I never completely shut off the heat in my log cabin. After the first winter we had a lead-- in the pipe leading up to the house! This could have resulted in a MAJOR bill, but luckily, we saw the new "spring" gushing out of the soil just in time. That is when we added a valve between the city valve and the house. Now I make sure the water is drained from the house AND THE PIPE DOWN TO THE STREET.