Another idea

A project log for Watts Intelliflow timer

Timer based dummy load for washing machine valve

Nick SayerNick Sayer 09/19/2020 at 20:180 Comments

The board I have now does reliably start the intelliflow. Perhaps the solution is to cycle the load on and off in some pattern to keep the Intelliflow activated.

the downside with the current hardware is that the activation LED is in parallel with the load, so modulating the load will modulate that LED. If this works, another rev of the hardware will be necessary to have a separate GPIO pin just for that LED. 

EDIT: That seems to work. In fact, a duty cycle of about 50% seems to be about right. That's going to be good from the perspective of wasting power and from the board just getting hot from the dissipated energy.