Plumbing is a profession that you either know how to do or you don’t. It’s not rocket science, but it’s not easy, either. Plumbers are expected to perform one of the dirtiest jobs out there and somehow do it with a smile on his or her face. Consider this: think about the drainage pipe under your sink. How long has it been there? If it wasn’t installed correctly (as many aren’t), bacteria may have likely built up over the years and left behind something you yourself would want a hazmat suit to deal with. And yet, an experienced plumber can make quick work of replacing it and can have it out of your house in no time,
So plumbers have dirty jobs that require a lot of expertise. To make matters worse, there are always very few of them around. No matter what town you’re in, the resident plumber likely has work lined up every day of the week, and is probably working well into the evening (some plumbers who work larger companies are even on all call 24/7). So should you tip them? Well, plumbers are paid hourly and definitely get paid for their work, but it all boils down to the scope of the problem and how well they treated both you and your house. If they did a good job, but were only there for twenty minutes, a $5 tip would be appreciated. If they were there all day making sure they fixed your problem to the best of their ability, then a $20 tip would probably be warranted. In either scenario, they’re not expecting a tip, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve one.