This is true for the most part. With phals you don't want water to sit in the center or crown of the plant. This can lead to problems with rot. There have been times where I have needed to water quickly in the summer and I haven't worried too much because I knew the excess water would evaporate quickly under the fans in the higher temperatures, but I did pick each plant up afterward and lean it over to let the excess run out instead of sitting there like a mini swimming pool. That said, lately I have been super careful to not get ANY water on the leaves because I am on the tail-end of a small brown scale outbreak on two newer phals and splashing water is one of the main ways the scale spreads when the "crawlers" are on the move.
As far as the roots, they tend to ramble even when the plant is very happy. I have some that like to put out rambling aerial roots no matter what. Orchids are after all epiphytes. Are the roots coming out of the pot actively growing? Or are the old and shriveled up? If they are old and shriveled, you may want to repot the plant to see what condition the inside roots are in.