A high voltage surge arrester includes first, second and third terminals. Arrester components, including one or more arrester valve blocks, are serially disposed in an insulating arrester housing between the first and second terminals. A first current carrying conductor is connected between the second and third terminals by way of a disconnector. If the arrester fails, the disconnector will disengage the first current carrying conductor to provide a visible indication that the arrester has failed. At the same time, a second current carrying conductor then reestablishes the connection between the second and third terminals. Thus, a current carrying conductive path is maintained between the first and third terminals.