and the working bits of a toilet at the other house, where Michael's living, which had deteriorated past the easy fixes anyone can do. Now the kitchen sink faucet moves easily and doesn't drip and the toilet flushes and doesn't do anything it shouldn't.
But this is only the beginning. I'm determined to replace all four toilets (two in each house) with ones that don't use so much water. These toilets were put in back in the 1950s when the houses were built. I was hoping that the county would do what Austin Water has done, and give us some help, but clearly they're not going to, so I'm going to pop for it. In the present water crisis (the drought plus two of the town's four wells being out) it seems like the right thing to do--that's if we can afford it, which I think we can.
We've been reading about low-water-use toilets on the internet, trying to figure out which is best and which are available here (not necessarily overlapping sets!) Richard and I have moved toilets around before (to replace the wax seal, for instance, or in teh case of the small back bathroom here, when that floor was about to give way and he had to rebuild it.) But in this case, with four of them, I'm inclined to hire the plumbers to come do it for us. I'll bet they can do all in one day (and we almost certainly could not!)