Valve leaks clear water+leaving black stain,rad full of air

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Experiencing a bit of a strange problem with my CH system, the valve above the pump appears to be leaking. This has only started recently, and we'll be getting a plumber to look at it very shortly, but what's really strange is that the water coming out of the leak is very clear, but it's leaving a nasty looking brown/black stain on top of the pump.

Could this mean that there is a lot of sludge in the system?

Also, the radiator in the bathroom keeps filling up with air and needs bleeding quite often (more than once a year, while other rads in the house need bleeding only once a year or even less). Could this be because of sludge or something else?

I'll post pictures of the pump and the leak shortly, I would look in the header tank but it appears to be wrapped in some sort of black plastic which I haven't worked out how to remove yet, plus it's impossible to see into without stepladders due to the height of it.


Here's the pic:
View media item 51770
 
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If there's only a drip coming from the valve, it will appear clear. But no heating system contains completely clear water. There's always a bit of rust. In general if the rads all heat up quickly there's nothing to worry about. Its when the sludge starts to clog up radiators and jam up motorised valves that its an issue - this extent of muck will do some damage to the boiler too. A heating engineer will be able to tell you if the system actually needs cleaning out.
 

CBF

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that's a drain down & replace pump valve job & good luck in getting the pump nut undone to change it
 
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If you are constantly having to bleed your rads that would suggest that you do have a build up of iron oxide, a bi-product of this being hydrogen which is what you are venting out of your rads.
 

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